Staying fit on a full schedule
5 MIN READ
For many, the full time schedule is an absolute death sentence for their fitness. It's also common for it to be an equally fatal sentence to their social life, free time, and overall sanity. But what if I told you there is a very simple way to do something about this (at least as far as fitness goes)?
There's only two things you need to get a grip on before being successful at this. Embracing the chaos and planning for it.
Embracing the chaos:
So you've opted for a full-time life on the busier side of the new millennium; it's noisy and chaotic for everybody - the best way to get by is to leverage tools, and services that makes your life easier. It's important not to go over board here; use only what you need or risk making things even worse. If you're not already using a calander app I strongly recommend downloading Business Calendar for Android users (ignore the name), and using it too. For iPhone users I suggest checking out Tempo. Both of these apps have excellent UI design and are easy to use.
Here's the bottom line though - if you actually use these tools in a beneficial way; you will benefit from using them. Do the obvious/intended thing and populate your calender with the things you do regularly and irregularly on week-to-week basis; and then use it everyday. In terms of your fitness there are two massive benefits to this: an organization system for the chaos of the week, and more importantly a tool that helps you identify openings in it.
Each opening you see is an opportunity to schedule a workout session. Pretty straight-forward stuff when you really get down to it. Set a target number of weekly workouts (3 is good) and find that many gaps, plus one more extra spot you can squeeze in edgewise somewhere (early morning or late night on Sunday for me). This extra day is your safety net for when the chaos of the week gets the better of you and you miss a workout. Its a "Buffer day" - or more accurately a "buffer time".
The big idea is to have it; but not use it. Each week make a mental intention to struggle like hell to hit all of your target workout days. If you do this and have a buffer day in place, it becomes really easy hit the target number each week, including the hectic ones. If you are finding thatit's impossible to complete the target number of workouts (even with a buffer day) - then try decreasing the number of total sessions per week to something more sustainable for your lifestyle.
So lets say you decide that you are going to aim for 3 sessions per week, with a fourth buffer day tucked into your schedule somewhere as well (you can even schedule these at inconvenient hours for yourself to discourage you from using it). And, let's say, on the day of the second session your meeting ran a little late and ended up taking over your workout block. If you have a built-in "buffer" day - you might despair at the inconvenience of it; but you will still be able to reliably hit that missed workout without having your week fall apart.
It's a simple and uncomplicated strategy; but I rarely see it implemented by the people who need it the most. I hear people complain all the time about how they "ran out of time this week" or "had that last minute thing". After you implementing buffer days; if you're anything like me - chances are you won't even feel the need to rely on it. The fact remains however that there is no such thing as a self-working discipline system; and you still need the push to make each workout happen. This tool is just one safety net to help make that happen, especially when things are out of control.
Stay tuned for a detailed post on how to select a workout plan based on how much time you have EACH WEEK!
For more information check out our post on how to avoid falling off the wagon this September.