On this Five for Friday edition I want to share some of my secrets for getting in exercise when I'm short on time and, some secrets for making you feel like you have more time. Some of these take a bit of habit building but in the long run may allow you to have an extra chunk in your day that could be used for a work out.
1) Buy a planner and write out your daily schedule, including when you will work out. I TRY to do this to my best of my ability. When I say I try, it's because shit comes up, life gets in the way, and things don't always go as planned. But, the more I have written down the more likely I am to be able to move something around or shift my schedule to accommodate my workouts. Also, if I have it written down, the less likely I am to skip it.
2) I'm not one for heavy, intense meal prep, but plan your meals. And if you're working out of the home, pack your lunch. This can be a saving grace when you're short on time. When I worked out of the home I would use my lunch hour to work out, take a walk run and then I would eat my lunch while returning emails. Now that I work/stay home I notice that I have at least an extra 30 min a night if the meal is planned and partially prepped.
3) Work some small movements into the chores- a set of 10-15 squats in between each load of laundry, lunges while you're moving things from room to room, hip extensions with ankle weights while you wash dishes, five pushups for every five minutes you vacuum (hopefully it doesn't take you two hours to vacuum)- make it fun and easy.
4) Play a game with your kid(s) that involves movement. If they are old enough have them count out your repetitions or perform the movements next to you. If they are on the younger side do a few squats or lunges holding them (keeping good form- ribs over the pelvis and bum untucked). One of my favorite things to do with Ethan is to dance. I put on the Motown Pandora station and I sing as we move around the room.
5) Instead of TV at night plan a nightly after dinner walk with the entire family. I know this one is a little harder- especially if you're working outside the house and you get home late. BUT, if you can set aside 10 minutes for the entire family to walk, that 10 min may turn into 20 and 20 into 30. If your partner is protesting, go anyhow- take the kids and go. If that option is entirely out of the question pick a couple of exercises and rotate through during the commercials.
Exercise doesn't always have to be a grand event for it to be effective. Some small movements each day add up to something greater and eventually can turn into habits. Start out slowly- never pushing too hard or too fast. Be easy on your body and your soul. But start- build momentum and find your groove because, finding time to exercise and move is making yourself important.