4 Tips to Stay Fit when You’re Busy
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You get home from a long day at work, you have good intentions to go to the gym, but you're tired, you're already home, and you don't know what you're going to do for a workout anyways. You start to think about dinner, so you Google some recipes but don't have any of the ingredients. Instead you settle for a frozen meal you bought last week and sit down for some TV time. Your show plays while you scroll through your phone and even though it's starting to get late, you don't really feel tired enough to go to bed. You wake up the next day feeling unrested, stressed out, and do it all over again.
You're not alone! I see this same cycle in the majority of the thousands of clients I've worked with. You feel too busy to exercise or eat healthy, and even when you have good intentions in the moment, because you haven't done any prior planning, those intentions aren't enough to spur action. I've got bad news for you, life is never going to slow down, in fact you'll most likely just continue to get busier.
Reaching your health and fitness goals doesn't have to feel like a constant tug of war for your time. You can reach your goals even with a busy life. So, what's the secret?
You must get out of the “wing it” mentality. Knowing what you’re doing ahead of time is the only way to stay consistent and you will save yourself so much time in the long run.
You can’t show up to the gym and spend 10 minutes just figuring out what your workout is going to be that day. You can’t get home from work and spend 20 minutes figuring out what sounds good for dinner.
You need a plan set in place so that when you show up the only thinking you have to do is to follow the plan.
There is a day in your week where you have a few extra hours. For most of us that’s Sunday but depending on your schedule it might fall on a different day. If you think that’s not true for you, and you’re always busy, then make a time journal and track where all your time is going. I guarantee you find a few extra hours. Use that time to schedule your workouts and meals, make a quick menu and grocery list for the week, and plan your workouts (we can help with that).
I live and die by my calendar, if it’s not on my calendar then it’s not happening. There are just too many other things going on in life for me, or you, to remember everything that needs to get done.
You must have a schedule and you must have reminders. You don’t hope you make it to that meeting next Wednesday on time. You put it in your calendar, and you get a little reminder 30 minutes before the meeting starts.
The same needs to be true of your meals and your workouts. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not going to happen. And by the way, that little planning time I just talked about, I have that scheduled in my calendar too, every Sunday at 5.
Lack of sleep is an absolute killer, and a topic I've written on in the past. Sleep helps regulate cortisol and other hormones, improves your cognitive abilities, speeds recovery, and provides about a million other benefits.
Studies suggest that people who sleep fewer than 6 hours per night gain almost twice as much weight over a 6-year period as people who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night, and 33% of the population reports less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night.
Time to start giving sleep a little higher priority.
Sleeping less is a choice that becomes a habit. You don't want to go to sleep because over-stimulation from media and screen time has you fearing you're going to miss something important.
Figure out when you need to be asleep to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night and then create a sleep routine and reminder to go off 30 minutes before bedtime. You might not always get perfect sleep, but you’ll be creating an environment to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep every night.
Know what it takes
There is still a misconception that you need to exercise 5-7 days a week for an hour in the gym to be in shape. That sounds daunting to anyone who has a job, and a partner, and kids, and a life.
But what if I tell you that you only need to workout 2-3 times per week? That sounds a lot more reasonable. Research shows that you can add muscle with just 2-3 workouts a week and you can get that done in 45 minutes or less with a full body workout.
You also don’t need to have a complete meal plan or count and measure every single calorie you eat to be healthy.
Start by figuring out where you’re at right now and what your goal is. Determine if you need to be eating a little bit less or a little bit more everyday to get to that goal. Then focus on eating high quality, minimally processed foods.
It’s not hard to find recipes or even meal delivery services these days to make your meals. This goes back to having a plan. When Thursday night rolls around and you check out your plan and you already have the recipe and ingredients for dinner then all you have to do is cook.
The most important step is action. 80 percent of the people reading this won’t take these action steps and in a year they’ll still be wondering why they haven’t reached their fitness goals and if they’ll ever have “enough time” to get there. Don’t be in that 80 percent. Go out and execute and watch your world change.
Want help becoming the healthiest, fittest, strongest version of you?
Most of us know that eating well, regular activity, and managing our sleep and stress levels are important for a healthy life. Still, we struggle to apply that information into our already busy lives. That's why the Profectus Fitness coaching programs help you create a strategy to lose fat, get stronger and improve your health, all in the context of your own life. We know that's the only way to keep these changes for good, no matter what situation you're in.