For many, finding the time to work out can be a challenging task. Between work and family responsibilities, a daily trip to the gym can be tough going. That doesn’t mean you still can’t get in a good muscle building workout. You’ve just got to be a little creative when it comes to your exercise regimen.
Your goal should be to initiate more movement and slowly incorporate more intense exercise. Take pride in the workouts you get done. Any movement is beneficial to your health and each time you show the initiative to exercise, you are modeling healthy behavior for your children and spouse.
Here are 8 strategies you can use to get your heart pumping and muscles working each day, no matter how busy life gets.
1. Calm Before the Storm
Mornings can be rough with little ones. As a parent, I find this to be the best time to exercise, though. Pre plan and prepare breakfast the night before. Wake up 30-minutes early and get a quick 20-30 minute workout done. The energy boost you get from exercising and becoming more fit will more make-up for the lost 30-minutes of snooze time, plus you’ll move faster and with greater clarity.
Can’t miss your favorite TV show or the big game? Instead of sitting on the couch with your favorite snack food, mix up a tasty branch chain amino acid blend and exercise during commercials. Use bands, dumbbells or your body weight and select a quick exercise circuit. Every commercial, do as many reps or exercises as you can. In a 30-minute sitcom, you can get up to 9-minutes of exercise in.
3. The Night Cap
Full day of work, running the kids, making dinner. You’re exhausted. Fight the urge to hunker down. Choose a workout to help you unwind. It can be on a treadmill, a body weight circuit, dumbbells or bands. If you have a hard time settling down from night time workouts, do something calming like yoga or stretching. Even better, use the burst of energy for time with your partner, which is probably much needed.
4. Practice Pump-Up
If you’re at a rec center or park during your kid’s sporting event use the available resources. Many times practices their are an hour or longer. A devoted parent could use the first half of practice to get a good half hour training session and still have the ability to watch their child the last part of practice.
Whatever your fitness goals, High Intensity Interval Training is going to provide the best bang for your time. Choose an activity and go all out for 10-20 seconds and follow it with a 40-50 second recovery time. Complete 10-15 rounds and throw in a 5-10 minute warm-up and cool-down and you have a workout that sheds a ton of calories and also keeps your metabolism humming for hours afterward.
6. Circuit Training
In a similar vain to HIIT, pick 5-10 strength exercises and perform them back to back with no break. If you’re at home, use dumbbells, bands, or body weight exercises. There are infinite variables you can incorporate to increase or decrease intensity.
7. Lunch Time Escape
The lunch hour is dwindling in our country. If you have time, go for a walk during lunch. This can rejuvenate you mentally and physically. When you return to work, have some raw vegetables and a protein shake or meal bar. You can decrease calories consumed and burn some extra calories to boot. Keep a small snack handy in case you get hungry later in the day. This can help so you don’t over consume calories later because you’re famished.
8. Weekend Warrior
Use the weekend to make up for lost time. We often have a little more time on the weekends and more energy. Get a good 60-minute training session in, whether it’s weights, aerobic, or a combination. An intense workout on the weekend will help reduce stress and improve well-being. Two, 60-minute weekend workouts and a 30-minute workout during the week gets you the recommended 150-minutes of weekly exercise.
Kyle Harris is an elementary PE Teacher, online trainer and prep coach, and NGA Professional Bodybuilder. He is available for online training and coaching for individuals and families. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org