Training For The Time Poor: How To Fit In Your Workout
Many of us suffer from chronic busyness to various degrees. While technology enables multi-tasking that helps us achieve more, the act of achieving more, encourages us to take on more. Having a full plate often means that exercise takes a backseat. If you’re struggling to fit physical exercise into your regular routine, read on for some tips to maximise your chances of raising a sweat.
Not only should you put your workout in your calendar, but organise the things you need to have to realistically complete your exercise regime. You’ll probably rely on clothing, water and perhaps your smart phone, so have them on hand and packed the night before. Planning ahead also means thinking about what you’ll do for your workout – standing around thinking about your next exercise might be good to catch your breath, but if you’re short on time, know what to do in advance and stick to short transitions between exercises. Shorter transitions also improve your overall fitness.
Many of us love the idea of fitness but find it hard to get started. For beginners it’s important to just get moving in any form. Even if you’re not across the latest in cardio or strength training, the key is to mentally establish your workout as a habit and something you frequently incorporate into your life. Once you’re regularly training, break down long term outcomes into smaller steps using the SMART goal technique. List a Specific outcome you want in terms of what, where and when. It should be Measurable (e.g. do 10 pull ups in 30 seconds) as well as Achievable and Relevant in terms of your timeframe, frequency of training and reasonable to your overall fitness goals. The final step is to make it Time specific – define the frequency (dates and times) of your workouts and the deadline by which you want to achieve your SMART goal.
For the truly time poor – several studies have indicated that High Intensity Training or HIT can deliver results in as little as three minutes a week. For best results you’ll want to incorporate this into your workout starting with 20 second bursts of your choice of cardio, followed by a few minutes of slower activity. Unlike your classic slow and steady cardio based exercise, HIT activates far more muscle cells in the body.
It’s ideal if you have a fitness pro check your form before you start smashing out HIT, as working at your maximal speed with suboptimal technique can lead to injury over time.
Many gyms also run express classes that you can complete in your lunch break or before work without having to get up at 4am. Training near your place of work can help you maximise your chances of training if you work long hours.
Some people baulk at the cost of personal training but even a few sessions can help you gain the confidence to work towards your specific fitness goals instead of hanging in the weights corner continuously doing bicep curls. Being more confident with your exercise and form means you can more quickly navigate a gym session. A good PT will also help you to learn when and how to progress your program. This saves you time in terms of delivering results. If you’re prone to procrasti-training, a PT is ideal to keep you on track during your workout and motivate you to continue working hard, even if they need to show a little tough love.