Do you ever find yourself wishing for an extra few hours a day?
That, 24 hours is just not enough time to do everything you need to do!?
We are so busy in life with work, family & friends that it is so hard to find time to workout. When we have a busy day the first thing to get crossed off the list is – EXERCISE! (Quick HACK… get it done in the morning)
Of course, I get it. Our family and work come first, and depending on so many factors just these two things alone can take up so much of our time, leaving us with very little time for ourselves.
So with the amount of hours we do have, how can we use them up properly, allowing time for all the important factors as well as time for ourselves – to workout?
Below are some ideas you can implement to ensure you are able to use your time effectively no matter what pops up in your life.
We do spend a lot of our time sleeping, and of course we need it, so that cannot be crossed of the list, but we can make sure that we are getting enough of it by sleeping WELL. When we do this, we won’t need to hit 10-12 hours to feel human again.
You can sleep well with just 7-9 hours if you implement a great sleep routine and allow for deep meaningful sleep. If we are spending less hours sleeping or napping throughout the day, that itself can alleviate some extra hours in the day for other things. Here are some things you can do to make sure your sleep more effective.
- Keep your bedroom pitch black. Invest in dark window coverings and keep the door closed.
- Keep the bedroom at the right temperature.
- Limit or stop caffeine just before 2pm. The same goes from having more than 1-2 drinks of alcohol in the evening. Its a myth that alcohol helps you sleep, its actually makes the quality of your sleep a lot worse!
- Keeping meals smaller but consuming the right types of foods can help with sleep. Think slow releasing carbs.
- Calm the body before bed, a meditation or yoga can help to clear your mind. I’m currently all about this and will report back… Sneak peak gongs are great!!!
- No electronics 30 mins before bed. This includes; phones, tablets, T.V. etc. Give yourself a “Shut Down Time”.
- Getting to sleep before 12 am is extremely important as every hour of sleep before 12 am will actually count for 2 hours of sleep in the long run. “Golden Time”
- Invest in a sleep cycle monitor, knowing how sleep works and how it works well for you, will allow you to plan proper sleep.
Check out our blog on SLEEP and find out what else you can do to make sure you are sleeping well, allowing you to waste less hours sleeping throughout the day.
Chopping, shopping and eating can take up some time in your day as well. Doing this effectively can free up some extra time for other things including working out. So when it comes to meals, planning and prep is KEY! Here are some things you can do to make mealtimes easier.
- Once a week sit down with the whole family, kids included, and create a meal schedule for meals. Knowing what the week will look like, will allow food shopping to be quicker (as you already know what you need for meal prep) and will also prevent from buying unnecessary things, including “naughty” foods.
- Scheduling a meal prep day will also free up time throughout the week for other things. Choosing a day to chop up the veggies and ingredients and cook some elements of the meals will make cooking the meals a breeze… Game changer in the Macey household!
- Boil potatoes, cook rice and pastas for the week and store them ready to go in your fridge. So when it’s dinnertime, take these already cooked items and just heat them up and serve.
- This can also be done with breakfasts. Sort oatmeal with fruits in packs ahead of time and just cook in minutes in the morning. Get smoothie ingredients sorted, already portioned, so you just need to add liquid and blend.
- Depending on your lunches, you can also prep this ahead of time as well. I would skip making sandwiches ahead of time, unless you like them soggy LOL. Boil eggs, cut veggies and sort out carbs and protein ahead of time and keep them in the fridge.
- Invest in quality storage containers so that they can keep fresh for a few days and allow you to save time with prep.
Ok so you have found some time to actually work out, it’s 20 minutes but at least it’s available. So how can we make this the best 20 minute workout? Here are some effective ways to use those precious 20 minutes.
- Do a 20 minute EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute)
- Choose some movements you like and some you don’t and perform them on the timer for 20 minutes.
- e.g. Minute #1 5 burpees + 10 DB Shoulder Press. Minute #2 10 Sit ups + 5 Heavy Deadlifts.
