5 October 2020
If you're anything like me, you're juggling a career, a family, a home, a social life, and a self-care routine. To say it can get exhausting is an understatement. For a lot of us who become overwhelmed by our daily to-do lists, the first thing that slips is our exercise routine because we just don't know how to find time to workout.
The thing is, exercise makes us happier, more energetic, and more resilient to stress. Plus, people who exercise regularly tend to get better quality sleep and feel more confident. So, by letting this important activity go, we suffer in all aspects of life.
I learned this the hard way, and I want to share my secrets to fitting in an effective and enjoyable workout without sacrificing anything else in my busy schedule. I'll share my top tips on how to find time to workout, plus some good bodyweight workouts and short workouts to do at home.
I used to think that I needed to spend an hour in the gym using weights and that exercises without equipment wouldn't be enough to build the muscle I wanted. But, after discovering the 30 Day Fitness app, my perception radically transformed, along with my body.
I learned that it's possible to achieve extraordinary results with a 20 minute workout and no equipment exercises if you stick to the plan. These exercises use your body weight as the resistance, and let's face it, my body weighs more than any piece of gym equipment I used to use!
The trick with shortening your workouts is to exercise smarter instead of longer. You waste a lot of time at the gym - waiting for equipment to become free, wandering around, chatting to people, traveling to and from the gym, etc. You can get the same results at home, using your body weight and a HIIT style workout.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. You exercise near to your maximum exertion level for a short interval (usually between a minute or two), and then rest for 30-60 seconds. You repeat this cycle for 2-4 rounds. It takes less time, but you achieve more.
There are so many good short workouts to do at home. You can do HIIT style workouts for fat loss, and some really good bodyweight workouts for building muscle. Try this beginner-friendly workout that includes no equipment exercises and takes just 10 minutes. Perform each exercise repeatedly for 60 seconds, with 30 seconds rest in between. Do two rounds, and then perform a downward dog for one minute to stretch out your muscles.
1: Jumping Leg Tucks
Starting in a high plank position, jump your feet forward as close to your hands as possible, then jump them back to the starting position.
2: Glute Bridges
Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Have your arms by your sides. Push down through your heels as you squeeze your glutes and raise your hips as far as you can. Lower down and repeat.
3: High Knees
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring one knee up towards your chest, then place it down and repeat with the other knee. Do this as fast as you can, so it feels like running on the spot.
If you have time for a 20 minute workout, you can begin with the three exercises above, then add the following three for a total of six no equipment exercises. Again, perform each exercise for 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and do two rounds with your downward dog at the end.
Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your ears, elbows out. Alternatively, point your hands between your knees. Inhale and raise your chest toward your thighs, firming your core muscles as you move. Come up as far as you can and then exhale and lower back down with control.
2: Star Jumps
Stand straight with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees slightly and jump your feet wide while simultaneously raising your arms out sideways to shoulder height. Jump back to the starting position to repeat.
3: High Plank
Plant your palms on the floor underneath your shoulders. Have your arms, body, and legs straight and rest on your toes. Hold this for 60 seconds, or as long as you can. If it is too challenging to stay on your toes, drop to your knees.
If you like this workout, you can find over 400 like it in the 30 Day Fitness app. In fact, the workout above is based on their BA workout, slightly modified. I love the app because it tailors my program to my fitness level, goals, and the time I have available. As I said, I am super busy, so I do workouts that are no longer than 15 minutes. Because I am using my body weight, I am building fantastic strength and muscle tone.
I have also taken up a couple of their 30 day fitness challenges, which give such awesome results. I love the feeling of completing each workout and seeing the days ticked off the chart. My favorite is Goddess because it works your whole body. The sense of achievement I get when I have completed my challenge is so satisfying.
As promised, here are my top tips on how to find time to workout.
We can all find 15 minutes in our day to exercise. I don't believe that anyone is busy 100% of the time with things they are obligated to do. It just seems that way because we have so much input and sensory stimulation. We have so many options for spending our time, and we aren't discerning or conscious enough with our choices.
Write down everything you do from wake up to sleep time. Be honest -- if you've just spent two hours on Facebook, it needs to go in your journal! At the end of the week, highlight the areas where you're wasting time. Television, social media, YouTube, and the like are all fine to do in moderation. But if they are taking over and pushing out more important things like exercise and good nutrition, you need to rethink your priorities.
If you keep the time journal for a week and you honestly don't have even 15 minutes in your day where you can fit in your workout, then set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier. The great thing about this is that because you're working out from home with an app, 15 minutes is all it takes. If you wanted to fit in a gym session before work, you'd need to get up 2 hours earlier!
Even the busiest of people can find 15 minutes in their day to do something positive for themselves and start a workout routine. Exercising with the 30 Day Fitness app makes it super easy because it's like having a personal trainer in your pocket. Your workouts are personalized to you, your life, and your goals.
You can achieve fantastic results by working out smarter rather than longer, and you can build strong, lean muscle mass by doing bodyweight exercises alone. I love this app so much, I've gotten such excellent results, and I feel much more confident about my body. If you're a busy person like me, I hope you'll give it a try.
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