It's Monday 3:45pm. The work day's flying by in a blur and there's no way you're leaving the office before 6pm. This week, your evening schedule is packed - work socials, dinner dates, catching up with friends - and this was the week you were supposed to be starting your exercise plan!
When you've got a demanding job and social life, it can be tough to find any time to yourself, let alone time to workout. Here's 4 easy, actionable tips to fit exercise into your busy week from the first day.
1. Pick up the pace
If you don't have lots of time, interval training - bursts of intensity followed by a short recovery period - is a godsend. You can be in and out of the gym within 30 minutes flat.
What's more, multiple studies have shown that high-intensity interval training is the same as or better than cardio for improving your health and fitness.
You might be surprised at the results you can achieve with just a few hours training each week. Just be aware, it's brief, not easy.
High-intensity interval training, Tabata, Grit and INTENCITY are all great choices. Check out your centre's timetable for the closest session here.
2. Early birds catch the workouts
Here's the truth: The longer you wait in the day to workout, the more excuses you can find to put it off. Hitting the gym in the morning means you can get your workout out of the way first thing.
Plus, the smug feeling knowing that you've squeezed in a sweat session while everyone else is still in bed is a bonus. Research by the University of Glasgow found that people that exercised in the morning felt significantly happier than those who worked out later in the day.
3. Muscle up
If you want to get stronger and leaner, compound exercises give you the most bang for your buck. Focusing on large muscles of the body is an effective time-saver that improves both your strength and stability.
Choose 2-3 multi-muscle exercises, such as squats and deadlifts and push yourself to complete them at a high level of intensity. You can also try supersets, where you perform two exercises back to back, so rest periods are halved. These allow you push your muscles to the max in a fraction of the time.
4. Pair workouts with catch ups
Did you know that more than 40% of participants drop out of fitness courses soon after starting if they go on their own? But if they workout with a friend, the dropout rate decreases to 6%.
Many people who exercise with friend find it heaps more motivating than working out alone.
A huge factor is accountability. It can be easy to make excuses to yourself for bailing on a gym session, but it's a lot harder to let down your friends without a really good reason.
Need to spur them along? Grab them a free pass here to put an end to any excuses.
When you're up against the clock, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you've got no time to exercise. The good news is that you don't need to spend hours in the gym to get great results.
Start with just one of these tips and you'll feel healthier, happier and much more productive.
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