When I asked family, friends and co-workers, “what is your biggest obstacle to exercising on a regular basis,” the #1 answer was not enough time.
As a mom of 2 very active teenagers and a wife who works full time, strength trains three times per week, training to run 12 half marathons this year and likes to do yoga as often as possible, I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to work out.
Fit Fitness Into A Busy Life and Make It Work
First, you need to identify why this is important to you. What are the benefits of making the extra effort to find the time?
- There is nothing quite like the feeling of a completed workout.
- Most of us have read at one time or another how important it is to get a good night sleep. I sleep better when exercise consistently.
- Your health is definitely worth the time and effort. I am healthier and more fit than ever before.
- Better mood and overall good feeling. I’m a better wife and mom when I make fitness a regular part of my life.
- Lose and maintain weight.
- Boost your confidence. Accomplishing goals, seeing progress and making positive changes is a wonderful boost to self confidence.
Second, you need to come up with a plan. How do I fit exercising into daily life consistently (most of the time)?
- Identify non-negotiables. I made a list of all of the things I had to do as opposed to the things I wanted to do. For example, taking my kids to school, family time, going to work, etc. are non-negotiables. They are on the calendar to stay. On the other hand, watching a TV show is negotiable.
- Make fitness a priority. I committed the time and stuck to it.
- Workout at home. This one change made the biggest difference in the consistency, progress and success of my workouts. This change also eliminated the often used excuse of just getting home from work and not wanting to drive anywhere.
- Get up early. I was the most consistent and saw the most progress when I started working out or running in the morning. I found early morning to be the time that was least likely to be interrupted by phone calls, appointments, and errands. And, I can honestly say there is not a better way to start the day.
- Make it a habit. My workouts are like brushing my teeth and getting dressed.
- Write it on your calendar. Just like you would a doctor’s appointment or school activity.
- Be prepared. Put out your workout clothes the night before. Maximize your time for working out with as little prep time as possible especially if working out early in the morning.
- FInd a fitness program that you enjoy. There are endless options online, in magazines, and DVD programs. You Tube is a fabulous source for every type of workout imaginable. Find what you like and you’re more likely to stick with it.
- Track your progress. Use either paper and pencil or an online tool to keep track of your progress. Seeing the proof of your progress will make the difference between a skipped or a completed workout. Garmin Connect is a great tool for tracking miles, effort and progress.
- Turn “it” off. For some people an “off” is the computer. Maybe for you it’s the TV? Think about whatever your off needs to be. Look closely at how you spend your time and consider reducing the time spent on some activities or even stop some altogether.
It takes 21 days to create a habit. Start with a commitment of 21 days to a healthier and happier you.
What extra effort do you make to exercise when life is crazy busy? How do you make fitness a priority?