No matter how hard you try, there will be some days when you’ll find it impossible to accommodate exercising into your daily schedule. Either you’re caught up with work, a party, or family responsibilities. But, skipping your exercise routine goes against your fitness and weight loss plans.
How about having the cake and eating it too? What you need are time-saving strategies that allow you to make time for scheduled workouts. And, here are six effective contingency plans that help you dedicate that crucial time for exercises.
1. Workout During TV Ad Breaks
Often, we don’t have enough time for exercises but somehow allocate time for our favorite TV programs. A win-win situation is if you can manage to do some intense exercises during the program’s commercial breaks. What do you think the breaks are for? To get up off your couch!
These breaks last anywhere between 2-3 minutes at least and that’s enough time to do some push-ups, squats, chin-ups, skipping, and many other exercises that you can accommodate within that time. You’ll be surprised how long two minutes feel when you’re working out as opposed to watching useless telly ads or making trips to the refrigerator.
2. Use Your Legs Instead Of The Car
We don’t suggest you walk to work if your office is an hour’s drive from home. But, there are many other instances when you can ditch the car and walk, like when you have to go to a supermarket a couple of blocks away or commute to the gym around the corner. If your office is not located too far, walking to work can often take less time than driving, especially considering the peak hour traffic.
Moreover, while walking to work, you can even plan your activities and prepare yourself mentally. You can’t risk that kind of divided attention while driving. Instead of taking the elevator or the escalator, climb the stairs. Besides burning calories, walking is also good for your heart.
3. Perform Short Burst Workouts
Some exercise routines are designed to burn more calories in less time. Studies have shown that ‘lack of time’ remains the most commonly cited obstruction to regular exercise participation.1
Research reveals that a high-intensity interval training (HIT / HIIT) can be just as effective as other traditional endurance-based training, and often provides similar or even superior physiological benefits. These workouts give you the same results in just half the time.2
Scientific evidence shows that low-volume HIT is effective in inducing both cardiovascular and skeletal muscle adaptations, which are closely related to improved health outcomes.
4. Try Circuit Workouts
When you’re running short of time, exercises that quickly shoot up your heart rate and burn more calories are ideal. Consider circuit workouts, which are specifically designed to improve your strength and stamina, while simultaneously elevating your heart rate.
This effective combination is great for burning calories in a short span of time. Many of these exercises focus on multiple muscle groups at the same time.
Simple exercises such as the step-up not only tone your back muscles but also makes a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Try a mix-and-match of different exercises like sumo squats, reverse planks, jump squats, toe-touch crunches, and mountain climbers, which don’t require any equipment.
5. Train With Weights Once A Week
Sometimes, in the enthusiasm to pack in all types of exercises into our regime for quick results, we often become overwhelmed. Weight training is vital for building mass and increasing the reps helps shape the muscles. But, doing this every single day is quite unnecessary, and more importantly, may not be possible considering how busy you are!
So, don’t combine too many exercises such as running, weight training, and endurance training all in one day. Separate the exercises and stick to one or two routines each day. This not only saves time but also ensures that you don’t miss out on the routine.
Tips To Keep Up With Your Workout
1. Plan Your Workout: Planning ahead saves time. Nothing new about that. A tiring day at work can fog your mind making you incapable of figuring out what exercises to do at the gym. So, instead of surprising yourself with unexpected tasks that interfere with your fitness regime, spend a few minutes to plan your workout schedule for the week.
2. Compensate For A Skipped Workout: If you fall short of your target one day, try and compensate for it another day or with HIIT workouts that are ideal for those with time constraints.3 Often, commuting to and from the gym itself takes as much time as you need to workout.
3. Make Your Own Gym: To save time, you can convert your living room or basement into your own personal training facility and follow any of the various workout plans chalked out by the American College Of Sports Medicine.4
|↑1||Gibala, Martin J., Jonathan P. Little, Maureen J. MacDonald, and John A. Hawley. “Physiological adaptations to low‐volume, high‐intensity interval training in health and disease.” The Journal of physiology 590, no. 5 (2012): 1077-1084.|
|↑2||Foster, Carl, Courtney V. Farland, Flavia Guidotti, Michelle Harbin, Brianna Roberts, Jeff Schuette, Andrew Tuuri, Scott T. Doberstein, and John P. Porcari. “The effects of high-intensity interval training vs steady state training on aerobic and anaerobic capacity.” Journal of sports science & medicine 14, no. 4 (2015): 747.|
|↑3||Boutcher, Stephen H. “High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss.” Journal of obesity 2011 (2010).|
|↑4||Ball, Stephen. A Strength Training Program for Your Home. American College Of Sports Medicine. 2016.|