Last Updated on September 29, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
It’s often difficult to find time to get in a workout in today’s fast-paced world. This is especially true for us desk jockeys who ride our chairs 16 hours a day. However, it’s not impossible for busy people to find time to work on health and fitness. Sometimes it just takes a bit of schedule modification and some sacrifice.
What Busy People Can Do Throughout Their Day
Coming from someone who works and plays roughly 12 to 16 hours per day at a desk, squeezing in workouts used to be difficult. However, I’ve found a new way to go about my day that seems to work exceptionally well.
Now, I’m not saying that these next steps are ideal for all busy people. But you may come up with a few ideas of your own to improve your health. After all, it’s about keeping yourself alive longer, right? Why work to create a better life for yourself if you’re not going to be around long to enjoy it?
Besides, there are a lot of practical reasons why you would want to be healthy and fit outside of looking stunning.
Workout During Breaks
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to put in 60 straight minutes of exercise and call it a day. In fact, I’ve found it very beneficial to break up the entire workout into 15 minute segments. I’ve developed far more definition in my arms and chest while keeping a steady burn of calories throughout the day.
Every hour or so while I work, I take a 15 minute break. Mostly this is because my knees are bad and become stiff if I sit too long. During that break, I will walk between .5 and .7 miles while listening to music. This takes about 10 minutes or so. Then, I come in and do a set of lying leg raises, push-ups, resistance band curls and standing toe touches.
In total, this takes about 15 to 18 minutes depending on the number of reps I do for each exercise. Then, I go back to work for another hour or so and do it all over again. I do this about four times throughout the day.
The point is that you don’t need to dedicated an entire huge chunk of time to working out. You have a lot of exercises you can do periodically throughout the day that will make a difference in your health and fitness. Even a 10 minute walk around your building is better than sitting in the break room.
Earlier to Rise
One of the things I try to do as often as possible is got for a quick walk in the morning while waiting for the coffee to brew. Getting the heart going and the blood pumping to the brain is an exceptional way to get the day started. Many benefits from morning exercise await you that impact several aspects of your life.
I’ll often set my clock to get me up three hours before I start working. This gives me plenty of time to get a bit of activity, eat a healthy breakfast and prepare for the day. Personally, this has helped me feel vastly less stressed and more focused in my work.
Depending on the activity, it can take as little as five minutes to get your pulse rate up first thing in the morning. Roll out of bed and crack out a few push-ups. Or maybe do a series of jumping jacks. Any activity beyond your normal routine is going to be beneficial to you in the long run.
Relaxing Before Bed
Contrary to the morning routine, I’ve found doing a brief run of aerobics at night just before a nice hot shower relaxes me quite a bit. This was one of the major contributors to losing 20 pounds while I was living in Los Angeles. Essentially, I burned up the calories and carbs of any foods I ate for dinner and snack.
How long does it take for you to prepare for bed? Could you spare a few minutes to get in a bit of exercise? I am guessing so, but many of you won’t simply because you’re too tired to function. Trust me, I know all about making excuses. In reality, those excuses are preventing you from living a longer life.
On the other hand, some busy people feel more energized after exercising at night. Unfortunately there’s no real good way to tell which you’ll be until you try it a few times. Personally, I tend to fall asleep faster and feel far more relaxed. This is because of the hormones released after exercising to the point of sweating.
Another way busy people can get a bit of exercise in the day is by combining activities. Let’s say you love binge watching shows on Netflix. I know I do. One thing that helps me is watching those shows while exercising. Think about it. Why do you think many treadmills come with televisions built into them?
After watching an entire 30-minute show, you’ll wind up walking more than a couple of miles…without even realizing it.
I love gaming and I talk about the Xbox Kinect a lot on this website. That’s because you can get one hell of a workout if you play the games correctly. One of my favorites is tennis. By using over-exaggerated body movements and dancing around like an idiot, I burn more calories than some of the most grueling aerobic routines.
The point of this is you can combine much of what you do in the day with exercise. For instance, dance around in the kitchen, safely, while making dinner. Sure you may look like a weirdo, but you’ll also be burning calories.
It’s all about keeping the body moving in as much of your day as possible.
An automated life may be convenient in the short-term, but it may be causing problems for your health. By reducing the work your body actually has to do, you’re denying yourself means to work out. You can always leave the remote by the television and get in the habit of getting off the couch.
Doing more for yourself improves the body. For instance, I vastly increased my steps in the day simply by getting my own coffee instead of asking the kids to do it. Now, I am in the habit of doing as much for myself as possible simply because it keeps me active.
I live about a mile away from my nearest grocery store. Instead of driving, I will walk the distance. In fact, I used to walk about five miles round-trip once or twice a week to go shopping when I lived in Los Angeles.
Now I know this isn’t ideal for a busy person, but I am sure there are things in your day that are automated that may help get some exercise in if you do it yourself.
Sacrificing Other Activities
Finally, you might have to sacrifice a few things in your day if you truly want to be healthier. I’m lucky to the point where I don’t have to make sacrifices because I develop schedules that is ideal for my situation.
You need to honestly weigh out what is more important to you. For me, it’s making sure my children will never surpass me in physical activities. If they want to win against me in tennis, bowling or golf, I’m going to make them work for it.
This is not to mention I would love to see how the next 50 years unfolds. And things like this are what drive me to make certain sacrifices in my day.
It’s possible for almost anyone to find time for workouts. Many of us chalk it up to being “busy people” when in fact we’re just looking for excuses not to be active…and yes, I am lumped into that group. However, good health and fitness contributes to so much in your life. Be creative with your time and do yourself some good.