Think of last-minute demands at work meaning that you have to stay late, children becoming unwell and needing you at home unexpectedly, or the small matter of a worldwide pandemic and going into a lockdown that put a stamp on all areas of life in 2020.
Being able to respond to these highly stressful periods with flexibility will be the essential ingredient to maintaining a successful exercise regime long term. The problem with a very rigid schedule is procrastination disguised as perfectionism. Something is better than nothing so ditch the all or nothing approach with these tips.
Tip #1. Work At Daily Activity, Not “Training”
The gym is incredible, and we all love it, but it’s not the only way to be active. The goal is simply movement. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan that requires extensive machinery. Aim instead for at least 30 active minutes each day. That could include a walk to listen to a few of your favourite songs or a stretching routine that you complete each day. The activity doesn’t have to make you sweaty and create loads of laundry to be worthwhile.
Tip #2. “Eat That Frog”
If exercise is something you find challenging, making it a priority first thing is one way to make it a priority. Earlier in the day, there are fewer demands on your time, and you’re less likely to be pulled away to meetings or things that “crop up”. In his book eat that frog Brian Tracy says that if you have to eat a frog, it’s best to get on with it early in the day, so you don’t spend all day thinking about it. In this case, daily activity is that frog.
Tip #3. Take Breaks From Your Desk
Throughout the day, time spent working at a desk can take a toll on your body. Setting aside 5 minute breaks every 60-90 minutes to walk around, stretch, or perform some squats and push-ups can aid blood circulation improve posture and even aid concentration. You could set the alarm to remind yourself to move. It’s a beneficial way to increase your step count throughout the day without really feeling like you’re doing any additional exercise too.
Tip #4. Walking Meetings
Instead of sitting around the office to have meetings, or meeting with friends over a meal, why not suggest a walking meeting? Fresh air and gentle movement can generate creatives ideas.