Many of us sit in a car to commute to a desk job, and then rush home to make dinner, help the kids with their homework, do some laundry, and get ready to do it all again the next day. How are we supposed to work in our recommended 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise?
Unless we make exercise a priority, it’s likely to be the first thing we let slide. Follow these 10 tips to make it easier to honor your commitment to yourself to get in shape and lose weight. You’re worth it!
- Plan out your week. On Sunday, sit down and look at your planner, your Google calendar — whatever you use to stay organized — and see where you can fit in your workouts. Schedule them in, and then keep those appointments, just like you would any important meeting. Tell family members you are unavailable during those times, and stick to it. If possible, schedule your workout for the same time every day so it becomes part of your regular routine.
- Sign up for classes. It’s much harder to skip out on a workout when you’ve already paid, and when others are expecting you to be there.
- Get a workout buddy. By the same token, if a friend is counting on you to go running, you won’t want to let them down. Schedule regular workouts with a friend and use them as an opportunity to catch up with each other.
- Get everything ready the night before. Pack your gym bag, lay out your workout clothes, or do whatever else you need to do to make the process as easy as possible when you get up the next day.
- Work out in the morning. If you can schedule your workout first thing in the morning, there’s less chance that something will come up to interfere with your plans. Studies show that people who work out in the morning exercise more consistently. They also tend to sleep better and have deeper sleep cycles. Put your workout clothes next to your bed so you can get dressed as soon as you get up.
- Don’t discount the value of shorter workouts. Even if you can only do 10 or 15 minutes, it’s better than nothing. Do your highest intensity workout during your scheduled exercise time, and then follow these tips to get even more activity throughout your day.
- Exercise during lunch. If there’s a gym in or near your office, use your lunch break to work out, and then eat when you get back. (Normally we wouldn’t recommend eating at your desk, but if you’ve already exercised, we’ll give you a pass.)
- Try it for five minutes. Even when you’re not feeling it, set a timer and walk or do yoga for just 5 minutes. Chances are, once you get going, you’ll feel motivated to continue.
- Set specific, attainable goals. If you’re just starting to exercise, start with small goals, like walking or jogging for ten minutes. Achieving your small goals will motivate you to set bigger ones. Or aim for something big, like running a half marathon, and then set small milestones that will help you get there.
- Reward yourself! Come up with small ways to reward yourself for working out — just try to stay away from using food as a reward. Buy a new song on iTunes to listen to while you run, or decide that you’ll buy a new pair of gym shoes after you’ve logged a certain number of workouts in your old ones.
Need help meeting your health and weight-loss goals? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers offer personalized weight-loss plans customized for your goals and lifestyle. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on April 19, 2017