Every so often, life grinds up a gear. Suddenly work and social commitments are scrabbling for a time; your diary is full, and there’s still more pressing at the sides for attention. There doesn’t even need to be a specific reason for the sudden increase in the demands on your time – it just happens.
When things go up a gear, your workout regime might be the first thing that suffers. With work, family life and social duties stretching your time, the pressure on your hours spent in the gym begin to feel the crunch. You’re aware of the time spent procrastinating from the things you need to do, to the point where all enjoyment and gain begins to be stripped from your exercise. It defeats the point. So the key aspect is, how do you make sure that busy periods don’t defeat your workout goals?
There are three primary methods of coping that people choose:
Adaptation is a key part of life. Recognizing that there are demands and stresses on your time is not an easy step – we all have an innate to desire to just carry on regardless.
The one problem with this is that it doesn’t work. You end up slipping, not committing yourself to anything and always being distracted. You need to adapt, and it’s the best way of managing your time.
There are simple swaps you can make. If you mainly workout in a gym, you can save yourself time by looking for more home-based workouts. Look for equipment such as a home rower or cross-trainer; something that gives you entire body a workout rather than focusing on one area. This helps you maximize the time you spent getting your sweat on.
If you don’t want to sacrifice the gym, then at least make the most of the time you have there. Switch to high-intensity workouts to maximize your return for time invested – but make sure you still leave adequate time to cool down and stretch.
So now you know what you should do, it’s worth covering the time-saving you shouldn’t be tempted by. It’s important to know your limits. Pushing yourself is a part of the exercise, but pushing too hard too fast just to maximise your time is going to have a ruinous impact in the long run. Listen to your body; when it tells you to stop, then stop.
It’s also a bad idea not to admit you’re struggling for time. If you’re committed to your regime, you have to be honest about your limitations. No burying your head in the sand here, please!
By far the worst thing you can do in this situation is… nothing at all. Just abandoning your workout isn’t going to help. You will struggle to motivate yourself to pick it up again, and you’ll ruin all the progress you made up until that point. Find a way to fit it in using some of the methods above. Otherwise, all your previous work is going to disappear away to nothing.