10 Ways to Find Time For Fitness
By Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, ACE
Time is a precious commodity and with the fast-paced, urgent world we live in,
most people push their needs -- including exercise -- to the bottom of their to
do lists. You may not have thought of it this way, but exercise saves you time
and will most likely add longer and stronger years to your life. Read on for 10
tips to make time for exercise and 6 ways to express your workouts.
Taking a little time for exercise will surprisingly help you manage other areas
of your life. Some of the positive effects include lifting your mood, boosting
your self-esteem and reducing your stress. Exercising gives you a healthier
focus. Those who exercise are sick less often, report being happier and even
make more money then those who do not. Exercisers make healthier food choices
and sleep better. If you can manage to make exercising a priority, you will be
pleased with how much better you become at managing life tasks.
10 Tips to Make Time for Exercise:
Make an appointment - Schedule activity in your planner 1 month in advance and
keep that commitment the same way you would any other meeting. When you go to
schedule other activities, do so around your workout session. If itís necessary
to cancel a workout session, reschedule it immediately for another time during
the day or for the very next day.
Plan Ahead - Cook on Sunday night for the week. This way, you can head to the
gym after work and still come home to a healthy cooked meal. This will help you
stay on track for your meal plan as well as your exercise schedule. For best
results, both your meals and activities need to be planned for and should not be
left to chance.
Workout at Lunch - A workout break will refresh you for the second half of the
day and is known to boost brain power. You will be more productive after
recharging your body with exercise than working through your lunch and eating at
your desk. Live with no regrets!
Get Support - Let your significant other know your exercise schedule ahead of
time, so there are no conflicts or guilt when it comes time for working out.
Inform your employer of your goals and ask for some flexibility in your
schedule. For example, come in later and work later, so that you can get in your
Stick to Your Schedule - Set you watch or palm pilot to go off when itís time to
exercise. Then stop what you are doing and take 30+ minutes to exercise. You
will be more productive finishing up tasks after you worked out versus trying to
work through a situation knowing you did not keep your commitment to yourself.
Make an Investment - Consider signing on with a personal trainer, joining a gym
or purchasing home gym equipment. Making an investment is likely to help you
make a time commitment. Knowing that you have a trainer waiting for you will
increase your chances of showing up. Signing up for an online personal trainer
and comprehensive fitness program can do the same.
Always be Dressed to Move - You never know when the opportunity will arise to go
for a walk or hit the gym. Keep your sneakers in your car at all times, lay out
your workout clothes or pack your gym bag the night before. Eliminate excuses
and always be prepared for opportunities to exercise.
Engage in Intermittent Sessions - Take several 10-15 minute walking breaks
throughout the day. By days end, you could have completed 60 minutes of
cardiovascular activity, and the health benefits are the same as continuous
Eliminate Time Wasters - Take a look at your 24-hour schedule and see where you
can eliminate some time wasters. Can you multi-task, be more efficient or watch
less TV? You only need to dedicate 2 percent of your week to exercise. You are
Set Yourself up for Success - Get up 30 minutes earlier -- then you donít have
to make excuses for the rest of the day. Morning exercises have the highest
compliance rates, as do those who exercise with a partner.
Reaching your goals does not have to mean hours in the gym. You can express your
workout routine and still maximize your results. Below are ways you can get the
most out of the time you do dedicate to fitness.
6 Ways to Express Your Workouts
Combine Your Upper and Lower Body Exercises - Cut your strength routine in half
by incorporating exercises for several body parts. For example, while performing
a lunge, add a set of bicep curls to the movement.
Choose Compound Exercises - Exercises that work several muscle groups
simultaneously are more time efficient than isolation exercises, which focus on
one major muscle group. Examples of compound exercises include the leg press,
squat, chest fly, walking lunge and seated row.
Circuit Train - With minimal equipment, you can set up stations alternating
cardio activities with strength training activities. This will keep your heart
rate up so that you can get both the aerobic and anaerobic (strength) benefits.
A sample circuit might include: jump rope, bicep curls, jumping jacks, push-ups,
jogging in place, squats, mini-trampoline exercises and dips. Repeating the
circuit up to three times is guaranteed to boost your metabolism in under 30
Interval Train - Using active rest and work ratios will allow you to workout at
the upper and lower levels of your heart rate zone and optimize calories
expended. You can start with brisk walking for 2 minutes and jogging for 30
seconds. Then progress to 2 minutes of brisk walking and 1 minute of jogging.
Eventually progress to two minutes of each and ultimately to spending less time
walking and more time jogging. If you are already a runner, alternate your
running with spints where you accelerate with a burst of energy and then taper
back to a run.
Increase Your Intensity - By picking up the pace, you can cover more miles and
ultimately burn more calories in less time. You may need to work up to higher
intensities gradually, but you will become more efficient in the process and be
able to cut back on the duration of your exercise sessions. Ditto for you
strength training workout. If you keep each set intense, you can get the most
benefit and eliminate the need for several warm up sets.
Incorporate Mind & Body Exercises - You can get a lot of mileage out of choosing
a discipline like yoga or pilates. Not only will you get the physical benefits
of a well-toned body, but you will also enjoy the flexibility, relaxation and
stress-relieving enhancements as well.
Make Fitness a Lifestyle Change - By eliminating some of lifeís modern
conveniences and getting more physical, you can expend up to an additional 800
calories a week. That can add up to 11 pounds lost at the end of a year. So,
start taking the stairs -- even if you work on the 10th floor! It will get
easier. Park your car in the last spot and join the kids on the playground. You
never know when the opportunity will arise to get your heart rate up.
Sex Counts - While I wouldnít suggest replacing a formal exercise program with
sex, it certainly does burn calories. The more fit you are, the more enjoyable
all activities, including sex, will be.
Keep in mind that there will be snags in the best though out plan. So, prepare
for changes and be flexible. Use obstacles as an opportunity to try something
In the long run, the time you invest in exercise will come back to you.
Remember, no one goes to the grave saying that they should have worked more. You
often hear people say, ďIf I knew I was going to live this long, I would have
taken better care of myself.Ē So, make your health and fitness a priority by
making time to exercise.
Kelli Calabrese MS, CSCS, 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year - Online Training.
Kelli is a 20 year fitness industry leader. She has 3 fitness related degrees
and 24 Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle related certifications. Kelli is the
former Lead Fitness Expert for eDiets and eFitness and remains a regular
contributor. Kelli is the author of Feminine, Firm & Fit - Building A Lean
Strong Body in 12 Weeks www.FeminineFirmandFit.com. She has transformed
thousands of bodies just like yours. She is available for phone coaching, online
training, grocery shopping tours, seminars, and media opportunities. For more
information go to www.KelliCalabrese.com
or e-mail Kelli@KelliCalabrese.com