By Maggie Winzeler of Wellnesswinz.com
“I don’t have the time” is a common excuse that people use for not working out. In reality, though, we all only have 24 hours each day. So the question becomes how do you use those hours in your day? It turns out that we all have a little more time than we think if we use it creatively. Take a look at these 7 life hacks for help:
1. Move during your meetings
Getting up and pacing around the conference room might irritate your boss, but if you’re in your own private office or on a conference call at home, why not move around a little bit? This isn’t “formal” exercise, but it’s movement nonetheless. If it’s the only movement you get during the day, then better to make it happen now than to do nothing at all! Plus, you may even gain added energy and confidence from walking around, resulting in a positive impression on your clients or the courage to negotiate a tough deal.
2. Turn your commute into a workout
Why spend 45 minutes stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic if you can bike or walk to work in equal or less than that amount of time? More and more people are opting to turn their commute into a workout, stowing their workplace necessities into a backpack instead of a briefcase. You may actually save time by doing this while also getting in exercise. It’s a win-win!
3. Don’t spend an hour in the gym, just HIIT it for 30 minutes
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are becoming increasingly popular because they save time and increase efficiency. HIIT workouts recruit multiple muscle groups at once for intense intervals that bring your heart rate to near-maximum levels before allowing it to briefly recover. This cyclical rise and fall of your heart rate, combined with full-body muscular recruitment, enable you to burn a lot of carbohydrates extremely quickly, resulting in a lot of overall calories burned within a short period of time.
HIIT workouts also help you to continue burning calories even after you’ve left the gym, thanks to post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). In other words, your body is trying to recover for a few hours following your workout and burns energy in the process. This really shows us that less can be more. You can workout, shower, and be walking out of the gym, all in less than an hour with this kind of routine!
4. Socialize while you’re moving
What better way to stick with your exercise plans than to know that you have a friend waiting on you for a workout? Invite your friends to exercise with you, and you kill two birds with one stone. Grab your traditional coffee date or something else fun while you stretch. If your friends can’t join you, then schedule a phone date to catch up and plan to go on a brisk walk or jog during that time. They’re your friends after all, so they won’t judge you if you’re a little out of breath. In fact, they’ll probably cheer you on!
5. Forget working out at the office; just don’t sit down all day long
Many professional trainers encourage people to workout at work. But this may not be realistic for everybody. I can’t claim to have ever seen a woman in high heels doing push-ups on her desk in between a team meeting and her daily agenda. So forget trying to figure out how to be creative with your desk chair (it’s difficult enough to figure out exercises with a kettlebell!) and just focus on getting up to move around from time to time!
Try setting an alarm every two hours so that you can stand up and do a quick lap around the office or go fill up your water bottle. It will improve your circulation and get you in the mindset of making regular time for movement. Eventually, you will feel more empowered to carve out time for a workout too. Maybe leave the high heels and tie out of the equation?
6. Kids aren’t obstacles, they’re actually enablers!
Many people feel that they can’t exercise due to their children, but how many kids don’t want to play and run around? They all do! So why not join them? While the little ones run around on the playground, use the equipment creatively yourself! You can use low bars for pull-ups or reverse rows. You can use the monkey bars for dead arm hangs or even just to cross back and forth on.
If that doesn’t sound like your thing, that’s fine too. Bring an exercise mat and a lightweight prop and have at it! Just keep one eye on the kiddos, and you’re good to go.
7. Exercise in the morning
There will always be another agenda item on your to do list, so forget thinking that you will ever have a “perfect” day that frees up loads of time for your workout plans. The reality is that the more the day goes on, the more the excuses add up. For many people, exercise can seem even more daunting than it did earlier in the day. Thus, set an alarm to workout in the morning. Get it done. Remove it from your outstanding agenda and feel the energy that you will gain by conquering it first thing in the morning! Exercise is just as important as other time-consuming demands of everyday life, and it deserves a regular spot in your calendar too!
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