Ryan Healy is a personal trainer for the Lynch/van Otterloo (LVO) YMCA in Marblehead. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and earned her BS in Exercise Sports Science from Elon University. Find more posts by her in conjunction with the LVO YMCA at yhealthandwellness.wordpress.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every time I meet with a client, I ask them if they’ve exercised regularly before. To those who say yes but aren’t currently active, I follow up with, “What made you stop?” Nine times out of ten the answer is “I didn’t have enough time” or “I was too busy”.
The truth in this day and age is that most of us are juggling hectic schedules that can be stressful and overwhelming. However, stress management is one of the many benefits of exercise! Squeezing in a 20 minute workout 3x a week can leave you feeling better about yourself and ready to tackle your busy day.
Another key point to remember is that it’s not all or nothing. Get rid of the perfectionist mentality. Just because you can’t fit in 3 to 5 hours a week at the gym doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother trying at all. Something is better than nothing!
Here are a few of my tips on how to fit exercise into your weekly routine.
1. Write it on your calendar.
By putting exercise into your weekly schedule you’ll be more likely to commit to those workout sessions and build your days around them. If you don’t plan out your workouts, they tend to get put on the back burner or left until the end of the day when you’re tired and less motivated. Make them a priority by giving them specific days and time frames to ensure success!
2. Have a home and travel workout routine.
There are going to be days when it’s hard to get to the gym to exercise or times when you’re traveling without access to fitness equipment. Plan for them! Write out an exercise routine that utilizes bodyweight exercises or equipment you have in your home.
Resistance bands are great for these situations because they’re so lightweight and easy to store. Having a plan ahead of time will eliminate excuses later on.
3. Stay active with family and friends.
Instead of meeting your friends for coffee or a drink, try going for a walk, taking a group exercise class, or playing a sport together. Not only will you be able to catch up but you’ll have a chance to bond over a common activity and support one another.
The same goes for family. Plan weekly physical activities everyone can enjoy and you’ll be setting a great example for your kids while staying active.
The hot summer weather is here, why not try stand up paddle boarding, surfing, boogie boarding, tennis, volleyball, or kayaking. If you want to stay cool indoors, try squash, racquetball, rock climbing, and roller skating at a rink, or swimming at an indoor pool.
4. Walk or bike for transportation.
Walk or bike to your destination instead of drive and you’ll be sneaking in exercise and doing the environment a solid. Exercise time can really add up too when you park farther away from your destination and choose the stairs over the elevator.
5. Step away from the screens.
It’s no doubt that computers, phones, and televisions are now an integral part of our lives. However, time spent browsing social media sites or watching television can easily add up to hours each day. Cutting back a bit on daily screen time is another easy way to carve out time for exercise.
How do you make time to exercise?
In good health,
Ryan Healy, BS, NSCA CSCS