As we all know, physical activity is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Of course, this is easier said than done, whether you’re a student with hours of work or your 9-to-5 job is eating up all of your energy. So how can you fit in a good workout?
First, take a look at the title: it’s “How to Make Time to Exercise,” not “How to Find Time to Exercise.” If you have a busy schedule, you will need to commit to your exercise schedule as well; if you needed to meet with someone important, you’d make time for that, right? Exercise is like a meeting with yourself to de-stress and improve your health, both things that I’d say are pretty important!
With your busy schedule, you’re going to need to make every minute of exercise count. Because of this, you might not want to go on a leisurely jog when you’re strapped for time; check out HIIT workouts, or ‘High Intensity Interval Training,” which can range from four to forty-five minutes of alternating high intensity and low intensity intervals. This exercise method has been proven to get your heart pumping, make you break a sweat, and torch more calories than a simple run. Even better? You can get great results if you do thirty minutes a day, four to five days a week, as opposed to longer, steady-state cardio workouts.
Now that you know how long your workout will take, it’s time to fit it into your schedule.
Here’s a few options:
Pros: Great for “get it over with” mentality, early energy boost, sets you up for a healthy day
Cons: Gyms are the most crowded at this time, can be hard to wake up earlier than usual, some people don’t like to work out on an empty stomach
Pros: Gyms aren’t that crowded, energy boost to keep you from that mid-day energy slump, doesn’t affect waking or sleeping schedule
Cons: Difficult to time around school/work schedules, difficult to time around eating/digestion patterns, disruptive of work
Shameless plug for morning workouts: I cherish my sleep and have never considered myself a morning person, but once I tried getting up earlier than 6am, I was hooked. It took a while, really, but I’ve come to love working out in the morning and starting my day off in a positive way. Regardless, with all these factors in mind, you should be able to make a time that works for you.
Pros: Gyms are nearly empty, tires you out for a good night’s sleep, doesn’t affect waking time
Cons: Can be unappealing after a long day at school/work, difficult to time around dinner, affects when you go to sleep
*College students: gym timing works a bit differently for you! Because most college students don’t want to wake up early, gyms will likely be pretty empty in the morning. The mid-afternoon and evening gym rushes are substantial, so time your workouts wisely.