One of the biggest barriers to implementing an exercise plan is time. It can be daunting to think about establishing a routine for fitness at home where we have several obligations and the days seem to fly past us. The good news is there are several ways we can approach this problem to ensure we are staying physically active within our busy lives.
The first step is to map out your regular routine on a weekly planner or calendar that is broken down into thirty-minute blocks like the one below.
Begin by filling in all of your regular obligations. For example, maybe you’re in bed every day between 10:00 pm – 6: 00 am. Add in your work schedule, being sure to block out your lunchtime. Consider if you have any weekly recurring appointments and fill these in as well. Once you’ve filled in all of your regular obligations, look for the empty white spaces. Notice where you may have an extra thirty minutes or an hour and look at these spaces as opportunities for fitness. This is the first step of finding time for fitness.
Next, examine where the gaps in your schedule are and how these might align with some of the activities you are interested in. Perhaps you belong to a gym at home that offers a 7:00 – 8:00 pm yoga class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You might notice you have a corresponding gap in at least one of those blocks each week. Maybe you notice that it is difficult to find a full hour to block off, but you have several thirty-minute slots available throughout the week. Consider adding some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your routine to maximize your workout in a time crunch, or add a thermal walk for a 15-minute movement break. Once you have found some activities that interest you, and that would fit into your schedule, make the time for them.
Now that you’ve identified free time in your schedule and decided on the fun fitness activities you would like to fill it with, it’s time to commit to your plan. Treat each workout with the same priority that you would an appointment with an important client or colleague. Just like you need to show up and be prepared for others, it is vital to show up for yourself. Do whatever you need to do in order to keep these important appointments with yourself, whether it is setting reminders on your phone, having a workout buddy, or a trainer to hold you accountable. Take time frequently to reflect on why you’ve decided fitness should be a priority in your life so that you are able to maintain your focus.