How to fit exercise into a busy schedule

By January 7, 2014GREAT OUTDOORS

Our partners 38 Degrees North have provided us with some tips on how to make time for yourself this year to concentrate on what’s important: your health, fitness and wellbeing.

1 Make time for you

Exercise should be a fundamental part of our week. Our physical fitness, the types of food we consume and the amount of time we spend outside all impacts on how we function in our day-to-day lives. It can be easy to forget the holistic benefits of fitting exercise into our routines. The positive impact is not just on your health and physical fitness but your happiness and even stress levels. Giving yourself the time to concentrate on you can even have a meditative and calming effect.

2 Aim for lasting change

You need to develop a workable plan that can fit around your family, work and social commitments which will work for you in the long term. Don’t try to take on too much, set unreasonable expectations or hope for results too early. Give yourself space to enjoy the new challenges. Start to see exercise less like a chore, and more like a treat, a chance for some “me time” and a break from stressful activity. Grow your confidence that you can carry out your new exercise plan and make it a lasting part of your life.

3 Schedule your exercise time

Commit to a regular slot in your life and book in your exercise time as you would an important meeting. This way, you are giving your exercise time the importance it deserves and are more likely to keep the appointment. Not only will you get into the routine of it, but so will your family and/or fellow workers. It will then be much easier for you to stick to it over the longer term.

4 Get your timing right

A simple strategy is to try to become more aware of your body rhythms – so that you’re working with your body, rather than against it. Some of us are morning people, able to leap from the bed and hit the ground running, whilst others find their energy levels peak in the evenings. We’re all different, so listen to your body – you know yourself best – and choose the best time for you to exercise.

5 Be realistic

When we set health goals it’s important they’re achievable, and setting a realistic time and schedule for your exercise is key. There’s no point planning a 5am Rocky-style workout of three hours’ duration. Make it easy for yourself, start small and commit. Once you commit, you can build a routine, which then becomes a habit.