Everyone knows that regular exercise is an important part of a healthy life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do--especially when you have a busy schedule. And women today are busier than ever before! All the workplace stress, sleepless nights, and long days sitting at the office can take a real toll on our health. But working is important too, so what can we do?
If you want to squeeze fitness into your packed schedule, you have to take a tip from Nike and “just do it.” If you keep at it (and it may be tough at first), getting your daily exercise will become second nature in no time. Here are some tips to help you get started:
You never miss a meeting with your co-workers or an important client. You never miss your kids’ school functions. You certainly never miss a dinner date with your spouse or your girlfriends. What makes these events different from exercise? Simple: they’re in your schedule.
If you really want to make fitness a part of your daily routine, you can’t say, “I’ll just squeeze it in at some point.” You will always find something else to do. However, if your exercise is scheduled, there can’t be anything else to do--you’ve cleared the calendar! Designate at least 30 minutes every day to exercise, and make sure you keep the appointment. Before you know it, getting your sweat on will be a habit.
That quote you’ve seen floating around fitness Pinterest boards is true: abs are made in the kitchen. All the exercise in the world won’t keep you healthy if you consume junk at every meal. Eating clean meals may be easy when you cook at home - but let’s be real, most working women spend more time in drive-thrus than we’d like to admit.
This is why meal prep is a critical part of your fitness routine. You can cut down on the temptation to grab something on the way home from a long day at work. Spend a few hours each weekend preparing meals that are either ready-to-serve or microwavable. Eating a delicious, healthy meal each day will be easier than ever!
This is another nutrition tip, but it is very important if you want to make fitness a part of your daily routine. For the overworked woman, the coffee maker is the most precious tool in her entire office. She starts her day with a cup, and probably comes back for more at least a few times throughout the 9-to-5 grind.
Those afternoon cups of coffee can undo your fitness goals. Too much caffeine (or sugary snacks) can make you feel jittery, and the inevitable crash can leave you feeling too tired to work out. Next time you need to beat the afternoon slump, try taking a brisk walk around the office. This healthier option will definitely make you feel much better.
How many times have you told yourself you’ll hit the gym after work, only to get home, flop down onto the couch, and suddenly change your mind? The reality is that most of don’t want to work out; the endorphins we feel when a workout is done can’t make our bodies forget about the pain and soreness.
Despite our body’s wish for an easy, pain-free night, the brain knows that exercise is good for us. This is why we need to use our minds to outsmart our instincts. One easy way is to always bring your workout bag to the office with you. This way, there will be no reason to stop at home and no excuse not to work out.
Exercising with a friend has many benefits. You have someone to motivate you, someone to hold you accountable, and (if you’re competitive) someone to bring out your best. This is why so many men and women make “gym buddies” out of their co-workers, friends, and relatives. If you have a hard time feeling motivated to exercise, why not give the buddy system a try?
Ask a friend if she’d like to jog at the local park on Saturday mornings. Check around the office for other people making a healthy lifestyle change and see if you two can work together. Once you’ve made a connection, you just might be surprised at how frequent your workouts are - and how much better you’ll feel!
Generally speaking, the stars of the modern workplace have a few things in common: they’re smart, they’re hard working, and they’re competitive. You have to be a fighter to make your way up the corporate ladder, and you can use that same spirit to make your fitness goals a reality. How can you make a personal lifestyle choice into a competition? By signing up for one!
5k races, obstacle courses, and fitness challenges are always popping up in cities all over the world. Registration only takes a few clicks of a mouse, and just like that - bam! You’re not just exercising, you’re in training. This competitive angle can propel even the most reluctant person to finally get out there and sweat.
Your workday is probably unpredictable. It’s exciting, mentally stimulating, and leaves you feeling fulfilled no matter how stressful it can be. This is a great feeling, and one you can recreate in your fitness regimen. All you have to do is switch up your routine and try new things.
Grab a few friends and try out a zumba class on Friday night! Commune with nature by hiking along local nature trails in your neighborhood. Check out fitness hula hooping for a core workout that reminds you of your playground days. By mixing up your routine, you can keep exercise from becoming monotonous and boring, which keeps you coming back. Before you know it, you’ll actually look forward to your next workout!
Maybe you really don’t have a minute of free time. Trust me, I get it. Life has a way of snowballing when there’s work and a family to take care of. However, this doesn’t mean that you can afford to neglect your health - in fact it’s just the opposite. You can still find a way to fit exercise into your day with a little creativity.
Do office yoga on your lunch hour. Do situps or walk on a treadmill when you’re watching T.V. in the evenings. Take a simple walk around the office building when your boss is being a pain. Find slices of time where you can be active and use them. Your body will thank you for it.
Let’s say you want to get a full body workout, but you don’t have much free time available in your day. Of course, a comprehensive workout that takes 30 minutes or more is ideal, but you can still see health benefits if you stick with the big four exercises: squats, pushups, lunges, and planks.
These target the most common “problem areas,” and they cover the large muscle groups in the body quickly and effectively. Do 10 or 12 reps of each back to back - and if you have time, do two or three rounds. With these exercises, you will see large strength gains at a fast rate. Your workout may be a quick one, but you will definitely feel the burn.
Of course, no matter how hard you may try, there will be days when you simply can’t squeeze in a workout. It is important to recognize that that’s ok; in fact, there may be days when rest is actually better for you than pushing your body harder. But when you do have rest days, remember to be your healthiest in every aspect.
Sit up straight at your desk, using the posture from your yoga practice and the core strength you’ve gained from hula hooping. When you grocery shop, notice how much stronger you are when you load the bags into your car. When you take a sip of water instead of your third coffee, recognize how much healthier and alert you feel. These little moments will help you come to appreciate your healthy body, and this can motivate you to continue your fitness routine for years to come.
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