How many times have you used the excuse that you just don’t have time to exercise?
I’m pretty sure I’ve used it a few times … and so have my clients!
Yes, yes, I’ve heard the old “we all have the same number of hours in the day” line .. blah blah blah. And yes, we can be a little rushed for time on occasion and feel like there really isn’t quite enough hours in the day.
I could answer this in two ways … 1) Fitting in your workout for the day may actually make you feel a little less stressed! You may even feel a sense of achievement that you have actually fit your workout in and you can tick it off the list .. go you! Or, 2) You could focus on what you CAN do and stop beating yourself up or feeling guilty about skipping your workout .. you did a great workout yesterday and tomorrow’s workout is set in stone and will be less rushed.
I’m talking to you now from #2’s perspective … you are a busy woman and fitting in your workout isn’t always easy but there are a few things you can do to make sure you fit it in AND to get results at the same time.
Busy Woman’s Guide to Working Out
1 Stop trying to do everything and worrying about the small stuff Let me give you an example .. the guy at the gym, your neighbour, your favourite Instaceleb says that the ONLY way to get results is if you spend at least 60 minutes smashing yourself during your workout. Anything less and you are just not committed to getting results. This is rubbish, plain & simple. Sometimes it’s just not practical to spend 60 minutes at the gym doing your workout. If you think that 30 minutes is not enough for a decent workout, then you are wrong. Sometimes 30 minutes is all you might have and yes, it is more than enough time to get a great, effective workout ( see # 2 ).
Another example is obsessing over every single calorie that passes your lips. OK, so you want to lose weight, but if worrying about every last calorie or the timing of your meals is leaving you more stressed than before, then STOP. I’m not saying it’s not important to be mindful of what you are eating, nor am I saying that your goal of losing weight is not important .. what I’m saying is that sometimes it’s totally OK if you just focus on the bigger goal ( ie having 3 healthy, nutritious meals each day ). Don’t worry about whether you should choose white potatoes or sweet potatoes for dinner or whether you have had your 6 perfectly timed, perfectly measured meals. When you feel ready, you can take your focus back to eating the right amount of calories at the right times.
2 Quality over Quantity As I mentioned above, you don’t need to spend hours getting your workout done. A shorter workout can be just as effective as a longer one if you just change the way you approach your workout. Here’s a plan to get your workout done in quick time …
- choose your exercises ( if you choose wisely, you don’t need any more than 5 or 6 ). Pick compound exercises which are big moves that use more than one muscle group at a time .. think squat, bench, deadlift ..
- don’t dawdle. Limit the rest time between exercises and sets. The aim here is to get your heart rate up and make your muscles work!
- no mini weights. Want muscle and to get results? Choose heavier weights and focus on technique. More benefit, faster results .. bonus! And, no you won’t get too bulky!
3 Whole Body Workouts It is more than OK to do whole body workouts rather than splits. If you have time to split your workouts, then go for it. If you are training for something specific, then split away. If you want to just get your workout done and get as much bang for your limited time, then work your whole body in one training session! 2 – 3 whole body workouts per week can keep you fit and strong. Add in a HIIT session, a run or even a brisk walk or two and you’ve got your workouts for the week covered! All depends on what you have time for because you are a busy woman! If you can’t make it to a gym to lift weights, then body weight exercises are perfect for you and you can make them harder or easier depending on how you are feeling. You can find a body weight workout here.
4 Plan it into your schedule where it fits I’m really big on this one. It needs to be a habit that you can maintain .. Your workout should fit into your schedule so that you feel comfortable making the time for your workout. I find that if I sit down at the beginning of the week and work out what I have on and when it makes it easier for me to see gaps where I might be able to fit in a workout. Some weeks it’s easier than others, some days it’s downright ugly. Some weeks I might be able to fit in exercise 5 days, other weeks I’m lucky if I manage 3 .. remember you are only human doing the best you can! One of my favourite quotes is “participation, not perfection”. Surely 2 workouts a week is better than none …
Another way I try to fit in a little extra when I can is when the kids have sport training. If you don’t have to clone yourself and attempt to be in two places at once ( I know you know the feeling ) then take it as an opportunity to go for a walk / run. Clearing your head of the day can be a blessing!
5 Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing Your workout and your time is all about you and what works best for you. I know this might come as a surprise but some of the “advice” that is given by health & wellness gurus is not necessarily accurate and may not work for you. If you are after advice & information specific to you, then please seek it from a health professional who takes the time to understand you, what you want and your own individual circumstances. Don’t waste your time ( and money ) doing something that’s not going to work for you or is not healthy!
6 Do what you enjoy If you are not doing something you enjoy, why are you doing it? Yes, there are some things that you really should do to stay fit & strong and finding a way to get the benefits while enjoying what you are doing is a key to finding time to fit it in. The more you enjoy it, the easier it will be to fit it in to your schedule!
7 Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! Each workout you fit in, each healthy choice you make, pat yourself on the back. Be proud of your efforts. It’s not always easy and life doesn’t always go to plan but when you are committed to doing the best you can you deserve a pat on the back for your efforts!
Are you still concerned about whether or not you are doing everything right? As I said above “participation, not perfection” .. what’s important is developing and creating habits that are practical and work for you. You want to be able to stick with it for longer than a 6, 8 or 12 week challenge .. life isn’t divided into 6, 8 or 12 week challenges so why should your workouts?
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