Finding motivation to work out is difficult, but actually finding the time to exercise is a real struggle. I blog part-time and work part-time, but there are those with even less time on their hands: parents, full-time workers and those who are constantly on the go. It’s a challenge to squeeze in a gym sesh, a quick jog or even an at-home circuit because we’re constantly so busy. I get so much motivation from the most amazing fitness bloggers (shoutout to Carly Rowena, Whitney Simmons, Tammy Hembrow, & Cassey Ho) – but always seem too busy to actually achieve my fitness goals. This year, I’m putting a lot more emphasis on my personal fitness, and the benefits it brings. I have already started implementing changes, actively seeking out new ways to develop and improve my fitness and get to the level I’m aiming for.
#1 WORKOUT BEFORE WORK
Warming up on the way to work, by either cycling or walking is a great way to fit in a few minutes or even an hour of exercise. For example, getting off the bus a few stops before your final destination makes the rest of the journey a mini-workout.
One of my goals for 2018 is to start waking up early. In 2016, I was a real morning person, and I trained myself to be that way. Then 2017 rolled around and I totally gave up. Now that I’m waking up earlier, working out is really helping me to stay awake (at home and at work) and start the day right.
#2 MIDDAY TRAINING
When I worked in the centre of Leeds, I often saw people swapping out their workwear for fitness fashion, about to embark of a lunchtime run or a quick half hour at the gym. This is something I really want to try, even if it’s starting small like going for a walk at lunch. I prefer to work out in the colder weather, so January is the ideal time to get started. Plus I’m super motivated with the whole new-year-new-me attitude.
I don’t eat large meals for lunch, meaning they only take around ten minutes to finish. That means there’s twenty minutes before that time to do something active – especially because I sit around at a desk all day.
#3 PACK THE RIGHT BAG
There’s not much point in exercising in your workwear! Nobody wants to sit next to a Sweaty Suzie. T.M. Lewin provided me with some awesome idea for planning ahead when it comes to exercise around the office hours. Packing a non-iron shirt would help with stopping by the gym before heading to work. At first, I thought the brand was just for suits and menswear, but they have a whole range of womenswear that is crease-resistant.
Having a pre-packed bag and clothing that isn’t going to be ruined, means you’re already halfway there when it comes to fitting a workout in. The only step remaining is to walk out of the door!
#4 LIMIT PHONE USE
My phone is the best and worst thing in the world. It’s the best because everything is at my fingertips, and it’s a vital tool when it comes to connecting and sharing online. However, it’s also stuck to my hip, impossible to shake and always taking up my time. When I’m coming up to my allotted time to exercise, I ignore my phone if I can. Social media is a big no-no, even if it’s just to get some inspo. All it takes is thirty seconds on Instagram and an hour can pass.
Twitter is a big weakness too, there’s just so much to do on there!
I use my phone for music, yoga classes and exercise tutorials, but nothing more. When I really want to focus, especially when time is not on my side, the Do Not Disturb feature on my iPhone is my go-to. It mutes the social world for a little while, so I can train a little longer.
#5 PLAN AHEAD
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Failing to plan is like planning to fail. It is better to look ahead and plan, than look back and regret. Planning is awesome.
To really find the time in schedule to exercise, I have to plan. Make time. My entire life is basically written out (don’t worry, I enjoy it) and I can’t function without my planner and calendar. I just like to know what to except and when. It’s difficult to make the time, and sometimes it means losing hours from blogging, or just relaxing, because I need that time to work out.
Prioritising is key too. The best way for me to find time is to make it. Do I really need two hours on an evening to “chill” (aka watch Netflix)? Nope. Instead I could take 30 minutes from that time and take a walk, or work out at home!
#6 MIX IT UP, MAKE IT FUN
Also linked to prioritising. If I see working out as a chore, like I do with most things, I’m less likely to do it. It’s just not happening. No matter how much time I have reserved in the day to do something, if I’m not feeling it, it’s not going to happen. Mixing up my workouts has really helped me so far this year, and I think may be the key to staying focused.
Because each workout is different, or simply accompanied by a fire playlist, I’m excited for that time to roll around. If I have a morning workout, I’m buzzing to get started because I know I’ll enjoy it. The same applies to an evening run. I can’t wait to get home from work (like most) and get outside in the fresh air.
The benefits keep me coming back too.
#7 MULTITASK WHILE EXERCISING
This is something that has become incredibly helpful during those super busy days. I’ve had business calls while on the treadmill and answered emails on a pedal bike. It’s all about doing two things at once, safely of course.
Sometimes it’s really good to break away from work, and totally detach from the idea of the office. So if I find myself wanting to watch TV over doing a quick workout; I’ll do both at once. It’s really easy when at home too. Throw on a good series and just start doing some sit-ups. You’re getting that great workout in, and still enjoying the entertainment in front.
#8 EAT (AND DRINK) RIGHT
On many occasions, I don’t want to actively find time to exercise because I don’t feel like it. The reason I don’t feel like it is because I didn’t eat to right foods, or drink enough water, meaning my energy level is at an all-time low.
When it comes to working out for me, my primary method is walking and jogging. This is usually done early in the morning, or late at night, so I need to fill my body with the right things (constantly) so I’m always in the mood to go out. As tasty as junk food is (and it’s really tasty), I know snacking on fries at 10pm means I’m going to feel rubbish in the morning and stay in bed, rather than use that time to exercise and train.
#9 MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
I’m really bad at cancelling things. If I have made an appointment, promised to be somewhere, allowed my yes to mean yes – then it’s very hard for me to get out of it. Although this seems like more of a curse, it’s also a blessing in disguise.
After planning, I can always find time to join a class or follow a tutor at a selected time. Because I made this appointment, joined the group and put my name down, I know I just have to be there.
It’s a bit of a tough love method, but it does work. Signing up for classes that I wouldn’t normally do keeps my workout interesting, but also regular. Joining an hour-long class means that time is set in stone each week, and very easy to follow!
#10 TEAM UP
Fortunately, I’m not the only one struggling to make time for exercise in 2018. My friends also find the idea challenging, and we decided to team up and work together. Joining classes together, become part of local sports teams and just meeting up to workout is so much fun.
It’s safe to say I enjoy my workouts much more with friends by my side, and they give me that extra push of motivation with a little competition. Plus, if one person doesn’t show up for the workout because they’re “busy” – we get to pester them for the rest of the week. Such great friends.
Rather than meet up to lay around, we meet up to exercise and feel ten times better!
What are your favourite ways to work out? And how do you find the time?