Six Ways to Find Time for the Gym When You’re Busy
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 20 percent of adults in the U.S. actually get enough exercise each week.
Between work, school, family and our social lives, it is easy to let exercise fall to the bottom of our to-do lists. Although you shouldn’t beat yourself up over a few missed workouts, making a habit of skipping exercise can lead to health problems in the future.
Instead of spending any more time making excuses, read these six tips for fitting in exercise — even when it doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day!
- Make a schedule and stick to it. It is easier to find time to exercise when you build it into your daily routine. Don’t just say you will go to the gym at some point tomorrow. Instead, look at your calendar and block off a specific time. Is the gym on the way to your child’s school? Plan your workout so you can pick them up right after.
- Rise and shine! Many people find the easiest time to get their workout in is first thing in the morning. Wake up before the kids, grab your pre-packed gym bag, and catch a 5:45 a.m. spin class. You’ll be home before the kids even have to be up. Plan breakfast and pack lunches the night before for an even smoother morning routine.
- Sneak a workout in during your lunch break. If you can’t convince yourself to get up before the sun, schedule a lunchtime workout. Whether you have a flexible lunch-hour that allows you the freedom to get to the gym, or you pack your tennis shoes and take a brisk walk outside, use this time to relax your mind and body. You will return to your desk feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your afternoon tasks.
- Cater to your likes and dislikes. Like many things in life, if you don’t like what you’re doing, you are going to find any excuse possible to avoid it. If you don’t like to run, don’t force yourself to finish 45 minutes on the treadmill. Do you like to be in the pool? Swim some laps or sign up for water aerobics. Do you like to dance? Check out a Zumba class. Are you more into lifting weights? Spend your gym time in the free weights section or learn about Kettlebell.
- Don’t disregard the weekend. Take full advantage of your weekends! Do you normally spend a couple hours in front of the TV on Saturday morning? Swap out an hour or two for the gym. If the kids don’t have plans, bring them along and sign them up for their own class or let them play in the youth center. Better yet – take the opportunity for family time and spend an hour in the pool.
- Squeeze fitness in whenever you can. No matter how much we plan, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Try to incorporate these exercises into the tasks you already do throughout the day:
- Park in the back of the parking lot to increase your step count.
- Do a few sets of sit-ups, jumping jacks or lunges while you watch your kids at the park.
- While you are sitting, do some leg lifts to work your abs.
- Use the time when you are washing dishes to work your legs by doing some calf raises.
- Work your gluts by doing squats while you move clothes from the washer into the dryer.
These little changes can really add up in the long-term!
Bronson Athletic Club in Kalamazoo is for anyone working toward better health and an improved quality of life. Stay up to date with club news on the club's Facebook page. To schedule your free tour or become a member, call a membership rep at (269) 544-3200.
Bronson Wellness Center in South Haven combines fitness and nutrition programs to help make it easier for members to live a healthy lifestyle. Stay up to date with club news on the club's Facebook page. To schedule your free tour or become a member, call a membership advocate at (269) 639-2949.