With the busy lives most of us lead, it’s easy to put physical activity on the back burner. We put off moving our bodies when our schedules get hectic until we can’t remember the last time we got a good workout in. But we all know that the longer you go without exercising, the harder it is to get back into it.
Forgetting to make exercise a priority is a bad habit, and most bad habits can be broken. This is why we’ve come up with a few ideas to help you stay active even with a demanding daily schedule. With a little creativity and planning, you can keep your body in tip-top condition while juggling numerous deadlines and commitments. No more using busyness as an excuse.
Commit and Plan Ahead
The first step to staying active is to make a commitment to yourself to stay active. When it seems like you can’t possibly make space in your daily schedule for regular workouts, take it week by week. Every Sunday night, look at what you have planned for the week ahead and make a promise to set aside at least a couple of hours for physical activity.
It might not be as easy as squeezing in a workout between commitments. You might need to move around plans or duties, even cancel ones that are not necessary. But if you want to do it, it can be done.
Being part of a group or club keeps you accountable, and you’d be surprised how many running, cycling, yoga, and other clubs are out there. Drop-in classes are also great when your schedule is unpredictable as you can attend these whenever.
If your hectic life revolves around to-do lists and calendars, schedule exercise in the same way you would schedule anything else.
Improvise without Equipment
Hitting the gym isn’t always an option, and many of us use this as an excuse not to work out at all.
Going to the gym regularly is all fine and good, but you don’t need fancy equipment to get in a quality workout. In fact, you can achieve great results without any equipment at all.
You don’t need proper weights to build and maintain muscle tone and physical fitness. There are many types of exercise including pilates, yoga, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that do not require any equipment at all. Basic movements such as squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches, and planks leverage your body weight. Many fitness gurus and influencers even get creative with what they use as weights and equipment, doing curls with cans of food or wine bottles and exercises against a table or wall.
If you’re at a loss for how to start, just search “at-home workouts with no equipment” for inspiration, or check out this collection of easy to follow, no-equipment workouts.
Make sure to research correct pacing and positioning before beginning any new type of workout. The last thing you want to do is get hurt and have to force yourself to take another break from exercising.
Find Fitness Opportunities Throughout the Day
You don’t need to stop there—a little bit of imagination can turn plenty of daily activities into fitness opportunities. If you missed your chance to work out or make a drop-in class because you were stuck at work or out running errands, there’s no need to beat yourself up. All you have to do once you’re genuinely serious about staying active is look for opportunities to move your body throughout the day.
For instance, instead of jumping on a bus or in a taxi, choose to walk or bike to your destination. When faced with the option of taking an elevator or stairs, always take the stairs (provided, of course, you have a few minutes to spare). Walk your dog a little farther, weed the garden for a little longer, and clean your house a little more deeply. These are all daily activities you need to do anyway, but the more you challenge yourself while doing them, the more your body will thank you.
These tweaks may seem small, but consciously making healthier choices will change the way you think about fitness. Expanding your definition of what exercise or physical activity means is not lowering your standards but giving yourself the freedom to pursue fitness by any means necessary.
At XOH!DNAIR, we understand that there’s nothing wrong with being busy. Going after what you want in life often results in a packed schedule, but staying busy with things that fill you up is endlessly empowering. With that said, it’s important to maintain physical, mental, and emotional balance in your life. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in the bustle of life that your physical health falls to the wayside. Use these three tips to make time for physical activity no matter how busy you get.