How to Schedule Your Workout Time
When I am counseling someone about their health, I can’t tell you how many times I hear:
‘Don’t tell me to exercise; I don’t have the time.’
Let’s face it, we live in a hectic, over-scheduled, busy world! We are all blessed with the same 1,440 minutes or 24 hours per day. We all need about 7 of those hours in sleep time, although most of us aren’t getting it. That leaves us all with 17 hours of time we can schedule. The trick is to schedule to the benefit of your family and YOURSELF. You are good to no one if you are not healthy and fit! Yes, fit! In today’s stressed out world, you need to be fit to survive. Especially on those days when you don’t get the 7 hours of sleep or the week that you have to travel too much for work. What about the days that your kid is sick or your parent is? Fit people survive these life events better.
But how does a person find the time? Here are five tips that have helped me, clients and friends get the work out in. And guess what – they work!
1. Schedule Workout Time Like a Business Meeting
The below conversation occurred between me a Nina Cucina team member recently.
Team Member: Can I change our 1:30 p.m. appointment to 4 or 5?
Me: No, that doesn’t work for me. I am scheduled between 2:30 and 5:30.
Team Member: How ’bout 6? I want to finish that project before our meeting.
Me: I appreciate that, but NO. Meeting time is set.
This can be a REALLY big deal for some. Many have trouble with the word ‘no’. Not because they are weak but more because they want to accommodate and make another happy. That said, if you are going to COMMIT to a fitness program you have to stick to your guns!
My work out time was scheduled from 2:30 – 5:30 and I had planned to make a nice dinner for my husband after cleaning up from the gym. That was my plan and I laid down the boundaries to get it done.
This lesson was actually good for everyone involved. The time spent in the meeting that occurred on time was much more appreciated and productive!
2. Set Your Alarm Earlier
In the days when I had an office outside the home; I set my alarm so I could get up and train. Somehow, the gym visit never happened at the end of the day. something always came up.
My morning routine started the evening before. I would always make sure that my gym clothes were at the foot of my bed. It formed a ‘no excuses’ ritual the next morning.
The alarm went off at 4:45 a.m.
I wouldn’t even have to stand. There were the gym clothes. Grab a coffee and get in the car. Once you are in the car, it’s kind of a no brainer…. You are not turning around, so you go! It was fun! The same small group of us were there at around 5 a.m., all with coffee in hand, as if a treadmill warm-up would not wake us. Every day that I did this, I had a better day for it! It’s a great ritual that works not only on your physical fitness but mental and emotional fitness as well.
There have been lots of studies that document how exercise improves brain function!
The prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex are two areas of the brain that control thinking and memory.
Many studies suggest that these two ares of the brain are larger in people who exercise versus people who don’t.
Dr. Scott McGinnis, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, says:
‘Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions.’
When we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including our brain. More blood means more energy, more energy means more oxygen flow. Oxygen makes our brain perform better.
So getting up and getting your work out done first thing in the morning could improve your performance at work!
3. Hire a Trainer or Work Out with a Friend
Hiring a trainer is the best way to enhance your fitness experience! Truth number one is that people who pay for a session don’t miss their work out. The payment to your trainer is your turbocharged reason (pun intended) to keep up your fitness regime. Further, a trainer will correct your form, push you to work harder and motivate you. All of which will make you a leaner, stronger and thus, happier you!
If you are unable, to hire a trainer, find a friend to train with. Make it your ‘date with your friend’ instead of meeting for a cocktail, go lift together. The same conversations can be had and you can help and motivate one another; plus it’s fun! Some of my fond memories have been made sweating in the gym with a friend.
4. Take Your Kids with You (or workout while they are at sports)
If you are a mom of young kids, look for a gym that has daycare facilities. So many gyms are realizing the importance of moms being able to have their kids with them at the gym. I occaisionally see a friend’s little girl in our local gym nursery. I wave to her through the glass on the way in; she’s always having a blast!
Another friend, goes to the gym while her kids are at sports. I love this idea! Everyone has their time for sports!
It’s important for kids to realize at that young age that mommy (or daddy) are exercising. It lays down a foundation of fitness at a young age. Considering the nation’s epidemic of childhood obesity, it’s important!
According to the American Heart Association, American children ages 2–19, have following percentages of obesity. They used 95th percentile or higher of body mass index (BMI) values.
•For non-Hispanic white kids – 17.5 percent of males and 14.7 percent of females are obese.
•For non-Hispanic African American kids – 22.6 percent of males and 24.8 percent of females.
•For Mexican American kids – 28.9 percent of males and 18.6 percent of females.
These are astounding statistics! Lets show our kids the way to health and fitness through example.
5. Delegate and Trade
I can’t tell you the number of times I have asked my husband to do an errand or other task for me so I can spend time in the gym. We pick up tasks for one another all the time.
Teamwork is the key to getting anything done well.
If you are not lucky enough to have the fantastic spouse that I do, there are other ways, such as trade. Here’s an actual text conversation between a friend and I from years ago.
Friend: My doctor changed my appointment. Can you pick up my son at school Wednesday, by chance? I’ll pick up your guest at the airport on Thursday so you can have that afternoon free.
The time-trade we did won me time at the gym that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. And, it helped my friend get to her appointment that would have otherwise been impossible. People helping one another = win-win situations.
Your fitness time is important! It’s an appointment with YOURSELF for YOURSELF, first. It’s a time to clear your head, maintain and train your body and your mind. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Make a fitness plan – commit to it and stick to it!
Quick Take Aways:
•Schedule Workout Time Like a Business Meeting
•Your fitness time is important! Treat it as you would any important meeting.
•Set Your Alarm Earlier
•Studies have shown that exercise improves brain function. Getting your workout done early, before work, can improve work performance.
•Hire a Trainer or Work Out with a Friend
People that make an appointment with a trainer with a trainer of friend are more likely to show up in the gym.
•Take Your Kids with You (or workout while they are at sports)
For those with families, taking your kids with you or going to the gym during their sports is important. It not only helps you but let’s your kids know that exercise is an important part of life.
•Delegate and Trade
Delegating and trading responsibilities is helpful to everyone involved. Helping others = happier people on both sides of the equation!