If you normally work long hours, have a big project you’re working on, or tend to work odd hours, it can be difficult to fit exercise into your day. But it’s especially during those times when you need to find time to exercise! Stress relief alone is worth finding a way to exercise, even if it’s really fast. Here are some ideas for exercising on even the busiest of days.
1. Maximize efficiency
Just because you don’t have a lot of time doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to burn calories without spending too much time. Use one of the best HIIT apps to quickly get started with this type of training.
Perhaps the best tool for this type of training is the Nike+ Training Club app, a versatile app with workouts for all levels of difficulty. You can segment based on numerous categories and body parts you’d like to train, such as your core.
Nike+ Training Club is available in multiple languages and allows you to set reminders for your workouts. You can train where it’s convenient for you, and you usually don’t need a lot of equipment to participate in many of the workouts. The app is available on your iPhone (or Android phone), but it’s also a great option if you want to keep fit using your Apple Watch.
2. Find the best times for your workouts
Hitting the gym or going for a run after work seems like a pretty standard option to many people, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you! Depending on your schedule and when you feel energetic and motivated, you may want to plan your workouts for a different time of day.
For example, some people find that exercising early in the morning works best. Even if you’re not a morning person, you can still find ways to create a morning routine that fits your workout. It just takes the right tools and some dedication. You may also need to go to bed a little earlier the night before.
Some people, however, find that exercising during their lunch hour is best. Others find that an evening gym session right before bed is the ideal option for them. Spend some time figuring out when you are most awake and productive and fix that.
If necessary, you can even break your workout into several smaller sessions: 10 minutes before your morning shower, five minutes at lunch, ten minutes when you get home from work, and 15 minutes before bed, for example. Regardless of when you choose to exercise, the most important thing is that you start.
3. Set goals and accept challenges
There’s nothing like a good challenge to motivate you to exercise, even if you don’t have a lot of time. Take climbing stairs, for example; this is one of the best ways to burn calories at work.
If you want to try something fun and improve your fitness, a challenge like C25K, also known as Couch25K, might be a great starting point. The objective of the C25K app is to help you start from whatever level you’re currently at and help you build your levels to the point where you can run five kilometers without too much trouble.
You can gamify absolutely anything to help keep you motivated, if that works for you. For example, habitat it’s a great way to stay motivated and treat your life like a video game.
In addition to using these apps, you can also set goals elsewhere and push yourself to complete mini-tasks each day. For example, let’s say you want to run a marathon in 12 months. You can use Notion to outline your goal or make your plans in a similar app before taking action. Notion also has numerous free templates to help you present everything better.
4. Optimize your schedule
No matter how busy you are, there is bound to be some inefficiency in your day. If you can be a little more efficient, you could cut 30 or even 60 minutes of work out of your day and have a little more time to exercise.
Automating the tasks that you have to do every day is a great way to save time. You can use Windows Task Scheduler, Todoist, or a similar tool to reduce the effort involved in tasks that you must perform every day. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you can save even with a simple keyboard shortcut!
One of the biggest places where many people can cut time is email. If you make an effort to be more efficient in the way you manage email, you could save a few minutes each day, and that could add up to hours over a week or two. You can also commit to checking your messages only once or twice a day, since most things are not as urgent as you think.
Once you’ve cleared some space in your schedule, be sure to put your workouts on your calendar. Having time blocked off for exercise is much more likely to motivate you to do it than just putting it on a list or keeping it in the back of your mind.
5. Don’t give up
It’s not easy adjusting to training when you feel like your day is already full of work and other obligations. And it can be incredibly daunting when you miss one. However, sticking to the practice is the crucial ingredient for success.
Even if you have a bad couple of days (or weeks), you can always start over. When you accidentally break the streak, start a new one and keep going! Find some inspiration, set some goals, and stick with it. Every couple of weeks, you can also test what’s working and what’s not to make sure you reach your goals faster.
Fitting time into your schedule to exercise isn’t as hard as you think
Many people have the idea that exercise should be long and strenuous. You should challenge yourself at every workout, but you don’t need as much time as you think. Even 30 minutes a day is better than doing nothing.
In addition to these tips, take a look at your daily activities and assess which tasks don’t add value and which ones you can eliminate entirely. Doing that will free up more time to focus on the things that matter to you, like staying healthy.