Whether you are in a demanding full-time job or a full time student, the thought of adding exercise to an already daunting to do list can seem overwhelming, especially when you have other responsibilities (i.e. children, social engagements, a job that requires a lot of travel, working late night shifts, a lot of assignments, etc). So I thought I would share with you guys a few tips that have helped me make healthier choices and keep consistent with training during the moments when life gets a bit hectic:
- Schedule: Time and time again I’ve heard people say that they’ll try and find time to get to the gym, but the problem with this is that life gets in the way and you’ll likely find yourself occupied with other tasks and end up too busy and stressed to go. Instead of trying to find the time you must make the time to get to the gym. Just as you would with a doctor’s appointment or an important meeting you should schedule out set times to workout. I always take a day out (typically Sunday or Saturday) to schedule what I need to do and what I want to get done in the week to come, very Monica from Friends (I Know) but it’s effective.
- Get the gym out the way first thing: Don’t get me wrong, I think that you should schedule your training at a time that will allow you to be consistent in the long run. However, one of the benefits of getting your training out the way first thing in the morning is that you can just get on with the rest of your day without it playing on the back your mind. I’ve found that when I leave training to later on in the day (especially the end of the day) I procrastinate a lot more and in some cases I just don’t go.
- Plan your meals: Just as I make sure that I schedule out time to fit in working out I also take the time to plan out what I’ll be eating for the week. Regardless of your approach to nutrition and whether you track macros or eat intuitively there are loads of benefits to planning your meals in advance. It can help save money and avoid food waste because you head to the shops with a set list of items that you’ll use throughout the week. It means that you don’t have to stress yourself out thinking about what to eat on the days that you are extremely busy and therefore can help you avoid making convenient and unhealthy choices. If however, you travel and find yourself eating out quite a bit you can still make healthy choices. Focus on meals with good sources of protein with loads of veggies.
- Consistency is Key: The best fitness advice I’ve ever gotten is to focus on being consistent instead of constantly going from one extreme (training intensely and attempting to eat perfectly) to the other (not training at all and bingeing). Applying sustainable training and nutritional habits will help you to be consistent in the long-term. For example training 3x a week consistently over time will be better than training 5x one week then only 1x the next week and so on.
- Make fitness a part of your life, don’t let it take over: I spent a lot of time believing that I could never have excuses, a belief which was only reaffirmed by the millions of posts on social media. The truth is that sometimes work and other priorities will get in the way and sometimes they should. It isn’t healthy to feel that you can’t miss a workout or avoid time with friends and family because you are anxious about food. Just like one workout and one salad won’t make you fit and healthy missing a workout or not eating according to plan won’t make you unhealthy.
Just some food for thought