Staying fit when you’re a full-time worker and parent is an almost impossible task. Fitness professionals on Instagram and TV might make it look easy, but maintaining a healthy routine is a big challenge when you seem to be being pulled in all directions by other factors in your life.
Being strung out in your work and social lives doesn’t feel great, and adding fitness into the mix might seem like an extra chore that you really don’t want to deal with. However, research shows that your mental capacity to take on responsibility and stress will be increased by physical activity. Exercise helps to relieve stress and increase your energy, both of which will ultimately lead to a more fulfilled and balanced life.
Nevertheless, how does anyone find time to exercise? You’re about to find out. Here are 10 ways to stay fit when you feel like the busiest person alive.
1. Exercise in short bursts.
Fitness experts and medical researchers are slowly coming to a unanimous conclusion: exercising smarter, not harder, is better for your fitness. Plus, it’ll fit in with your schedule more easily! Running on a treadmill for an hour, or even thirty minutes, is a very time consuming task. Of course, if you love it, then do it – but there are other ways to work out that only require a few minutes of work at a time.
Conditioning training, such as weightlifting, HIIT and dance workouts can only take five to fifteen minutes, and can build your strength and stamina more efficiently than endless cardil. Workout smarter, not harder, for more effective results and better time management.
2. Have a buddy or trainer to hold you accountable.
Going on an exercise journey is very difficult when you do it alone. After all, life gets in the way, and you feel like giving up as soon as you’ve even started. If a social engagement or work commitment comes up that means you can shirk your workout for the day, it’s easy to do just that – nobody will know, right?
By recruiting a workout buddy, or hiring a personal trainer (such as adamkingpt.co.uk), you’ll be held accountable for your workouts and be more likely to complete them on schedule. You’ll have somebody reminding you of the time and place you’ve decided to work out, thereby making your workout a fixed date in your diary, rather than a “maybe” concept that you’ll decide about on the day.
3. Get your kids involved in your fitness journey.
If you have children, you’ll know that being a parent is a full time job in itself. Your kids, understandably, take up most of your time and energy. So how do you keep fit when you have kids?
If your children are still very young, you can use moments such as nap time or play time to do five or ten minute home workouts. If they’re a little older, why not involve them in your workouts? Take an online dance class and encourage them to join in, or follow YouTube professionals like Joe Wicks who provide work outs for children and adults alike. You’re more likely to enjoy your fitness routine and get a kick out of it if you share it with your kids!
4. Manage your expectations.
In today’s world, we are constantly presented with ideals. Social media encourages us to select the greatest moments of our lives and share them with the world, manufacturing the idea that everyone has a beautiful, perfect life – and a beautiful, perfect body. Photoshop is widely used by influencers and celebrities, giving us all the impression that their bodies are more perfect than any of ours could ever be!
When you are embarking on a fitness journey as a busy parent and worker, it’s important to manage your expectations. You don’t need to look like a bodybuilder or a professional athlete in order to be fit and healthy. By managing your expectations when it comes to fitness, you can be more proud of the successes you achieve, rather than constantly looking for perfection.
5. Play a sport rather than solo training.
Staying motivated to work out can be difficult if you do so alone. By playing a sport rather than working out at the gym by yourself, you will likely find more enjoyment in what you do, and be encouraged by your teammates. Plus, sports engage your brain as well as your body, helping you to feel more joyful, competitive and energised on and off the field.
Easily accessible sports to play in evenings and on weekends include:
- Dance classes, including ballroom, tap, latin and jazz.
You can do these for free at local sports centres, and get involved with the community surrounding the sport, who can be very supportive in times of weakness or when you lack motivation.
6. Keep track of your progress – it helps with motivation!
When you first start working out, tracking progress can be difficult. Your body doesn’t show signs of changing for a few weeks, and in that time, it’s super easy to give up and think that workouts just “aren’t for you”. It is also very common for people to ignore progress when it happens. If you notice a small change, whether it is in your weight, your muscle tone, your stamina or your mental health, note it down!
By documenting your progress, you will be able to motivate yourself in low moments. We all have moments in which we feel too tired, too busy or too stressed to exercise; in those moments, you can look at where you started, and realize that every workout counts.
7. Workout while you work – yes, really!
Balancing your full time job and your exercise routine is no mean feat. So why not bring them together? If you work from home, you can incorporate small changes that allow you to stay fit while completing your daily work. Some ways to do this are:
- Sitting on an exercise ball, thereby strengthening your core and glutes.
- Do your job standing up, using an ergonomic standing desk, keeping your blood flowing and helping to strengthen your muscles.
- Do core exercises such as situps and squats during break times.
- Perform bicep curls with free weights at your desk.
These exercises might not seem like much, but when incorporated every single day, you will be amazed at how quickly you begin to see results!
8. Vary your exercise routine.
Boredom is one of the most effective ways to kill a workout routine. If you always go to the gym and do the same exercises in the same order, you will soon get bored and lose motivation – especially if you have other things in your life pulling you away from it.
By varying your exercise routine – whether it’s using different machines in the gym, varying your free weight exercises or playing different sports each week – you will stay challenged, and avoid falling into a mundane routine that doesn’t serve you mentally or physically. Always pushing yourself to find new ways of working out will keep you mentally stimulated and combat workout boredom once and for all!
Varying your workouts isn’t just good for your brain, but it’s also good for your body. You will see better results by pushing your body in different ways, incorporating different types of workout to ensure you’re hitting all vital muscle groups. For example, you could do yoga, cardio, HIIT and weight lifting across the week, mixing it up and alleviating the hum-drum workout routines that could cause you to quit.
9. Create a plan for the next few months.
There’s nothing like wishy-washy commitment to pull your workout journey to a slow, grinding halt. You need to create a plan when you start working out, especially if you are a busy person. There’s always an excuse not to work out, so by creating a schedule that you can stick to, you will do yourself a huge favor.
By creating a workout plan with a professional trainer – or by enlisting the help of friends who have done so before – you can set realistic goals and work out within a positive, encouraging framework.
10. Only do workouts you enjoy!
Working out shouldn’t be a punishment or a chore, it should be a joyful part of your life. Your body is designed to move and be strong, so by nurturing that, you are making an amazing choice for your physical and mental health. If you treat it like perjury, you won’t feel the effects of your new exercise routine at all, and are more likely to give up.
If the gym isn’t for you, then it’s not for you! Choose something that you love and work hard at it. You’ll see results, no matter what it is you choose to do. Be passionate about your workouts and you will not believe the changes you see.
If you are a busy person who wants to work out but can’t seem to find the time, use our guide to help you transform your workout routine to fit it into your schedule!