We all have our excuses: “I don’t have enough time, I didn’t bring my workout clothes, I am exhausted, I have to make lunches for my family, I am swamped at work”… the list of excuses could go on and on. However, we do not have to live our lives this way – filled with reasons not to take care of ourselves. When we have a busy day, our workout and healthy eating goes right out the door (it is the easiest component to remove). I would like to share with you 5 tips for making fitness a priority in your lives, regardless of the handy excuses available!
- Be “active” for 20 minutes every day
- Twenty minutes is not much. You can walk a mile in 20 minutes. You can stretch those tight muscles (from sitting in your desk chair all day). By committing to 20 minutes per day, you are forcing yourself to move. Once you get started, you may not want to stop! In the case that you truly are busy, 20 minutes is a small amount of time (you can do abs, hip mobility, and pushups for 20 min while watching your favorite show).
- Write it on your calendar
- If you have an appointment, you cannot break it. Write it down in your daily planner and follow through on your commitment. Better yet, tell someone about your workout date and ask them to hold you accountable to your plan.
- Keep your workout clothes and shoes in your car
- A college professor of mine always called it a “ditty bag.” Your ditty bag should always be in your car or right next to your door. It should contain the elements you use most often.
- Some examples are: your workout shoes, shorts, t-shirt, sports bra, extra socks and underwear, bathing suit, deodorant, hair brush, etc.
- Keep it with you all the time because you never know when the opportunity will strike to get a good workout.
- MOVE more
- Park your car farther away from your office/grocery store/shopping mall.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Get up from your desk chair EVERY HOUR. Stretch a bit, walk to the bathroom, walk to get a drink of water, walk to the mailroom, etc. Set a timer and stand up.
- Find a fitness facility in your area
- Locate a facility that is close to your home or your work. Somewhere you have to pass to get anywhere else. The closer it is, the more likely you are to go.
- Most places offer classes in the early morning, late evening, and mid-day.
- Workout with a certified Personal Trainer. Look into locations that have educated trainers to help you, especially if you have special needs (back pain, post-surgery, etc).
If you follow through on my 5 Tips, you will be on your way to making fitness a priority in your life. So often we spend our time helping others. TODAY is the day to make time for you. You cannot continue to help others without first helping yourself. Make the commitment today!
By Cara Haughey, MA, ATC, ACE-certified personal trainer
Cara is a strength and conditioning coach and an athletic trainer at In Motion OC. Cara earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sport Psychology from San Diego State University. Cara is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). She worked with a variety of sports teams as an athletic trainer, coached women’s basketball at multiple levels and men’s and women’s cross county, and taught exercise science at a community college in San Diego. Cara made the jump to personal training after completing graduate school, and is certified with ACE. She trains clients in San Diego (Fitness Quest 10) and Irvine (In Motion O.C.) because her passion is to use exercise to motivate and educate, and as preventative medicine. Cara loves to run, hike, swim, water-ski, play all sports (especially basketball), and travel with her husband! In her spare time, she volunteers for the Friends of Scott Foundation, helping children with cancer.