The list goes on!
- Clean the house
Take care of the kids (both of human and fur variety)
Cook the meals
Go to work/run your business
Help with homework (or in my case, do the homework)
Run kids to after-school activities
Go to class
….the To-Do list is daunting. Then comes the question “When am I going to find time to workout?”
Well first, lets stop thinking about working out as something we have to do. What are all the reasons you have been choosing to workout for so far? For myself, I’m a more positive and happy person when I get to workout. My stress levels stay at a manageable level, I’m nicer, I don't snap at my loved ones. I’m a better employee and student, and most of all a better partner in my relationship with my boyfriend. Plus, theres all the physical effects, like better overall health, strength, better sleep and cognitive function.
Last time we talked about some tips and tricks to keep up with eating healthy when life gets hectic. Now it’s time for the exercise part. I’ll be honest, when I finally laid out my schedule for this next semester with classes and clients on a daily basis, I was kind of freaked out. Coming from a flexible schedule, I’ve been able to pick and choose how I train, when I train, and how long I train for the better part of the last year. Often times it can take me up to two hours from start to finish to get through my powerlifting workouts. So to see my limited options had me questioning whether or not I’d be able to keep up with my training schedule, (which as a powerlifter is paramount) and how far back this could potentially put me from my goals.
So I started thinking, regardless of whether I’ll get to train exactly how I want, there’s a lot of things I can do to focus on being strong and healthy. There are so many different facets of fitness that can be used to stay healthy, even when time is limited.
Metabolic Conditioning: Metabolic Conditioning is great for improving athleticism, work capacity, and improves the body’s use of energy and production efficiency. In as little as 20-30 minutes a day, you can get an intense workout by utilizing MetCon concepts like Tabata, EMOM and HIIT. Keep it simple. Pick a few basic movements, focusing on dynamic, multi-joint movements and push it as hard as you can for 20-30 minutes. The key word there is HARD.
- HIIT: high intensity interval training. Set a work period and a rest period. The rest period should be just short enough to bring the heart rate down enough to a manageable level to return to work.
Tabata: similar to HIIT, just a specific variation. 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. Pick 1 or 2 movements to alternate between and bust your butt for 4 minutes of straight hell. Don’t let your intensity fall off, shoot for the same number of reps every round.
EMOM: every minute on the minute. You pick a set number of reps for a specific number of movements. At the top of every minute, bust out those reps, and then you can rest for the remainder of the minute. Here’s the catch, push it hard and fast, and you get to rest longer, but it’ll also bring the fatigue faster. Lower your intensity and your rest time disappears.
Total Body: Total Body movements will allow you to condense your training sessions, and be as efficient as possible. Focus on compound (multi-joint) movements that will utilize multiple muscles at once, burning a larger amount of calories at once compared to single joint movements.
Get Outside! Fitness isn't just limited to the gym. Join a city/school recreational sports league. Go on hikes, play in the park with your kids, ride bikes, go paddle boarding on the weekends. Make it fun, play, & take the WORK out of the workout!
NEAT: Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. This is all the foot-jiggling, errand running, kid chasing, campus crossing energy you expend. The less you move, the fewer calories you expend. When people try to lose weight, they inevitably get tired and stop moving as much, so they don’t burn as much energy as they used to. This can have an effect on progress because the established deficit has then been reduced or erased. Pay attention to your day to day activity levels and habits. Choose to take the stairs rather than the elevator, stand rather than sit, do a little wiggling, bust out some sweet dance moves for no reason at all. Just move!
Every little bit helps when taking steps towards your goal. Getting even as little at 20 minutes a day can have a larger impact than a single one hour training session. Schedule time for yourself, get your sweat on and just keep moving!