Getting In Shape on a Busy Schedule
One of the most common reasons men let themselves go is because they feel like they just don’t have the time to commit to a diet and exercise routine.
If you’re working a full-time job and spending time with your family outside of work, it’s tough to fit in an hour at the gym every day. And eating healthy becomes a challenge when you’re constantly on the go.
That doesn’t mean getting in shape is a lost cause, though. Here are a few tips on how you can get in shape even if you’re busy.
1. Plan Shorter, More Intense Workout Sessions
Longer isn’t necessarily better when it comes to working out. If you work out at a sufficient intensity, you can get excellent results in a much shorter period of time.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular option that involves mixing bursts of high-intensity exercise with periods of low-intensity exercise for 10 to 15 minutes. A simple example would be alternating between 40 seconds of jogging and 20 seconds of sprinting. With HIIT, you could burn more calories in 10 minutes than you would have with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio.
You don’t need to do HIIT all the time, either. Just picking up the pace and cutting down your rest time can lead to shorter workouts that are just as effective, if not more.
2. Prep Your Meals in Advance
The best way to ensure that you’re getting the right nutrients is by cooking your own meals. But when you’ve already gone through a busy day and you’re tired, whipping up a homemade meal is probably the last thing on your mind.
That’s why meal prep is so crucial for healthy eating. You just pick one or two days per week to do your cooking, and then you make all the meals you’ll need on those days. Most meal preppers make their meals on Sunday, and those who do it bi-weekly will add meal prep on Wednesday or Thursday.
Separate the meals you make into individual plastic or Pyrex containers. You may want to use a color coding system or put labels on them to distinguish if they’re breakfasts, lunches or dinners. All you need to do after that is grab and go.
3. Exercise at Home
Between the drive over, parking, checking in at the front desk and driving home after, going to and from the gym could take you 30 minute to an hour per day. If getting to the gym is inconvenient, then you’re better off exercising at home instead of skipping your workout entirely.
There are all kinds of ways you can work up a sweat at home. If you have the space and the money, you could invest in a home gym machine or a set of free weights. Otherwise, bodyweight exercises are a convenient option that don’t require much equipment. Pushups, squats and crunches are basic options, and you can opt for one-arm pushups and one-leg squats as you get more advanced. Pullups only require a simply pullup bar that you hang in a doorway when in use.
4. Choose Active Recreation
There’s no rule saying that you need to keep your exercise and your entertainment separate. Finding workouts that you also enjoy is one of the best ways to stick with your training.
You could take up martial arts, rock climbing or any other fun activity that also helps you burn calories and build muscle. Instead of spending time in front of the TV with your friends or family, try going on a hike or spending a day at the beach.
The key is that you want to avoid workouts that feel too much like work. You’re already busy most of the time, and if you feel like exercising is just another item to check off the list each day, you’re more likely to quit. That won’t happen if you build an active lifestyle.
5. Measure Your Progress with a Smart Weight Scale
You won’t know how you’re doing on your fitness goals without tracking your progress, and the best way to do that is with a smart weight scale. Unlike the typical bathroom scales that only record your weight, smart weight scales provide other important health information, such as your body composition, body mass index (BMI), heartrate and even your blood pressure.
Exactly what is measured will depend on the smart weight scale, and you should shop around to find one that fits your needs. Some of the best smart scales will allow you to set progress goals and can remind you to weigh yourself on a set schedule, which is helpful if you sometimes forget to do it.
It’s important that you stick to a schedule when it comes to taking your measurements. Doing it too often can cause unnecessary stress and make you hypersensitive to every fluctuation. It’s better to stick to measuring yourself once a week or once every other week.
Some of the busiest, most successful men in the world make sure to get physical activity and eat healthy every day, because they recognize how important both are. If you follow the tips listed above and find the right diet and exercise routine, you’ll be able to get healthier no matter how packed your schedule is.