We know you're busy. We know sometimes life gets in the way, and you're struggling to make it to the gym, let alone tick off the rest of your unending to-dos. If you find you've been skipping more workouts than you'd like, then know that there is still hope for you yet. When you're time-poor, keep these tips in mind so you give yourself the best chance of being your fittest and healthiest self!
1. Look for opportunities to keep active
People often think that one hour at the gym is enough activity for the day to real their goals. If this is you, we've got news for you! It's your overall activity that really makes the difference. This can provide a good opportunity to be mindful of your movements when you have a busy week ahead - look for opportunities to keep moving!
Ways to keep active:
- Set yourself a daily step goal
- Play with your dog at the park
- Take the family on a new adventure
- Walk instead of the drive where possible
- Stairs over lifts
- Plan activities that get you moving on the weekend
- Do some housecleaning
- Listen to an audiobook or podcast and go for a walk
2. Make the most of mini workouts!
If you feel like there's no point because you can't devote an hour and a half to a full-on gym session, then you'll be glad to know that more is not necessarily better. Short, sharp bursts of exercise can be just what you need to be burning serious calories and get your energy up and stress levels down.
- 10-minute incline treadmill sprints - 30 secs on, 1 min off - your legs will be on fire
- 15-minute HIIT session - plenty on YouTube!
- 20-minute run outside after work - a great way to 'switch off', too
- 30-minute restorative yoga sesh when you need to chill
3. Make sure you get good Zzzs
Though we are starting to truly understand the importance of quality sleep, it's still an underrated part of successful body composition results. If your cortisol levels are sky-high, your shred goals will be harder to come by!
Deep, restful sleep helps your body and mind recover, so you can tackle the day with ease.
By optimising your sleep, you can take advantage of the natural hormone support that comes with healthy rest. Not only will you be aiding your growth hormone levels, you'll be helping your body fight off unwanted cravings and making it easier for yourself to achieve your fitness goals.
If you’re constantly tossing and turning at night, it's time to look at sleep quality.
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4. Adjust your macros
If you know you're going to be missing a few workouts, you can adjust your nutritional intake to make sure that you're not going backwards. If fat loss is your goal, nutrition is key.
Keeping track of what you're eating with an app like MyFitnessPal can be invaluable in seeing what works and what doesn't work.
Though tracking won't always be 100% accurate, it can provide a useful tool for seeing where you're at.
There are many ways you can go about it, a popular way is a 40-40-20 split:
- 40% protein
- 40% carbohydrates
- 20% fats
(Fats and carbs are interchangeable - the focus is the protein).
Not tracking via an app? If you're not sure how to adjust your food intake in a way that won't leave you starving, remember to prioritise whole foods. It's super simple and yet it's these simple steps that really make a difference:
- Base your meals around fibre-rich, non-starchy vegetables (such as dark leafy greens, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower)
- If you're prone to going overboard with them, keep fats (oils, nut butters, butters etc) to a minimum - they are extremely easy to overeat!
- Prioritise protein to keep you full and retain muscle mass while being less active - cuts of lean meat, tempeh, tofu and beans!
5. Prioritise and optimise your time and energy
We all share the same 24 hours in a day. Time stops for no one, so you must decide how you spend your days. If you truly feel like you have 'no time' to train, look at where your priorities lie. This is not to make your actions wrong or right - it's simply a way to find out where your highest values currently lie. If you're putting in huge hours at the office because you really want that promotion or you're spending extra time with the family to make up for lost precious
moments over COVID, then honour what your life demonstrates!
If you decide it's time to make fitness a priority again, think about how putting in the self-care of moving your body will benefit you, your family, friends, business and the wider community. Not only can it give you MORE energy, but you may find yourself feeling more confident, more productive and ready to get things done.
You don't have to look at fitness as black and white - no need to try and imitate your favourite athlete or fitspo to get the benefits of regular movement - simply look at ways to make it easier for yourself:
- Get up 20 minutes earlier
- Make a workout plan so you're not wasting any time
- Have your workout clothes ready for you when you wake up
- Get your family and friends involved where you can