Tips for Integrating a Gym Workout into Your Daily Schedule
Everyone knows that fitness and exercise are key to a healthy and long life. What, then, keeps so many people from including fitness and exercise into their daily routine? Typically, the answer is time. Most people are too busy to fit everything they need to do into their lives, much less what they want to do. So, how does a person with a busy schedule find a way to fit in a gym schedule? Too often, fitness falls by the wayside because more important things demand your attention. The problem with this is that fitness is at least as important as all those other demands, if not more so. It is through fitness that you improve your health and your ability to attend to all those other important demands, not to mention to enjoy your life for as long as possible. The first step to fitting a gym schedule, or any type of fitness routine, into your schedule is recognize it for the priority that it is. Until you genuinely perceive it as important for your life, it will never be the right time to start. Incorporating fitness into everyday activities is a great way to start making simple strides towards your routine. You will find that you can actually fit a gym workout into your busy daily schedule.
Incorporate Fitness First
Going to the gym for your workouts may be your ideal, but that does not mean you have to wait until you are able to get to the gym to start incorporating fitness and exercise into your daily life. Park on the far side of the parking lot at work and walk to the entrance. Opt for the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Walk to the post office rather than driving. Stand at your desk at work every hour and stretch for several minutes. What tasks like these do is activate fitness in your life which helps you propel yourself toward a more regular gym routine.
The more proactive way to say this is to just do it. Start with whatever you are able to do wherever and whenever you are able to do it. Try not to make a big production number out of exercising or going to the gym. Do not worry about how long you will be there, or which exercises you will do and how much of them. Just show up and take it from there. Even if you do one set with one rep of one exercise, it will be more than nothing at all, and likely the beginning of something greater.
Make it Simple
Try to find a time in your schedule that would be most convenient for you to go to the gym. Maybe you do not have a lot of time available to drive by the gym, but if you break down your weekly workout into smaller, more manageable steps, then you might be able to work it in seamlessly. Instead of trying to fit in two or three hour-long workout sessions, try five 20 minute sessions. It is best to choose a gym that is close to your home or office.
Make it Social
Most things are better when shared with another person. In fact, the gym itself is a social environment that many people find helps them stick to a fitness routine because they have the support of so many other people around them doing the same thing. This group dynamic is why many people join a gym rather than workout at home. You can boost that social benefit even further by going to the gym with a partner or friend. An exercise partner can help you stay focused, motivated and committed to the routine, in large part, because of the accountability you feel to your partner. Consider taking lunchtime walks with coworkers or joining a dance class with a neighbor. Another way to use the social dynamic to help you schedule a gym workout into your schedule is to create a challenge for other people to join. Form a friendly competition between yourself and others in your family, neighborhood, social media circle or at work. This gamification of working out adds a sense of incentive and reward that can help compel you to fit more time at the gym into your schedule.
Make it Enjoyable
Just because working out has “work” in the name, does not mean it has to feel like work. Listen to music while you exercise. Integrate activities you already enjoy into your workout. If you like to ride a bicycle, then take a spin class. If you like to dance, try something like Zumba. If you like to swim, find a gym with a pool. The more you can integrate your gym workout with activities that you already enjoy, the more you will start looking forward to your workouts and finding ways you can to fit them into your daily schedule.