Sometimes it’s hard to balance a fitness routine with work, school, family, hobbies, and friends. We live in a busy world with demands around every corner, but it’s still possible to make time for yourself. When you’re committed to a goal, it only takes a little effort to make it work no matter how busy you get.
If you’re short on time, like most people, you don’t have to put your fitness goals on the backburner and you don’t need to do everything at once.
Follow these tips to start reaching your fitness goals even if you have a busy life.
1. Start where you are
Remember that no matter what your fitness goals are, you’ll have to start where you are right now. Don’t try to jump into an intense workout program if you’re not conditioned for intensity. If you’re interested in a particular fitness program that requires progressing, don’t start in the middle – start from the beginning.
Know your current fitness level and work from there. If you try to start beyond your level, you could end up hurting yourself or you might not make any progress.
2. Work out from home
Working out from home is ideal when you’re short on time. You won’t have to commute and you won’t need to wait in line for machines or look around for specific attachments just to complete your workout.
3. Going to the gym takes more time than you think
It takes quite a bit of time out of your day to work out at the gym. To make it work, you have to get dressed, gather your gym items, drive to the gym, park, check in, set up, and then wait for certain machines throughout your workout. This can extend the time you spend at the gym significantly. You’ll spend a bit of time racking weights and wiping down benches, too.
Once you’re done with your workout, you need to gather your belongings, take a shower, and head back home. If your workout takes an hour, heading to the gym to work out can take anywhere from 2-3 hours out of your day!
If going to the gym is eating up precious time, switch to a home workout instead.
4. Switch to a closer facility
How far do you travel to get to the gym? Maybe you moved, but you’re still paying for a membership at a gym close to your old house or job? To save some time, switch to a gym with a facility close to where you live. You might have to pay a cancellation fee, but it’s worth it because you can’t put a price tag on your time.
5. Wake up an hour earlier
When you need an extra hour in your day, the most obvious solution is to wake up one hour earlier than usual. If you can manage this, you’ll easily be able to get in a workout provided you can work out from home. If you need to go to the gym, you might need to wake up 2 hours early.
It’s easier to wake up earlier when you’re already going to bed at a decent hour. If you’re short on time and short on sleep, keep your sleep and try a different strategy.
6. Exercise whenever and however you can
This one’s tough because society wants you to believe that your workout isn’t going to be effective unless you throw yourself into a 6-day-a-week program where you sweat like crazy and exhaust yourself. The truth is, every effort you make to stay in shape counts – even if it’s not all at once.
If you really can’t make time for a full workout because of your schedule, do what you can whenever you have time. Maybe all you can do is 10 minutes of sun salutations in the morning – that’s enough to keep your spine limber and strengthen your wrists and core a bit. There are plenty of small exercises you can do throughout the day.
Maybe you can only work one main muscle per day rather than the standard 2-3. Where most people would work biceps, triceps, legs, and chest, maybe you only have time for legs and chest. That’s okay. You don’t have to be on a 7-day workout cycle. Cycle your workouts so you get all of your workouts done, even if that ends up being a 10-day cycle.
7. Use time under tension (TUT)
A time under tension workout will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend working out. TUT workouts use a weight heavy enough to put your muscles under tension for a target time range while you perform a low number of reps until total failure. For example, you’ll experiment to find the weight that brings you to failure after 7 reps for each exercise.
With TUT workouts, you only perform one set of each exercise. Depending on the exercises, you could be done with your entire workout in less than 30 minutes.
You can perform a TUT workout with free weights, machines, or bands. Although, it’s easier on your joints when you use bands. There’s also an added benefit of having tension on the way down with bands as well that you won’t get with weights. This helps you fatigue your muscles faster.
Short on time?
Get a personal trainer online
Another option you have is getting a personal trainer online. Don’t want to go to the gym? No problem, you can start your fitness journey with one of our online fitness and nutrition coaching programs.
If you haven’t found the right program yet, check out our strength training and nutrition programs to see which one is right for you. You may want to take advantage of both since proper nutrition is vital to lose fat and gain muscle.
We can tailor any of our programs to meet your individual needs. Not sure where to start? Contact us to learn more – we’d love to help you reach your fitness goals!
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!