Long time to hear, huh? I guess I have no one but myself to blame though – because life has definitely somehow managed to crowd regular blogging out.
Actually at this point life has managed to crowd most everything out and I’m having to actually put a significant amount of effort into planning my days to ensure that I get everything done. And even then I’m never quite sure what the next day will bring, so I’m learning just to go with the flow.
One thing that I sort of struggled with at the beginning was finding time for exercise. I am not obsessive about my exercise routine or regiment – but I have found that I feel better physically and emotionally (it’s the best stress reliever in the world for me) if I get some sort of physical activity in the day. Although my work IS rather active, I still try to keep my exercise a separate part of my life.
I won’t pretend I’m now the expert on time management and I know exactly how to always schedule my time so I can accomplish all that I want to, because I’m not. But here are a few things that have helped me and I hope they will help you as well.
– Be flexible! As much as it’s good to have a general idea when you want to work out, be open to changes and how you feel. I’ve woken up some morning and been able to do a work out, others I can hardly roll out of bed. Same goes with the afternoons. So I’ve learned just to take it a day at a time and not be too tied down to a schedule or plan.
– Know yourself. If you’re a morning person maybe working out in the mornings is right for you. On the other hand if you’re the type of person that is barely functional without their cup of coffee – it’s probably not the best idea. Personally I prefer to do yoga in the mornings, and save the more intense stuff for later on in the day. That way I get to work feeling refreshed – and not exhausted before I’ve even started.
– Multi-task. On really hectic days putting aside a whole chunk of time to exercise seems unrealistic for me. What I do then is I try to combine my work outs with my other day-to-day activities – biking instead of taking the bus, running up a down flights of stairs instead of using the elevator, opting for a relaxing walk in the woods instead of sitting in front of the TV. Little things like these do add up, and you definitely feel it by the end of the day.
– Let your exercise time be something you enjoy – not an additional source of stress. This one was the hardest for me to master, because I was trying to hard to always stick to a plan and get some exercise in that I ended up worrying about it all day. I would reach the end of my day and feel exhausted, but still determined to work out. Now I have a completely different attitude – if I’m exceptionally tired I’ll skip a day, if I don’t feel like doing something intense I’ll just do yoga. There are no rules – except to enjoy it. So I do whatever I enjoy – which brings me to my final pointer.
– Don’t limit yourself to conventional “work outs” for your source of exercise. Anything you do that gets your heart rate up is giving you health benefits. To me a long hike through the woods, a afternoon out playing tag with the kids, inventing my own resistance training routine to dancing around in my room – they’re all valid forms of exercise. I find these things less binding then a work out video on days when the last things I want is an additional thing to worry about. And having fun is one of the most important things in my opinion. You should do what makes you feel good – energized, alive and relaxed. And what and how you do it is entirely up to you.
Now over to you – how do you manage to fit some form of exercise into your busy lives?
When’s your favorite time to work out – morning, afternoon or whenever?