- There are tons of ways you can vary this.
- Do a 20 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible)
- Essentially moving for 20 minutes
- Keep the intensity between 6-8
- e.g. 40 Mountain climbers, 20 Renegade Rows, 10 Leg Raises, 5 Jump squats.
- Superset your workout
- Simple but effective technique to overload the body and save time
- Take 2 exercises and perform them back to back… No rest!
- e.g. 1a. 15 DB Chest Press 1b. 10 DB Chest Flys.
- Go for a 20 minute run outside if possible:
- LISS = Low Intensity Steady State Cardio
- A Great way to keep the intensity low and burn more calories.
- Super simple and easy!
- Don’t over think it, shoes on and GO!
NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis basically means the activity you do that is not planned exercise.
You can monitor this with apps and devices, such as the Fitbit that track your steps. These cool little devices are a great way to monitor how much non-exercise movement we are doing throughout the day.
Some of these devices/apps remind you to move more with notifications, have fun competitions with your friends and family and will make you feel accomplished once you’ve met your step goal for the day.
Here are a few ideas to help increase those steps;
- Try and get at least 10,000 steps a day, which can quickly add up to 70,000 steps a week.
- Take the dog out for a longer walk than usual. Plan a 2-5km walk instead of just around the block.
- Find the furthest parking spot possible rather than the closest and walk from there to where you need to go.
- Take the stairs… Run them!
- Take frequent walk breaks at the office.
- Go to the upstairs washroom instead of the one on your floor.
- Print from the whole office printer and not your personal printer.
- During lunch, go for a walk.
- Invest in (or request) a stand up desk.
The point is to move, and move as often as you can. When we increase our NEAT we increase the number of calories burned. So even if your day is looking like there is very little to no time to workout, you know that by using NEAT throughout the day, you have increased movement and burned calories you wouldn’t have if NEAT wasn’t on your mind. To find out more about NEAT, read our blog all about it.
INVOLVING THE FAM:
One of the most important things in life is family, and so it is no wonder we’d rather give up self-care time to be with them. A great way to ensure you are caring for yourself while spending time with your family is to involve them in your new healthy active life. This includes having them join you during active times, during meal prepping and eating and having them join you in being more mindfulness.
To start, having your family join in on active time can be quite rewarding as well as beneficial for them. Just by DOING, you are teaching your family how to care for yourself and will instill those habits in them.
There are many ways to get your family physically active that is fun and doesn’t feel like exercise. Here are some ways you can be active with your family:
- Go for a walk/hike with the family. Visit a local park and explore.
- Plan a family cycle on the weekend
- Play a sport outside or at the park that will get everyone running
- Go swimming at the local pool (Saturday Mornings for us)
- Workout together as a family – either at the gym or at home
- Do a family challenge at home;
- Who does the most steps in a day
- Runs the furthest
- A challenge for a week/month
Involving the family on healthy eating can be so beneficial for them individually as well as a collective group. Teaching your children at an early age to care for their bodies externally and internally is a great gift. Having them take part in shopping for healthy foods and preparing meals will give them not only life skills, but teach them to choose the right foods as children, teens and eventually adults. You are gifting your children the ability to care for their bodies the right way.
Another way to get the family involved in healthy living is to choose together times for active fun and healthy meal planning. Having a family calendar and actually scheduling time for activities will ensure that they happen. While these are being scheduled, as a family, be sure to schedule your own time to be active. Showing your family the days and times you will be devoting yourself to self-care will ensure that these times are not filled with distraction. This is also a lesson to them, that scheduling time for yourself is as important as time spent with family.
If you make sure you implement the tips and tricks in this blog, you will see time become available. So, there! There shouldn’t be any more excuses when it comes to finding time to work out. We have enough time in our day to squeeze a 15-20 minute workout, eat healthy and sleep well as well as devote time to work and more importantly family.
After all, one hour of exercise is only 4% of your day! So no more excuses, get to it!
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