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ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Busy Schedule? Trainer Tips on How to Fit in Your Workout

Busy Schedule? Trainer Tips on How to Fit in Your Workout

Reading Time: 5 minutes 8 seconds


DATE: 2021-02-18

When you have a busy schedule, it's easy to forego your workout routine in favor of getting other things done. You put your weight loss or muscle building goals on hold, telling yourself that you'll increase your physical activity once things slow down a bit. The problem is, they never do.

As a personal trainer, you know regular exercise is important to both physical and mental health. Workouts not only improve fitness, but also help reduce stress, lower disease risk, and just make you feel better emotionally. So, how can you help your clients stick to a workout program when they have limited time? There are many fairly simple options to consider.

Aim for an Early Morning Workout

One benefit of morning exercise is that you can get your workout done before anything else gets in the way. You don't have to worry about meetings that run long or a kid's afterschool events that seem to pop up out of nowhere. If either of these occurs, you've already completed your cardio workout or strength training session. It becomes no big deal.

If you're a morning person, starting your day at the gym is a simple fix to time constraint issues. Get up, brush your teeth, throw on your gym clothes, and head out the door. Alternatively, grab your water bottle and exercise at home while smelling the coffee brew.

All of this may sound great, but not everyone likes to get up and get going the minute they open their eyes. So, what can you do if you're the type of person who hits the snooze several times because mornings aren't your thing?

Do a Nighttime Workout Instead

Develop an evening exercise routine. One major benefit of tending to your fitness later is that you get to work out all of the stress that is created throughout the day. It enables you to leave all of your anxiety and worry at the gym versus taking it home, where it can interfere with your downtime with family and friends.

The key to maintaining a nighttime fitness routine is to treat your evening workout the same as you would any other after-work appointment. Put it on your calendar and make it a priority. If you don't, it is too easy to miss your workout, keeping you from hitting your fitness goal.

Find a gym or fitness center that is between home and work. This makes it even easier to stop in. Take a co-worker with you or meet a friend there. Exercising with a friend makes it easier to stick to a routine because it holds you accountable for showing up. It's also more enjoyable because you get a bit of social time while also increasing your fitness.

Exercise on Your Lunch Break

Another option is to use your lunch break to increase your heart rate. Just because you can't seem to find time to fit in a solid exercise session at the beginning or end of your day doesn't mean that you can't increase your fitness while you're still at work.

Take 20-30 minutes of your lunch hour and go for a brisk walk. Keep a resistance band in your office for days when the weather doesn't permit you to be outdoors.

Are you so busy that you just can't seem to find the time to even take a designated lunch break?

Scatter Exercise Throughout Your Day

You can do bodyweight exercises almost everywhere. This helps you build your muscle and improve your fitness even when it is difficult to make it to an actual exercise class.

Plan some workouts for when you're on the go. Squat while you're on the phone to build your quads or do jumping jacks every time you come back from the restroom. Find little ways to exercise in short bursts several times throughout the day. Although you may not see huge amounts of weight loss or muscle gain by taking this type of approach, being active off and on is still good for your health. Maybe even more so than you realize.

Research shows that if you have a sedentary job, you have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer—even if you get the recommended amount of daily activity. Therefore, finding ways to scatter exercise throughout the day can help you avoid developing one of these potentially life-threatening conditions.

How to Find Time to Workout When You Have Kids

People with children know what a busy schedule looks like all too well. In addition to tending to work and home obligations, you also have to take care of the kids. If they are school-aged, it's not uncommon for their schedule of events to overtake your own.

Developing a workout schedule when you have kids at home sometimes takes a bit of planning and creativity. If your little ones like to sleep in, a morning workout is likely best. If they take a midday nap, an afternoon workout may make more sense.

Don't be afraid to include your kids in your exercise session. This is an easy way to stick to your exercise routine. It also helps teach your children how to increase their own level of fitness. This is a lesson that will benefit them both mentally and physically.

If your children are small, a jogging stroller is a great option for getting in your daily dose of cardio. If they are older, do an exercise program that you can both do. For example, there are many yoga programs for kids. Do the poses with them to increase your flexibility and strength too.

Prepare for Your Workout Ahead of Time

There are also a few things you can do to make it easier to include exercise in your already busy day. By taking these actions in advance, your workout automatically becomes more routine.

  • Get adequate sleep. When you're tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. It becomes easier to bypass your workout, simply because you don't have enough energy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you struggle with this, develop a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. It also helps to avoid caffeine late in the day, darken your bedroom as much as possible, and unplug from your phone or computer within an hour of bedtime.

  • Set out your workout clothes the night before*.* No matter how good your intentions to exercise, it is incredibly easy to talk yourself out of going to the gym due to having a packed schedule. Yet, if you wake up to your clothes already set out, it becomes easier to follow through with your workout plan. If you exercise at a gym or fitness center, put your workout outfit in a gym bag and set it by the door.

  • Schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. It's one thing to talk yourself out of going to the gym. However, if you know a personal trainer is already there and waiting for you, it becomes harder to cancel your workout session. Schedule your training in advance and put it on your calendar. This guarantees that there will be enough time in your day to exercise.

If your clients are truly busy, sometimes the best option is to meet with them online. Not sure how to make this type of session successful? The ISSA offers Online Coach certification. In this course, you will learn how to build and grow a virtual coaching business. This enables you to meet with your clients even when they have limited time.

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