Want to know what the most common excuse is for not working out? As a trainer, I most often hear that people are “too busy” to get their sweat session in alongside everything else on their plates. And I get it. Most of my clients work high-stress jobs behind a desk, juggling mounting deadlines, school lunches, and the obligations of maintaining a healthy social life. With all that being said, I’m a true believer in that we make time for the things we care about, and if you care about your health and fitness, there are ways to incorporate movement into your existing lifestyle. Here are a few options to create a game-plan that you’re sure to stick to:
Option 1: Make an appointment with yourself, for yourself.
If you’re like me, you live by the color-coded blocks on your calendar. I have my class sessions blocked out, client training sessions scheduled, and have notes and reminders about when I need to meet friends for coffee or lunch. I also have a category called “non-negotiables” which are set in stone “me time” blocks for workouts and self-care.
I highly recommend regularly blocking time out for yourself as a non-negotiable and using that time for working out. Depending on your schedule, this can be as quick as a 15-minute block or as long as an hour - some time is better than none.
Option 2: Make your time work double for you.
My friends are always asking me to hang out (e.g., go for drinks, wingwoman at a bar, grab dinner, etc.). As much as I love spending time with them like this, sometimes, it’s not the most productive use of my time in that drinking doesn’t help me toward my goals, the bar isn’t where we’ll most likely meet Mr. Right, and dinner isn’t always healthy.
Now, I often suggest a workout class followed by a smoothie and catchup or a coffee and walk as our hangout. Doubling up social time and workout time is more efficient and leaves both me and my friends feeling closer and healthier.
Find ways to incorporate movement into your existing tasks to make those tasks work double for you. Take a walking meeting, invest in a treadmill you’d feel comfortable typing emails on, or make your normal commute a bike ride or run.
Option 3: Turn daily tasks into a movement moment.
Did you know that nearly every movement you perform every day mimics a basic functional movement? When you pick up your groceries and carry them from the car into the house, you’re most likely performing a bicep curl, a suitcase deadlift, and a farmer’s carry. When you raise a laughing child up into the air, you’re performing an overhead press. And when you’re hustling up and down subway stairs to make it to work, you’re getting your heart rate up into Zone 2.
Turn daily, mundane tasks into intentional movement moments that will help you on your fitness journey. Maybe try to carry all the groceries on one trip, add more reps to how many times you lift that child into the air, and see if you can run up and down the stairs faster. NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is where we burn most of our daily calories anyway!
As I said before, we make time for the things that matter most to us. Once we prioritize our fitness and health, creating space or finding ways to incorporate better habits into our existing lifestyles will get easier.
If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to comment below, or send me a direct message at @yearofclaude.
By Claudette Sariya - SOLE Instructor