It can be all too easy to make the excuse of having ‘no time’ or being ‘too tired’ to exercise during the workweek. As busy as we may be, exercise definitely shouldn’t be an area that we compromise. Making exercise a priority will do wonders for your mental and physical health in the short and long term.
Depending on your job and work schedule, everyone’s exercise routine will look different. The nature of your job also determines the amount of daily movement you fit in. For example, a personal trainer would find it a lot easier to stay active during the day compared to an office worker.
At the end of the day, if you really want to exercise, you can (and will) make the time. Here are some of the ways we prioritise our fitness from Monday to Friday.
1. Get an Early Start
This is our first and favourite tip – and for good reason. Especially if you work in an office, it can be extremely beneficial to start your morning early. Getting your workout done before you start your workday ensures you have already ticked off something on your to-do list.
This can help you carry a positive mindset into the day and set yourself up for success. Fitting a session in the morning also allows you to have some ‘you time’ before you start a busy day. Alternatively, you could try to start work earlier than normal so you can leave earlier to smash out some exercise before heading home.
2. The Lunch-Hour Workout
Making time for exercise can be challenging enough, let alone trying to squeeze in a session in an hour that could be spent eating lunch or writing emails. However, if you have the time, scheduling your workout in your lunch break could be your key to success.
Make sure you are always prepared – pack your workout clothes the night before and bring your bag to work so you’re ready to go. Throughout exercise, there’s an increase in blood flow that benefits your brain and can leave you feeling more focused and energised post-workout. Fitting a quick workout during your break could be exactly what you need to power through the rest of the afternoon and avoid that 3 pm energy slump.
3. Maximise Your Time at Work
If you work in an office or spend most of the day sitting down, there are many ways you can increase your activity. Try walking around while you’re on a phone call, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and adding in a short lunchtime walk to get in some extra steps. You could set a timer every 30-60 minutes to remind yourself to get up and stretch, invest in a stand-up desk, or sit on a gym ball to change things up during the week.
As well as increasing your movement throughout the day, you can use your commute to and from work to your advantage. No matter your job, chances are you’ll have some kind of commute to make. Small changes such as getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way to work, or choosing to park further away can be a real game-changer. These may seem like small changes, but they add up through the week.
4. Have a Plan and Create a Routine
If that early morning start or lunchtime workout doesn’t suit you, not to worry. The real key to success is having a plan and creating a routine that fits your schedule. Routines can be extremely helpful and create consistency throughout your week. Decide on the best time for you to exercise in your schedule and make a plan to stick to it. If after work suits you best, that’s great! Fitting in a session on the way home from work or at night could be the best way to get a good night’s sleep.
Remember to set reasonable goals for yourself and acknowledge that maybe on some days fitting in a workout is just not realistic. Just make sure you hold yourself accountable for the rest of the week and stay active in whatever way you can!
5. Eat and Fuel smart
If you’re pressed for time, having a healthy snack or meal that you can grab and go will ensure you’re making the most out of your time and training. The last thing you want to do is make time for exercise only to run out of time and have to grab a quick fast-food meal that may not be the best fuel for your body.
To get the most out of your training, make sure you’re eating nutritious foods and a balanced amount of macro and micronutrients. You could find that meal prepping lunch or dinner for the whole week or next day works best for you.
Protein shakes are a great option to have handy for times where you need something quick. Adding a good, high-quality protein powder into your diet will help keep you satiated and fuller for longer as well as help recovery and muscle building. Being prepared means you will be less likely to skip meals or grab an easy fast food option on the go.
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