At this point, I think we all know the benefits of moving and exercising. It helps us sleep better, reduces the risk of many diseases, and improves mood and mental clarity (think things like concentration, creativity, and memory). When we exercise, we have more energy, strength, and endurance. It just makes us feel better! We KNOW this.
But sometimes the distance between knowing what you need (and even wanting it!) and actually doing it just feels too far away – separated by a sea of busy schedules, kids, work commitments, chores, not to mention time for actual rest, rejuvenation, and connection with loved ones.
One of the struggles I most consistently hear about is just finding the time. So I wanted to show you that there are ways to fit fitness into a hectic schedule, even if you’re in a season of life where carving out a specific time to get to the gym every day is just not an option.
- First thing in the morning –One of the easiest ways to ensure that it gets done is to do it first thing in the morning. No time to make excuses or for plans to change, plus, it’s a great way to start the day!
- Make your playdate a partner workout – While the kids are playing, get in a workout with the other parents. Or instead of coffee, throw the kids in the stroller and meet up for a walking date. You still get to connect with a friend, but you’ll save yourself some money and do something good for your body.
- Break it up – Maybe you just honestly don’t feel like the schedule allows for 30 solid minutes. So break it up into smaller chunks. Pick a few exercises and pair it with something that is a habit. For example, before each meal do quick circuit like this: 20 squats, 10 push ups, 20 lunges, plank for 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be a meal. It could be during nap time or breaks at the office.
- After dinner walk – Take the whole family as a way to de-stress from the day, wind-down before bed, and catch some awesome sunsets…
- Workout while you watch TV – Instead of snacking when you’re not hungry or browsing social media only halfway paying attention, get up and workout! You still get to catch up on your favorite shows, but also do something that your body will thank you for later! Plus, many people find that working out before bed helps them sleep better. 😉
- Weekends – You also have the weekend to fit 1-2 workouts in. Get the whole family involved or have your spouse take the kids while you get your workout on. Then you can take some rest days on those really hectic weekdays.
All you need is 30 minutes
Yes, you really can get a good workout in that time. When you are short on time, bump up the intensity a bit and only rest as necessary (i.e. when you feel you can’t continue with the same intensity or proper form) and try to hit at least one upper and one lower body muscle group….actually just try to hit as many muscle groups as you can. 🙂 A few dumbbells or bands are nice to have, but you can do it with just your bodyweight too. Give yourself 5 minutes for warming up, then pick 3-5 exercises and set a timer for 20 minutes. See how many times you can get through in 20 minutes. Here are two examples:
Example A (bodyweight)
1. Single-leg squat – 10-12 each
2. Push Ups – 10-12 (you can add a side plank in between each if you’re feeling feisty 😉 )
3. Hip Bridges – 12-15
4. Body Saw – 10-12
Example B (weights)
1. Squat with Shoulder Press – 8
2. Deadlift – 8
3. Inverted (or Bent-over) Rows – 6-8
4. Russian Twists – 12 ea
Take 5 minutes to cool down, foam roll, and stretch tight muscles. And you’re done!!
It must be a priority
No matter how busy you are, there are ways to fit fitness into your life. It doesn’t have to to be your #1 priority, but it does have to be a priority.
Like it or not, health demands our attention. If we choose to ignore it, it will eventually force us to pay attention to it and that’s not so pleasant. When you prioritize your health, you are prioritizing your family, work, spiritual health, etc. So commit yourself to finding the time and make it happen!