We’ve all heard the expression “time is money.” The idea, of course, is that it’s better to make money and be tired than be broke and well-rested. It’s easy to feel like you’re too busy for workouts, especially with work and a packed social schedule. Fitness, though, can be beneficial for the busy people and can actually save time in the long run. And we know that nothing is more valuable than our health so it’s important to make time for exercise—even when it feels impossible.
If you’re serious about losing weight, increasing energy levels, improving work performance, living longer, getting stronger, and being a better you, then read on. Try these five fitness tips to ensure that you break a sweat no matter how busy you feel.
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Use a fitness app.
The number one thing that someone with no fitness equipment or gym membership can do to improve their well-being gets a mobile fitness application, like Aaptiv. Try Aaptiv for free for 30 days and get access to any type of workout imaginable, ranging from yoga to core training to running and more. There are workouts designed specifically for beginners, starting with durations as short as under ten minutes. You can literally do some of these short workouts between commercials while at home, first thing in the morning when you wake up, or on a quick break at work.
Take the stairs.
There are stairs everywhere—in your office building, your gym, or in the public transportation stations. Provided that you don’t suffer from any knee issues or have an injury, always choose the stairs. Stair climbing is a great way to burn calories and strengthen the legs and lower back muscles. If there are a few flights of stairs in your workplace, walk up and down them five to ten times total during your lunch break, when you first arrive, or when you leave work. Search online for public stairways in your area and go climb them to add variety to your cardio workouts.
Take the long way.
Do you live and/or work in the big city? Avoid public transportation, if you can and walk to your destination even if it’s a mile or two away. If you’re grocery or clothing shopping, park far away on purpose and walk to the store. The walk back to your vehicle with all your bags will work your grip strength, too. If you’re on the bus, intentionally hit “next stop” a few blocks early to fit in your daily walking workout. These extra minutes spent walking throughout the day aren’t just good for your body, they’re also good for your mind. Walking remains a natural, cost-effective way to clear your head and organize your thoughts.
Sign up for an event.
Fitness events and races are one of the easiest ways to stick with your workout goals. When you know you have something to train for, it’s easier to make a concerted effort to train and fit in exercise. Commit to a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or even a marathon if you have some running experience. Sign up for a bike tour, triathlon, obstacle course race, physique contest, strongman/strongwoman event, or anything that interests you that you haven’t committed to yet. Aaptiv has trainer-led workouts to help you reach all of these goals. Realistically, a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) walk/run is the best way to guarantee you’ll get your butt out of bed and onto the road or trail. Make a 5K one of your first fitness goals and watch your motivation skyrocket.
When working out seems like a chore, it can often become one. Unless you’re a professional athlete, not every single workout has to be carefully planned and thought out. Functional movements like squats, push-ups, planks, bear crawls, lateral crawls, lunges, and speed skaters can be done anywhere. Try the following workout first thing in the morning to get your mind and body ready for action.
Do two rounds of all six exercises. Rest 30-45 seconds between each exercise. Rest one to two minutes between rounds.
- Ten bodyweight squats
- Ten forward lunges (each leg)
- Plank (30 seconds)
- 15 push-ups
- 20 crunches
- Ten burpees
The next time you look at your schedule feel you are just too busy for workouts, use these five tips to make sure you’re not compromising your health for other aspects of life.
Mark Barroso is a NSCA-CPT and Spartan SGX Coach.