Today is a big day! The backstory: I’m currently attending a two year full time MBA program, and I just finished my first year. Today I start my MBA internship working on marketing for Anomalie, a custom wedding dress company (side note, if you’re in the hunt for a dress I’d love to chat with you and learn what your pain points are, etc. Please reach out!). I’m really excited for this new adventure and can’t wait to get started!
I took off a week between finishing classes to visit my boyfriend and family, and I’m feeling rested and ready to get back to it. But with a new job comes a new routine and the need to figure out a new fitness strategy. Since this was on my mind (especially over the summer – now does not feel like the time to fall off the fitness bus), I figured I’d share my top strategies for fitting fitness into a busy lifestyle. And it doesn’t seem to matter what you do during the day (professionals, students, and stay-at-homers alike), fitting in a workout on the regular can be tricky business.
- Schedule it in. No seriously, go block off time right now. And block off enough for you to both work out and shower afterwards. This is super important to make sure you’ll actually do it, because not having time to clean up before your next thing is the best excuse to skip a workout. You can’t show up at work or for a dinner date in your sweaty workout clothes, so the time you need to freshen up should be included in that calendar block. And then treat it as seriously as you would any other meeting. If you need to, move the whole block around on your calendar, but don’t shorten or delete it. I included a screenshot of my calendar from this past semester during school. You can see how packed my days are – some weeks I was able to fit in afternoon workouts, but this one got a little crazy so early morning workouts it was.
- Plan ahead for optimal energy. Many a good workout intention has been thwarted by a hungry belly or a sluggish afternoon. If I’m too hungry I just can’t bring myself to do it. I always tell myself I’ll eat a small snack, wait 20 min, and then work out. Well, that small snack inevitably turns into a large snack and the workout turns into chilling on the couch. Oops. In order to combat this sort of situation I’ve taken to planning my pre-workout snacks. If I’m working out in the afternoon, I’ll bring a bar (I love these and order them in bulk – Trader Joe’s also sells them one-off if you want to test them out before buying a big pack) or an apple with almond butter to snack on about an hour before I’m planning to go.
- Make it a habit. Give yourself permission to make your health (and containing your stress levels) a priority. Make working out something that you do for you, and then decide that you will let other things slide ahead of your workout. Seriously! Do yourself this favor. Even on the craziest days, set aside 10-15 minutes to get your heart pumping and another 10-15 to rinse off in the shower and get back out the door (when I’m tight on time, I love this video, this one, or this one – no equipment needed and a guaranteed sweat in under 20 minutes). It is really helpful to get into a routine, so if you can, make your workout timing consistent so you get into a good habit (for example, set the days of the week you will work out and stay on that schedule as best you can). Since my work schedule has historically been pretty inconsistent and I never know exactly what time I’ll be able to leave the office, this means waking up early and getting my workouts in first thing in the morning.
- Get competitive. Challenge a family member or friend. You don’t have to do the same workouts, just keep each other posted on your progress. Set goals together (again, they don’t have the be same goals), and then try to hit them. Add in whatever incentives work best for you – a prize or a penalty – and bring on the friendly competition.
- Take the pressure off. Some days are harder than others, and that’s ok. You don’t have to have record-breaking workouts every day to still be proud of your commitment to your health and your progress towards your goals. There’s enough pressure in the rest of your life, so if you have an off day, don’t be too hard on yourself. Ultimately, if fitness is an adder stresser in your life, it won’t be something you stick to in the long run. So remember, be kind to yourself and remember to tell yourself what a good job you’re doing on the days you do make it through your workout plan.
What do you think? I hope these tips are helpful! Do you want more like this? Please let me know what you think and whether they work for you, and I’m always interested in hearing your top tips as well!
Let’s stay in touch and stay in shape together, and as always, thanks so much for stopping by :)