“Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition. Yawn and stretch and try to come to life.” – Dolly Parton, 9 to 5
While we may no longer work the 9 to 5 schedule made famous by Dolly Parton, the themes of hectic days full of too many obligations, responsibilities and commitments still ring true, probably more than ever.
So where does fitness and wellness fall in when it comes to planning our busy lives? When there’s laundry needing to be done and dishes needing to be washed, and a million other things happening, how do we justify taking time to run to the gym?
The best way to make the most of our time is to implement good time management hacks. Here are six favorite tips for managing your workout time.
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR WORKOUT TIME:
Use a workout buddy to keep you accountable to your commitments.
By having a workout buddy, you’re accountable to someone other than yourself. It’s easy to let ourselves down (think about it, we do it all the time, don’t we?) but it’s harder to let someone else down. So when you’re deciding if you should skip that spin class to go catch up on Game of Thrones, you’re less likely to, knowing that you won’t be the only one who’s disappointed.
Always schedule your workouts. On an actual calendar.
Having a basic idea in your head that you’re going to the gym is way too easy to edit. Deciding to wait another hour, or to skip altogether is easy to do when it’s not an actual plan. Writing down an appointment for the gym in a physical calendar has a sort of solidifying effect on your intentions. You took the time to write it down. It’s there in black (or blue, or something really fun if you’re still into those cool gel pens from the 1980s) looking back at you. It’s real.
Plus, once you start seeing those consecutive workouts piling up on your calendar or in your planner, you’re likely to fall victim to gamification and then the desire to protect your “streaks” or fill your rows up will compel you to visit the gym even when you otherwise wouldn’t feel motivated.
Do something you enjoy and you’ll make fewer excuses to skip it.
There’s a reason so many people love group fitness classes. They’re social and feature fun music and lots of motivation from an instructor and your peers. They’re enjoyable. And if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to make (and leave) time for it than if you see it as a chore or its unenjoyable.
Group fitness classes aren’t your thing? How about tennis? Or swimming? Running? Raquetball? Yoga? Spinning? You get the idea…
Switch up your workouts to keep things from getting stale or boring.
This is similar to the last tip, but also be aware that something you enjoy can become stale and boring over time if you don’t get enough variety in your workouts. Shlepping into the gym to plop on the same treadmill or hit up the same row of machines day after day will lose its appeal before long and you’ll find yourself missing more and more workouts.
Make sure you belong to a gym (like Elevate, hint, hint) that has enough variety and programming to keep you busy and entertained with options.
Get up early and get your workout in before your brain has a chance to sabotage your body by creating excuses.
This is a trick that works surprisingly well. Ever noticed that the longer you wait during the day to work out the harder you have to fight yourself to make sure the workout actually happens? Getting up and checking this to-do item off your list first thing is a great way to ensure your brain doesn’t have the power/time to create excuses.
It’s also a simple fact that the beginning of the day is when we have the most time ahead of us. By getting our workout in early, we leave the rest of the day wide open to manage all of those other responsibilities, expectations, and commitments.
Find someplace to workout. You’re more likely to keep an appointment if you’re paying for it.
The simple truth is that if you’re paying for something you’re more motivated to make sure you’re getting value for your money. Invest in a gym membership so that you have the financial responsibility of using it. And to send a message to yourself that you and your health and wellness are worth investing in. After all, if you invest financially, then surely you can invest your time?
What are you waiting for? Try it out: