How Can I Fit Exercise into a Busy Schedule?

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Life is busy. Sometimes, life is so busy, it’s hard to imagine how many things we actually get done in a day. 


Think about it. If you had to make a list of every single thing you did throughout the day, how long would that list be? Take a second just to go through your morning routine and consider how much you achieve in that space of the day alone. 


Now think about that list, but think about how many of those things are for you personally. That list is probably a lot smaller. You probably find yourself adding up a whole host of things you do for everyone else, your kids, friends, partner, work etc. but not alot just for your own personal benefit. 


So how the heck are we supposed to fit anything else into the chaotic schedule that already exists? 


Well, if you imagine your day as a coffee mug, think about everything you have to do as a small pour into that cup. If you only have so many pours before that mug overfills, it’s time to think about what is really important to get into that cup. Some of those things inevitably have to remain, important obligations and commitments. But we also need to make sure that a good percentage of what goes into that cup is for our own personal benefit. For example, we must make time to eat, that is a given if we want to make it through the day and not push away our loved ones due to hanger. That cheesy saying really is true, “we can’t take care of others until we learn to take care of ourselves.” Exercise should be something we also work to prioritize and fit into our day if we want to be able to take care of the other people and obligations in our life that are important to us. 


Ideally in a perfect world, exercise is one of the first things that goes into that cup. If you are a morning person, get ahead of the game. Sneak that workout in at 6, 7am before the sun even comes up or anything else really needs to get done. How good would that feel? There are few better feelings than leaving the gym, having accomplished something great before the majority of the world has even woken up. That type of energy carries over into the rest of your day, suddenly it’s not so hard to get the kids to school, or start work for the day, because you’ve already taken care of what’s most important- yourself. If you aren’t used to it, take a baby step. Try just getting up by 6am and getting out of bed. See if you can manage that on its own for a week or so before you even try to mix in a workout at that hour. 


Now I am realistic, so I know not all of us can be early morning people, or not all of us have the option. In that case it’s time to get a little bit more creative. If you are a scheduler, like myself, it’s time to actively PEN (not pencil because that would be erasable) that workout into your schedule. Let’s say you have 11:30am free, literally write or type “workout” into your planner or phone calendar. Lock that in and make sure there are no potential distractions. Block yourself off on your work’s calendar- don’t worry we won’t tell anyone! Let your family and friends know you are going to the gym, or that this is your normal gym hour. Create the routine and stick to it. 


Logistically, all of that above should help you get into the gym. Mentally, there is some work to be done as well. Associate the gym and your workout with your YOU time. Make that your escape, your happy place where nothing in the world can touch you. The more happy positive emotions and feelings you can associate with the gym, the more likely you will be to go back, and believe it or not… actually enjoy yourself!


Which leads to the last point, enjoying yourself. At the end of the day, exercise should be enjoyable, whatever that means to you. We have to find a way to make it fun for ourselves, to find reasons to come back time after time. If you’re a numbers person, keep score for yourself. Count reps, write down weights, log PR’s on lifts. Show yourself on paper what you are doing and be proud of it! If you aren’t into that, take the opportunity to get out of your head and into your body. Celebrate how it feels to move, be proud of yourself for not only walking in the door but for every single thing you do beyond that point. Pay attention to how awesome your body is and how it moves. Dancing is also encouraged, especially when the playlist is hitting just right. 


Like what you read here but not sure what to do next? Click below to schedule a free consultation with us at Tradewinds Fitness!

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