Summer vacations are now computer screen savers and your wall calendar lists meetings, kids' practices and weekend chores rather than vacation destinations. If the weather and weeks ahead feel harsh, one thing will get easier, your workouts!
Back in May, we thought the warm weather and free time meant getting in great shape during the summer. However, for some of us, the 80s turn to 90s, and free time means putting off our fitness routines until later in the day, then skipping them altogether.
Family and friends stopping by, reunions, barbeques, weddings, day trips and beach vacations sometimes stop our sweat sessions in their tracks.
Fall breezes and busy routines CAN be your workout buddies.
When we have a demanding routine with the kids, jobs, and a packed schedule, we have to FIND the time to work out. If we know we only have from 6-7am four days a week, there is no putting it off because you "have all day" to work out, like in the summer.
1) If you can only work out in the afternoon or evening, leave house keys and workout clothes at the gym locker in the morning on your way to work or dropping kids off at school. This way you HAVE to go there before you go home. Or, if you work out at home, keep an exercise-only calendar on our wall. This way you see what you have done already this week, and mix it up for cross-training. It'll give you one important thing to cross off each day.
2) If you can work out in the morning, sleep in your workout clothes, put out your sneakers, and set your alarm music to fun fitness beats. I have suggestions on my website. This way you just get dressed and get inspired, then get through your workout before you know it.
3) Multitask your workouts. Why stand still doing biceps curls, then do lunges? Why do standing rows and then planks, when you can combine all these moves together? Multitasking means more calorie burn, boosted metabolism, increased heart rate during workouts, more sweat, more fat melting and more muscle toning in half the time! Sprinkle in some cardio intervals between sets for even more health and slimming benefits. All of my books and fitness DVDs follow this method to take 60 minute workouts and cut them down to 30 minutes. I have a toddler at home, and I work part time, so, like you, I know shorter is better!
4) Find your mantras that motivate. A few of my favorite are: "If you went running when you first thought of it, you'd be done by now;" "Sitting is the new smoking;" as well as, "Sweat is Fat Crying", "If you don't work have an hour to work out today, how much time will you have from a hospital bed?" and finally, "Work out because you can" (because you have a healthy body and are not sick or injured in some way.)
5) Plan meals on Sunday. The more natural, and organic fruits, veggies, fiber and lean protein like fish and chicken that you can prepare for your week in small portion sizes, the less fried or processed food you will need to rush to later. Invest in zip lock bags, blenders, portable coolers, ice packs, Tupperware, plastic utensils, and slow cookers.
And yes, no matter how busy you are, you can find the time to work out. I train news producers who do the overnight shift, people who work, take care of sick family members and go to night school, executives who travel every week and work 15 hour days, as well as moms with huge families.
There are no excuses. If you find time to fit in your fitness this fall, the winter screen saver will be a chiseled photo of you!