Working out isn’t just about losing weight or gaining muscle, although it definitely can be about that. At its core, working out is good for you for one simple reason: because being active makes you healthy.
Depending on your current situation, you might find that you have way more time for working out these days (working from home cuts down on commute time), OR, you have way less free time because you have to handle even more stuff yourself now.
Whatever your situation is, if you’re struggling to find time to exercise, let’s try to figure out a way that you can still stay active.
Some people really just don’t have time–maybe you already get up really early for work and by the time you get back, you’re hungry and exhausted and still have a million things to do before you can call it a night. So here are a few ideas to help incorporate activity into your day.
Walk everywhere and always take the stairs. If you have a commute that could be done safely via bike or walking, consider doing that instead. I know how cliche “park your car at the back of a parking lot so you have to walk more” is, but every bit helps. Instead of ordering delivery, do pick-up and take a walk. It’ll save you a little money and get you outside. Go for a walk during your lunch break. It’ll be good for your legs, back, and mental health.
I did a whole blog about standing instead of sitting–you can do that while you’re working during the day, watching TV, while you’re out at a bar with your friends. I won’t go into it, but there’s a good portion of people who spend most of their day sitting. Try standing instead.
And while we’re talking about watching TV, it’s actually a great time to work out. Even if you don’t have a routine or plan, walk in place or just stand while you’re watching TV, on the phone, etc. If you want to get your heart rate up, do some calf raises, bodyweight squats, pushups, lunges, planks…all really good and basic exercises that you can bang out while watching TV.
Do more chores. If you’ve learned one thing from this blog, it’s probably that being on your feet is a good thing. Chores usually require some activity: vacuuming, mopping, taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathroom, etc. Try doing them faster to break a sweat. It’s not hard to fit in small exercises here and there, if you think about it. For example, do a wall sit while brushing your teeth.
I’ll be honest. Usually, when people say that they don’t have time for working out, it’s actually that they don’t make time. But if you can wake up just 20 minutes earlier each day (or even 3-4 days a week) and get a short workout done, doesn’t that sound like a pretty easy way to make sure you fit in a workout regularly? Finding time is all about making it a priority.
I also think that many people are fixated on the idea that their workouts need to be long or very intense to “count” as a workout. But if that also keeps you from doing it (you don’t have time, you’re too tired to do an intense workout), make the goals much easier by shortening the amount of time you work out–do multiple 10-minute workouts throughout the day. Keep them simple, reward yourself after, whatever works to keep it consistent and part of your regular routine. Be active, make exercise a part of your life.