The 21st Century has afforded us many technological advances, such as the boom of the Internet, smart phones, social media platforms, systems advancement at our workplaces, etc., making it possible for us to accomplish a great deal more each day. But these tech advancements can also bring a lot more stress. We’re expected to be “on” 24/7 and our employers, teachers, friends and family believe we can accomplish more. With the expectations of doing more, it’s difficult to find the time to fulfill our work and social responsibilities, carve in family time, study for exams, finish home projects, etc., let alone find the time to work out each day. In an ideal world, each of us would have an hour a day uninterrupted to get movement in but for many of us that just isn’t possible. However, there are life hacks we can do to ensure we stay healthy and achieve our fitness goals – even in the busiest of schedules.
The first key is to be realistic with your time and goals. Understand what it is you’re looking to accomplish, why you’re looking to achieve those goals and give yourself a reasonable time frame to make your health and fitness a personal priority. No matter what your fitness goals are, it’s important to prioritize your health – knowing that loftier goals will take longer to accomplish. Switching between workout days and rest days is essential to stay on track. Work with the time you have, whether it’s 20 or 90 minutes, and don’t compare your workout schedule with anyone else’s. Each person is on a different course of action to meet their fitness objectives.
The second key to making time for fitness is to set intentions and make a plan for what you’re going to accomplish each week. Use technology to plan for the week ahead and schedule your workouts on a calendar app like Google Calendar or use a paper planner to hold yourself accountable and budget your time realistically. Periodization, or using cycles to plan and schedule weekly and monthly workouts and rest days (which are essential to allowing your body to repair from the stress inflicted on it by fitness training), is a great way to make goals more manageable to reach and lessen stress. This type of training allow you to create a big picture plan to show where you want to be in the long term and what type of training cycles you will need to plan and accomplish in the short term in order to achieve those goals. Schedule your workouts on your calendar each weekend for the following week so you can plan accordingly and know what to focus on for each session.
The third key to getting fitness into your busy schedule is to incorporate it into your everyday life. Merging movement with your daily tasks and responsibilities, whether it’s choosing to park farther away from the store, going for a 20-minute walk on your lunch or putting your equipment away after using it at the gym, has a cumulative effect on improving your health and creating positive habits. Build a routine of healthy practices so you’re constantly burning energy and challenging your muscles, even if it may not feel like it.
If you try to incorporate these tips into your life but find that you’re not following through with your scheduled workouts, you may want to consider personal training. Fitness Professionals help you create a plan to achieve your fitness goals and hold you accountable to ensure you can meet your goals. They can also help to ease any mental burnout you may have after a long day, by guiding you through a workout based on your personal goals to help you stay on track while maintaining your sanity.
With our very busy and hectic lives, sometimes the last thing we want to do is exercise before or after work, on the weekends, after school, etc. But in order to live our lives to fullest potential, do things we love, travel, perform well at work and/or school, etc., we must prioritize our health before anything else. I liken it to the safety training we receive before flying on a plane – we must put our own oxygen masks on before we put the masks on those who are important to us. Put your health first by setting goals, making a plan, organizing your schedule and taking it one day at a time.