For most of my clients, living a life that is busy and hectic, it may seem challenging to incorporate a fitness routine.
However there are several strategies that you can implement to create an environment where you are able to regularly perform a fitness routine that is tailored to your specific and personal fitness goals.
I would like to share several techniques and approaches that you can start today to create a life that is filled with good health, fitness and mental well-being.
The most common times that most of my clients workout is either in the morning before work, during their lunch break, or after they finish work in the evening. However, if your daily schedule is offset from the typical work schedule (i.e. you work a 2nd shift, 3pm to 11:30pm, or a night shift, 11pm to 7:30am), do not worry- the same concept works regardless of your work schedule. For example, if you work a night shift then your morning would be after you wake you in the late afternoon or early evening, your lunch hour may be around 3am (there are fitness centers that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), and your after-work timeframe would be from approximately 8am to 12pm.
Here are seven fundamental key fitness elements that are associated with overall good health, fitness and mental well-being. When considering a fitness routine, it is important to ensure that you include exercises that facilitate the obtainment of all of these.
Seven Fundamental Key Fitness Elements
1. Cardiovascular/Aerobic Conditioning
2. Strength Training and Muscular Development
3. Stretching – Muscle, Ligament, and Tendons
4. Core Stability
5. Nutrition and Supplementation
6. Mental Rest and Relaxation
Determine the Type of Physical Activities you Enjoy
The first step in creating a fitness routine that effectively exercises each of the items associated with the fundamental key physical fitness components is to determine what type of physical activities you enjoy performing.
By doing so, you will create a fitness routine that you do not dread performing, and an environment where you have a higher chance of sticking with your exercise routine over the long run.
But do not be afraid to add a physical activity to your fitness routine that you have never experienced but find interesting. For instance, if you have never tried roller blading, but have thought about doing so in the past, now might be a good time to give it a try. The overall point here is to be open-minded to trying a wide range of physical activities.
Also consider combining several different types of physical activities to your overall fitness program as a diverse set of exercise types will not only reduce boredom, but also promote fitness gains by keeping the muscles and cardiovascular system off balance.
Once you have determined the types of physical activities that you would enjoy performing, it’s time to evaluate your schedule and chose the time slots when can perform them.
Creating your Workout Schedule
The best approach to creating your workout schedule is to purchase a day planner and fill out your daily activities for each day of the week. You will want to include all activities in your day planner (work, grocery shopping, doing laundry, watch television, sleep, etc.).
At this point, most clients find that they have a routine that is moderately repeatable. For example, you may find that after you put the kids to bed, you typically watch television from 8pm to 10:30pm.
Next, you will need to determine if you are going to perform certain exercise activities at a fitness center, public park or at home. For example, if you chose weight training, are you going to perform the exercises at a fitness center or purchase weight equipment and perform the activity at home?
Once you have all your activities in the day planner and have determined where you will perform these at, it is time to evaluate your weekly schedule and insert your fitness routine.
By defining specific days and times that you are going to dedicate to your personal health and fitness and entering them into your day planner, you will be able to create a schedule. By doing so, you will have made a commitment to yourself, and created a scenario in which you have increased the likeliness of your sticking with your new schedule.
Recruit a Friend, Family Member, or Co-Worker to Participate
Another area to consider is the possibility of recruiting a friend, family member or co-worker as an exercise partner. For example, if mountain biking is one or your chosen physical activities, and you are going to do this from home after work, do you have a neighbor, a husband or another family member would like to do this with you? If you decided to weight train at a fitness center during your work lunch hour, is there a co-worker that would like to work out with you? If you start a Fitin5 Challenge, is there a friend who can do it with you, and you could motivate one another and keep each other accountable during those 5 weeks?
As you can see, there are numerous possibilities for finding and incorporating a workout partner into your fitness routine.
One benefit of performing your physical activities with a partner is that there is a commitment that each of you are making with one another. There will be times where you may feel like not working out on a given day, and your partner will be expecting you to. So, you will work out simply because you have made a commitment to do so. This scenario will work both ways and can help in creating a higher level of consistency.
Increasing Activity in Daily Chores
Everyone has daily chores. An effective strategy for incorporating a fitness program into your busy lifestyle is to increase the activity level of the routine tasks you already do. This can be as simple as parking further from a store or your place of employment and walking to the store or your office.
Also, whenever possible, you may want to consider taking stairs instead of an elevator. Wearing ankle and wrist weights when cooking dinner or cleaning up around the house may be an option as well.
Another suggestion may be to perform abdominal and stretching exercises during the commercial breaks when watching television. As you can see, this is an area where you can get very creative.
While most clients tend to lead a busy lifestyle, there is always time to set aside for your personal health and well-being. By taking the time to develop your own personal strategies for incorporating a fitness program into your busy lifestyle, you will find that your overall health, energy level and mental stability will improve.
In addition, once your fitness routine becomes part of your daily lifestyle, you will find that the benefits of good health far outweigh the time that you are simply dedicating to yourself.