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How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time

How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time

Over the years in my job as a trainer and coach, I have found that those who don’t exercise have one or two excuses. The excuses are: they don’t have time, or they don’t like it.

I know there are many people who would like to exercise, but think they don’t have time, so today we’ll talk about how to exercise when you don’t have time.

Exercise means different things to different people. If you think that exercise is one hour a day, five days a week, and you are working 40–60 hours per week with family and social duties in between, then you don’t have time to do this sort of exercise.

But if you change your mindset to consider that exercise is simply a deliberate attempt at moving around more vigorously than usual, then no matter how busy you are, you definitely have time to exercise.

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Here’s a list of exercises you can do when you don’t have time to exercise:

Wake up 20 minutes earlier

Have your exercise clothes laid out ready the night before (or even sleep in them), set your alarm, and head outside for some sprints – uphill if you can. Warm up for three minutes with some brisk walking, then sprint all out for 20 seconds, then rest for two minutes. Repeat for five to eight sprints, then walk home.

This session doesn’t take long. It will wake you up and energize you for the morning, and is a great way to burn fat and boost your metabolism.

When the kettle is boiling

You have a minute or two here to pair some push ups with some squats. Do 10 push ups followed by 10 squats. Repeat this as many times as possible while the kettle is boiling for your morning cup of coffee. Keep track of how many rounds you can do this for, and aim to increase this each morning.

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Commuting to work

Walking, running or cycling to work would be perfect, but not everyone is able to do that. Whether you’re driving or catching public transport, now is a good time to do some ab work. Don’t worry – you don’t have to bust out some sit ups on the floor of the train carriage.

While you’re sitting, simply brace your abs as hard as you can for 10 seconds. You can make this quite tough with a very strong muscle contraction. Do this 5–10 times.

Walking meetings

When you have meetings at work, see if you can introduce walking meetings. This is a great way to get some fresh air while talking, and can often be more productive. As you return to work, the meeting naturally winds up. So not only can this be a more productive meeting, but it can be shorter too.

Standing meetings

Standing instead of sitting in meetings also improves time and productivity in the meeting. Although standing is not exercise, it’s better than sitting. If possible, you can practice your ab bracing.

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Lunchtime exercise

Lunchtime is the perfect time for structured exercise. If there is a gym nearby, then this is the perfect time to go. You will feel refreshed and more focused after exercise, so you will work better in the afternoon.

If possible, you could also look into a wellness program at work. These are becoming more popular. Having a personal trainer come to the building and run a group exercise session at lunch time improves morale and productivity for employees. A quality workout will only take 20–30 minutes, and you will hopefully still have time for lunch. If not, simply eat at your desk afterwards.

While dinner is cooking

Most meals take around 15–30 minutes to cook. If you plan your meal so that it simply sits in the oven, or bubbles on the stove, then you can do some activity instead of watching the pot boil.

During this time you can do some high intensity intervals such as skipping, running on the spot, bodyweight exercises such as mountain climbers or burpees, or even some kettlebell swings if you have a kettlebell.

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Choose two or three intense movements, and alternate them. A good format is 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat this 10–15 times. Once you’re done, dinner will be ready!

 

As you can see, it is very simple to include exercise in your day, even if you are very busy. Pick one or two of these ideas and give them a go. You do have time to exercise – you just have to be creative about it.

Featured photo credit: untitled / ashraful kadir via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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