Exercising and fitness goals often take a backseat due to our busy schedules and priorities. Even if you work from home, long hours and familial responsibilities could be factors preventing you from attaining optimum fitness.
Lack of sufficient physical activity can lead to several health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain types of cancers. With exercise, you can keep many of these issues at bay. But the question is, how do you incorporate exercise into a tight schedule? What fitness strategies can you adopt and implement to boost your health?
Let’s discuss a few strategies that can help you pursue your fitness goals without having to compromise your work and other priorities in life.
Short and Quick Workouts
Even if you cannot dedicate an hour or more at a time to exercise, you can still pursue and attain your fitness goals. All you need to incorporate adequate exercise into your current lifestyle is utilize whatever spare time you have available, even if it means 2 minutes. According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, several short bouts of intense activity interspersed throughout the day could be especially beneficial for lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) workouts can help you make the most of the minutes you spend exercising. Exercising in short bursts is better than getting no exercise at all. Bodyweight exercises require no equipment. You can perform these exercises wherever you are, whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
Track Your Activity Levels
Tracking your activity levels will make you more mindful and help you make adjustments. Additionally, tracking will have a positive impact on your motivation and may also provide you with a sense of achievement. It is easy to track your steps with your phone or smartwatch. If you notice that the count of your steps is low for the day, take it as a cue to get up and walk around. Tracking your activity levels will help reduce sedentary time.
Sneak Additional Physical Activity into Your Routine
Adults require 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week to maintain good health. But know that this does not need to be in one stretch. Spread out these minutes over the entire week and find ways to sneak aerobic activity into your daily schedule. You could take the stairs instead of the elevator at your workplace and to your apartment. If your office is near your house, you could walk to work. If your workplace is at a moderate distance, consider cycling to work instead of driving or using public transportation (additional time spent sitting).
Get creative and integrate exercise with chores. Whenever you have to run errands, walk or take the bike instead of the car. Pushing a lawn mower also counts, so you could do a bit of landscaping and exercise simultaneously. Playing basketball or tennis with your children is a great way to merge exercise and quality bonding time.
Build a Home Gym
If you want to build a great physique in a limited time (instead of simply trying to meet health goals), a home gym might be the most suitable solution for you. The versatility of home gyms has made them very popular: Home gyms have found a place in the top 20 fitness trends of 2023! Your home gym could be a source of motivation for you. You can work out at a time that you find convenient. If you do not want to invest a lot of money, then you can opt for some smaller exercise equipment. Purchase a jump rope, resistance bands, or some dumbbells. You can even use resistance bands discreetly while sitting at your desk in your office! Even light exercises with resistance bands can help boost circulation.
Hydrate Your Way to Wellness
When a person is busy, it is easy to forget to drink sufficient water. Although water should be your first choice, you can opt for low-calorie beverages, infused water, or soups to increase your total water (fluid) intake and meet your hydration needs. You know that water helps eliminate waste from the body, prevents dehydration, and makes weight management easier. But did you know that water also helps protect sensitive tissues and your spinal cord? It also lubricates joints! Adequate water can improve the functioning and efficiency of your body. Won’t that be better for your busy routine? Do whatever it takes to get adequate H2O in your body. Keep reminders on your phone. Track water consumption using a hi-tech bottle. You could also tie it into your routine! For instance, you could make it a point to have a glass of water after each visit to the washroom.
Nourish Your Body with Healthy Food
Even though you are busy, try to avoid processed, instant, and readymade food. Such food may fuel you in the short run, but it will have a negative impact on your body and health in the long run. Processed foods usually have chemical additives, and high levels of sugar, salt, or fats. Keep healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts at hand while you work. Reduce your coffee consumption. Prepare the ingredients for meals over the weekend, so that you can whip up delicious, simple, and healthy meals during the week. With homemade food, you know what ingredients you have added, and you can balance your diet by paying attention to the nutrient content and your needs.
Recharge with Sufficient Sleep
Inadequate sleep can lead to mood disorders, heart disease, weight gain, and pain. Your work may also be affected due to drowsiness, irritability, attention issues, and lower alertness (all caused by a lack of proper sleep). If you have trouble falling asleep at night, exercise might help. You can chase away restless nights with exercise. Take power naps during the day when you have some free time. A 1995 NASA study found that a short nap (that lasts 26 minutes) improved alertness by 54% and performance by 34%. This increase in efficiency will mean less stress and maybe more free time (for sleeping and exercise).
Unleash Fun and Fitness
Try to make exercising and fitness-focused activities as fun as you can. If you do that, you will notice an increase in your commitment and motivation. Divide your fitness goals into smaller challenges and celebrate small victories! Try to include your colleagues, friends, or family members in activities. Small and fun activities will also boost your overall activity levels and substantially impact your health and fitness.
Sean is a fitness enthusiast and personal trainer by profession, and a freelance health writer by passion. Sean writes and shares his knowledge for a range of health, fitness, and nutrition brands.