There will always be days where you don’t feel like working out. A lot of the time, it’s going to turn into multiple days, weeks, or even months where you don’t want to do it. It’s okay. It happens. #nojudgementzone
The silver lining is that less time can actually motivate you to do more. Think about it. As busy professionals, we are forced to figure out ways to be more efficient.
Schedule meetings back-to-back to be sure you stay on time.
Make a to-do list so you make the most of your day.
Do all the meal prep for yourself and kids the night before to save time in the morning.
We know the tricks of the trade when it comes to life so why should fitness be any different? What do you do when you don’t have an hour or more to spare to go to the gym or do a long workout at home?
Most of us will just forego our workout altogether and push it out to another time in life when we have all this extra time to spare. The gym membership card continues to collect dust. The workout DVD’s serve as table coasters. That extra time will show up some day, right?
Well, that plan may not be working out so well. So instead of putting your health and fitness goals on the line, pick one of 2 saviors: either do something quick or do something convenient. What does that actually mean? you ask. Here are four ways to make the most of your time.
- Go hard or go home
The best thing you can do during a quick workout is to give it your all. A lot of factors will drive your ability to maximize your workout including things like energy levels, motivation, and the types of exercises you’re performing. However, the biggest factor is your mindset. Do you go for an extra rep when you’re exhausted or not? Do you push yourself to go a little faster during your run? Can you actually do a full pushup even though you think you can’t. Do yourself a favor and actually challenge your body, especially when you think you can’t do it. You’ll be surprised to see your true potential, it feels awesome to successfully push yourself, and you can save a ton of time.
I did a 15 minute workout at my apartment building consisting of the stairs, jump rope, and pushups. You can check it out here.
- Set a timer with milestones
Want to really be efficient about your 15 minutes? Set your watch to it. High-intensity-interval-training or HIIT workouts have become really popular because they are based on this very idea. Instead of running for 15 minutes, for example, you run for one minute and repeat this 15 times with little periods of rest in between. Not only does the time seem to go by a little faster by breaking your workout into chunks of time, but this method of starting and stopping has been shown to burn more calories after your workout. Double bonus!
I’m a fan of the InvervalTimer app. I set it for 15 minute SweshFit workouts and I’m good to go.
- Take the path of most resistance
Pretend that the escalator, walking runway, car, and all the other easy transport options don’t even exist. We often use these little conveniences simply because they’re there, but we don’t always need them. I live in an area in Chicago where I have a ton of restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment options within a mile of me. I’ve had to break myself of the habit of taking a cab for a five minute journey and walk instead. Sometimes, you need to take the quick route to save time, however, this is often not the case. Take the longer, harder route when you can, and actually save time by getting in a mini-workout in the process.
- Do something healthy
So maybe you’re doing something at the moment where you can’t actually work out (like reading this blog post). Have you drank enough water today? Have you set your goals for the day? Can you stretch a couple of muscles right now? Fitness doesn’t always have to involve sweating and hard labor. Use all those moments of sitting (by the way, we spend more than half of our day sitting down) and do something great for your body at the same time.
In the meantime, maximize your time and your health throughout the day with quick and efficient little changes.