When it comes to fitting in a workout, most of us claim to do the best we can within our busy schedules. However, there is one big problem that fitness experts see with folks who don’t work out often enough. They’re lacking in the scheduling process.
This problem is often the result of “finding the time” to work out versus “making the time” to work out. Roger E. Adams, Ph.D., personal trainer, doctor of nutrition, and owner of eatrightfitness, explains that “finding the time” indicates that working out (or whatever you are wanting to do) is of the lowest priority. Whereas, “making the time” tells you and others that you have scheduled time for yourself and aren’t going to do anything else in its place. “‘Making’ time for your workout is just like scheduling a meeting with yourself. It lets you, your boss, your friends, and your trainer know that you have prioritized this part of your day. It’s important,” he says.
In his 20 years plus career, Adams’ most successful clients are the ones that schedule their workouts early in the day. This usually means before work. This is a period of time they have prioritized and made their own.
Scheduling workouts ensures that you get your workout in. Plus, it provides a myriad of other perks to your health and overall life. Here are some of the key benefits of scheduling workouts, according to fitness pros.
You are more committed.
When you schedule your workouts, they become more routine. They become much like anything else you do every day, such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, or walking your dog. “The more ingrained your workout routine becomes in your normal day, the more consistent you will be,” says Dr. Adams. “Before long it will be just normal for you to pack your gym bag for the next day after you make your lunch each evening.”
Your workouts are more balanced.
“A scheduled workout allows you to be consistent and to develop a balanced workout of strength, flexibility, and cardio training (including interval work) each week,” explains Melis Edwards, M.S., running and triathlon coach, and author of Deep End of the Pool Workouts. “When a workout lacks consistency, we may lean on performing one type of training. [This is] possibly due to what is more familiar and what you think you can fit in on that particular day or time.”
You’re more likely to incorporate rest days.
Any exercise instructor or expert will agree that rest days are not optional, but rather essential. They allow your muscles the necessary time to recover from physical activity. When you have a scheduled workout routine, your body will welcome rest days. It’s more impactful than if you worked out once or twice a week, then took several days off, explains Edwards.
Your workouts are more social.
When you work out consistently, in a scheduled fashion, group training or fitness classes become part of your social circle. “Classes or training groups are about the workout. However, we still get to know each other, have fun, [and] goof off sometimes. [We] even do fun athletic things together on the weekends, too,” says Edwards. In fact, some of her best friendships (and even her relationship with her husband!) formed during classes or programs that she has coached.
You can track your progress.
Scheduling helps keep you on track toward your goal. “Whether your goal is a triathlon, a Spartan race, or losing ten pounds, scheduling your workout will help you move toward it,” says Sonia Satra, founder and CEO of the wellness company Moticise. She recommends sticking to a regular schedule and keeping a journal. Whether it’s writing down your progress or taking pictures or videos, you’ll stay on track to conquer those goals.
You commit to more things in life.
Scheduling workouts can potentially help you schedule and commit to other things in life, too. “You see that you are able to make a workout schedule and stick to it. [This] can help change your views on other tasks in your day-to-day life,” says Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. “When one area of your being becomes more manageable and orderly, it is easier for other aspects of life to follow the same course.”