Sometimes, while you’re watching Netflix on the couch eating dinner after a long day of work, you may not help but notice how well your tummy acts as a table…
Just me, perhaps?
Either way, we all go through times where we feel like we’ve been neglecting our exercise and want to make a change. Unfortunately, it can seem like there’s not enough time or energy left after sleeping 8 hours a day and working for another 8-10.
You’re not alone. This article will give you a structured guide to make time for working out!
Other common reasons – debunked!
Firstly, you don’t necessarily have to be (or become) a morning person to exercise regularly.
Sure, many people prefer morning exercise. Some people claim to feel higher levels of energy throughout the day later after exercising in the morning, and some studies suggest that it’s easier to burn stored fat on an empty stomach.
However, according to Time (pun unintended), although exercising in the morning might have some benefits – the most important thing is that you actually do it.
In other words – as long as you can find time in your day to work out, it doesn’t actually matter when.
Being a life-hack enthusiast, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to be more productive or simply gain more for less.
A while back, I came across a controversial advertisement that claimed you can get your “dream body in just two 15-minute weekly workouts”. After following their program for 12 weeks, I did feel better overall but I did not get my “dream body”.
However, the biggest learnings here were:
The last one helped me a lot, along with a Fitbit activity tracker that tells me how many steps I’m taking or calories I’ve burnt in a day.
While there’s been chatter about how an individual should try to walk 10,000 steps a day (equivalent to 5 miles or 2 hours of activity), research has suggested little to no additional benefit after walking 7,500 steps a day.
My advice here is to simply follow the World Health Organization’s recommendations on physical activity, which are:
Now comes the hard part we’ve all been waiting for – how?
We all know why exercise is beneficial to us.
Multiple studies have suggested that a lack of physical activity may cut short our lifespans, as morbid as that sounds. So, it’s pretty ironic that we often still tell ourselves that we “don’t have time” to exercise on a busy day.
Here are 5 easy hacks to make more time for physical activity:
However – is “not exercising” really an issue of time?
Despite working from home and having more free time, many people have become much less active after the global pandemic.
A recent study by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has identified five major reasons why people are exercising less during the pandemic:
Let’s look at some of these reasons and see what we can do to counter them.
Not everyone has access to gyms, pools or indoor courts. Maybe there are none close to your home that you can fit into your busy schedule. OR, perhaps you’re still wary about going anywhere where the virus is more likely to spread.
The one thing that remains constant however, is our ability to exercise. So when there’s a will – there’s always a way.
If you can’t, or simply don’t enjoy gyms, let’s see what else can be done.
Black Friday Sale 2021 is here!
Before I started my exercise routine every morning, I was also telling myself that I lacked time to work out but I knew it was just an easy excuse to use after a long day at work. I did have time, but I consciously chose to be a couch potato instead.
If you need a real pep talk – check out our article on how to stay motivated.
If you’re feeling anxious or unmotivated, getting some form of social support can go a long way.
Most of it boils down to reframing your thinking.
There are plenty of ways you can squeeze some physical activity into a busy work day, if you have the right strategy. Similarly, a lack of motivation should not be mistaken for a “lack of time” as it’s important to identify the real obstacles that stand in your way.
Finally – when you’ve found a method that works for you, the last step is to build it into your routine.
Sheer willpower can only last so long. You need to literally make time to work out and make it non-negotiable. Habits can take between 90 days to 9 months to foster but once they become ingrained – you won’t even realise you’re on auto-pilot. Using a smart watch and/or an activity-tracking app can help you stay on track as you build these healthier habits.
Good luck! If you found this helpful, make sure to check out the rest of our articles on wellbeing – we’ve written all sorts on work-life balance, sleeping better, and more.
Chuck Lau is the Operations dude for an Australian e-Commerce store by day, and a content writer by night. He currently owns 3 cats and hopes to create a cat sanctuary one day with his life partner.