In today’s society, most of us have very busy schedules. Most of us have more than one job, we have our children's events that we need to attend, social obligations, among a plethora of other things. How in the world can you fit training into the mix of all your other priorities?Well, it’s simpler than you might think. Many people have this “all-or-nothing” mentality where you either go to the gym every single day of the week, or you don’t go at all. In order to reach our goals in this fast-paced life, we must eliminate this way of thinking.
The American College of Sports Medicine; one of the world’s leaders in health and exercise guidance, tells us that training just 3 days per week is enough to reach our body composition goals, whether that be muscle growth or fat loss.
Another study published in the American Journal of Physiology illustrated that just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise during the day was enough to create a significant negative energy balance.
This is what is necessary to induce fat loss. We need to expend more calories than we consume, makes sense, right?
MAKING THE TIME TO WORK OUTThe reason that many people have trouble fitting exercise into their day is because they simply don’t make the time. There are some easy changes that you can make to your daily routine to make exercise become a habit, like brushing your teeth.
1. WAKING UP EARLIERThough this may seem obvious, many people simply don’t implement it. It doesn’t even have to be that much earlier either. Just 30 minutes to one hour earlier per day, once, twice or three times per week, is all it takes!
Putting your exercise clothes near your bedside can help to reinforce this habit. It deters many people in the early morning hours if they still have to do a lot of setup work before they actually get the opportunity to exercise. When you eliminate all of the prep work, all you have to do is slip on the clothes and get going. Whether that be running, brisk walking, a yoga or stretching, or some plyometrics, it can be super simple to fit some exercise into your morning routine.
If you’re a serial snoozer try putting your alarm or phone in a different room, this way you actually have to get out of bed in order to turn it off. And once you’re up, throw those clothes on and get moving!
2. GO DURING LUNCH TIMEDon’t worry, you’ll still get to eat your lunch too. Let’s say for whatever reason you can’t get this morning thing down. That’s okay.
Right when it gets to your scheduled lunch break, use that 30-60 minutes to fit in some exercise. Remember that it doesn’t have to be a hardcore strength session! Getting outside for a walk or run, spending time stretching, foam rolling or simply doing a quick bodyweight workout outside. After that’s over, reward yourself with a nice easy to make lunch, and remember to ensure it has a good serve of protein with a side of carbs.
3. WORKING OUT WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING OUT
- Stairs: I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. This is simple. Just take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you get the chance. It’s that easy.
- Park Farther Away: Park farther away from the store or your workplace. It’ll make you walk significantly more, depending on how many errands you have to run.
- Spontaneous Activity: Exercise during commercial breaks, when you’re waiting for the water to boil, basically anything that’ll get you moving during times you’d normally be standing or sitting still.
- Stand More Often: Stand instead of sit when you have the chance. This increases cardiac output due to the increased heart rate that results from standing compared to sitting.
4. NEATThis is an acronym that stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. What does it mean?
It basically takes into account your body’s energy expenditure when you’re not eating, sleeping, or performing planned exercise. In fact, all of the examples listed above as non-conscious exercise activities are all great examples of NEAT. Even something as simple as fidgeting is considered NEAT! So try to fit more NEAT into your daily life!
Some of these tips may not sound like much. They may not sound like they’ll make much of a difference to you in the long run at all. But if you really think about it, the amount of calorie burn that will accumulate from all of these activities combined in the long run will add up to results that support your body composition goals.
So get moving!