“I don’t have time!”
How many times have you told yourself the above when it comes to your own health or fitness due to being a busy professional? This could relate to workouts, eating healthily or both?
It’s an easy excuse which I used to find myself saying a lot when I was younger and a few stone overweight. There are ways to get around the ‘time’ issue and I’ll run through a few quick fixes on how you can be active whilst being busy to help you on your way.
Before I get started though, a survey back in 2017 found that 35% of office workers fail to achieve the NHS’s recommended exercise quota of 150 minutes per week!! So this is officially dedicated to the 35% of you office workers out there. Everyone else, this is still an ok read so don’t close the page yet!
What time do you wake up each day? If you feel you don’t have time, could you make an effort to wake up 30 or so minutes earlier for a number of days each week so you could exercise before work? If not, why?
I ask this because, if you feel you want to make positive lifestyle choices you need to make sacrifices sometimes. If you feel that you will be tired, well maybe you could think about going to bed a little earlier so you can still aim for 7-8 hours good sleep a night.
You will after a few days get used to waking up at the earlier time and this will be the new norm for you. Think about when the clocks change in the UK. Our bodies have to adapt, and this is exactly the same concept.
You might be tired due to having young children, and this is something I can also relate to as I also have children, which now at 8 and 10 has become a lot easier as they’re not waking me up in the night anymore (well most nights anyway!). If children are the issue, then maybe moving your workout to the end of the day may work better for you, and I’ll come on to this a little later on.
I’ll be honest. Personally I prefer getting up earlier and getting straight into a workout as it helps me with not finding excuses as in why NOT to complete one when I get home but this is just me! I’m now into a habit doing this and works well for me.
Before you get to the chair at work though. How did you get to work? Do you live close enough to walk or bike? If you live within a 30-45 minute walk from work but decide to either catch public transport or drive, why don’t you give walking or cycling a go, maybe on a dry calm day to get you started. Once you realise that it’s not that bad to ditch the car then it may just kick start you working towards your goals. You want to be looking at achievable short term goals.
In the UK, Some companies offer a bike to work scheme where you get around 25-39% off a bike and accessories where you pay nothing upfront and the payments are taken tax efficiently from your salary by your employer. Speak to them to if this something they provide. This may also be a good option for you.
In the office
How long do you sit for?
In the UK there are millions of people who sit in an office all day. Sitting down for long periods of can affect both our health and focus. Everyone needs to make a conscious effort to get out of the chair more and move.
Even if your chair is comfy and ergonomic, you shouldn’t be sitting in your chair for long periods of time. Every hour you should make a conscious effort to get up and stretch your legs. Our bodies are not designed to be hunched in a chair for long periods of time. Moving will help increase energy levels, give you a clearer mind, improve mood, increase blood flow and improve posture.
Do you get one? If so, how long do you get and what do you get up to?
More often than not I go for a 20 minute walk each day. I usually do this at lunch time, to help clear my head. Within this period I usually burn off around 100-125 active calories. If you do this 5 days a week and exercise you are building up at least an additional 500-600 calories. These calories could be used to give yourself a couple of small glasses of wine at the weekend. Win!!
This is a hack in itself if you do like treats. Bank up them calories up through additional movement if you are wanting to lose weight. Very simple this one as long as you are sensible 80% of the time and exercise through the week as well. no-one wants to be that restricted that they can’t have anything that’s seen as ‘bad’ and doing something that slightly elevates the heart rate for 20-30 mins each day in addition to your workouts can help massively keep you on track.
Evening workouts at home
You’ve finished work and possibly talked yourself out of doing a workout (don’t worry, we’ve all been there!). If you use a gym, do yourself a favour and ensure you take your gym gear to work with you.
I would also suggest that your gym wear is ready the night before so you don’t have to spend time in the morning trying to sort, which if something crops up in the morning may mean you don’t have time.
Try to have a work gym buddy. Having someone to workout with can help with motivation on those days when you’re not feeling it! Who could you ask?
Ensure you have everything ready for when you get in or when you finish work if at home.
I mentioned earlier about having young children who are active during the night to possibly complete your workouts to later in the day. You will be tired, but a 30 minute home workout can not only help with weight loss. It can also help with your energy levels.
You do need to be creative sometimes. If there’s 2 adults in the house who both want to workout. Could one parent exercise and the other look after the kids, then swap over after 30 mins?
Could you split the week up? One person trains Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the other trains on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday?
Are you a single parent? If so, could your workouts be completed after the children go to bed? You might not feel like it, but once the endorphins kick in, you’ll be pleased you did complete.
It is possible for busy professionals to fit in a workout. It may not be easy, but it is possible. Set your fitness goals, and then think about how to reach them.
Work doesn’t mean the end of exercise and a healthier you!
If you would like to discuss how I can help, please feel free to get in contact.
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