Simple And Effective Fitness Tips For Folks On a Tight Schedule

Simple And Effective Fitness Tips For Folks On a Tight Schedule

What's the number one excuse people use for not exercising? Perhaps it relates to a lack of information? Or maybe people avoid exercise due to anxiety or fear?

These are certainly valid concerns and might be the cause of the sedentary lifestyle of some people. But the number one reason why people don't train is this:

"I don't have the time."

Between work, family obligations, errands, and emergencies, time passes us by, and we barely have enough time to get some sleep.

The good news is that fitness is fluid like water. It can assume many shapes depending on the person's needs and abilities. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how you can get fit on a tight schedule.

1. Reduce The Scope And Get It Done

Most people carry an all-or-nothing attitude toward fitness, which prevents them from making good progress. For example, if a person can't follow a demanding training program, they give up and avoid any exercise with the excuse "Why bother?". 

The truth is, any type of physical activity can be effective, so long as you work hard and remain consistent. So what if you can't train for an hour four times per week? Do 15-minute workouts instead. Push yourself extra hard, focus on steady improvements, and you will improve your fitness.

2. Get Up Early An Sneak a Workout In

Let's face it:

Getting up early sucks. You have to leave your comfortable bed, force yourself awake, and be a functioning member of society. But since you're already waking up by an alarm, why not wake up a bit earlier and have a quick workout?

The great thing about exercise in the morning is that it wakes you up and puts you on a productive path for the rest of the day. Instead of trying to wake up until noon, doing some exercise gets your blood flowing, allowing you to feel more alert and motivated to keep the momentum going.

For example, you can wake up half an hour earlier than usual and do a bodyweight routine in your bedroom or living room. Do some push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, and crunches, wash up and start your day.

3. Try HIIT or Circuit Workouts

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and presents you with an efficient and effective way to train. Instead of spending an hour doing low-intensity exercise, you can condense a lot of work in little time, burn a ton of calories, and go about your day (1, 2). 

Fantastic activities for HIIT include running, jumping rope, cycling, swimming, and more. The goal is to switch between short periods of near-maximum effort, interspersed with slightly longer periods of recovery.

Circuit workouts are similar because they allow you to do more work in less time (3, 4). The idea is to bundle together several exercises and perform them back-to-back with no rest. For example:

Push-ups ➔ Squats ➔ Plank ➔ Jumping Jacks

Once you go down the list of activities, you can take a couple of minutes to catch your breath before doing another round.

4. Sneak More Walking Into Your Days

Walking is among the most underrated activities we can do to improve our health, burn extra calories, and work on our fitness (5, 6). 

Unlike many activities, walking is beneficial because we can more easily integrate it into our days, allowing us to reap the benefits without dedicating extra time to it. Here are a few examples:

  • Get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the remaining distance
  • Park your car away from your typical spot and walk the rest of the way
  • Ditch the car and walk to the local grocery store, bank, or postal service
  • Have walking meetings - do work and get some activity in
  • Instead of faxing or emailing documents to colleagues, walk to their offices and deliver them in-person
  • Drink more water - reap the benefits of hydration and increase your activity by going to the bathroom more frequently

5. Schedule Your Workouts

Many people approach fitness with an attitude of, "I hope I can find the time to exercise this week." While better than nothing, this approach is vague and leaves a lot of room for error.

Scheduling your workouts and getting clear on what you want to do is one of the best ways to ensure consistency (7). You have to get clear on three things:

  • The location where you will exercise
  • The time when your session will occur
  • What you'll be doing during your workout

Instead of saying, "I hope I can exercise this week," get clear:

"I'm going to run at the local park from 6 to 6:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays."