We live in a busy world. As much as we want to be able to stick to our normal gym schedule, life throws us scheduling curve balls: an emergency staff meeting, playing the chauffeur to and from soccer practice, that girl you met at the gym asks you to catch dinner tonight. These things happen. In order to stay faithful to your fitness goals, here are five quick fixes when time isn't on your side. Use these when you're in a pinch but still want to kick your endorphins into high gear.
1. Maximize Your Lunch Break
Most of us have a little bit of a reprieve during the day: those precious minutes we call our lunch break. If you know that you won't have the time to make it to the gym today, use your lunch break to your advantage--you can maximize your down time while still giving your body the fuel it needs with an energy or protein bar, meal replacement, or protein shake. Many companies have on-site fitness facilities that can be used to get a full gym workout in. And when in doubt, take a walk around the neighborhood.
2. Watch Your Waistline
As important as exercise is to reaching your fitness goals, there's a second half to that equation: healthy eating. And unfortunately the office is where most of us throw that part out the window. If you're like me, your office is surrounded by delicious, but not always healthy, meal choices. And sometimes you're skipping a gym date for a fancy dinner date instead. Don't sabotage yourself. If you know you aren't making the gym today, opt for food options that will help your goals: power foods like avocados, lean meats and other lean proteins, and good carbs like fruit.
3. Back to Basics
Hershel Walker, the great Heisman trophy-winning football player, Olympic bobsledder, and Mixed Martial Artist, chiseled his physique in three steps without really having to step into the gym: push-ups, sit-ups, and sprints. Try this: in between commercials on your favorite primetime program, perform twenty push-ups and sit-ups each. Repeat for all commercials in a one-hour programming block. It's the TV workout. And it will help you stay on track even when you can't get to the gym.
4. Make-Up Day
Every working man and woman values the two days at the end of the week like they were made of solid gold. But, if you skipped a gym day this week, use your weekend to make It up. You don't have to forgo your weekend either. Take a mountain biking trip, go for a hike, hit the beach for a fun run or some kayaking action. You can still enjoy your day off while getting that workout in.
5. Don't Beat Yourself Up
Remember, if you miss a day or two, it's not the end of the world. Many times we need that rest. Just remember that it's important to not get off track, because that can derail your fitness goals. If you skip a day, just work that much harder the next time you're in the gym.
Ryan Barnhart, MS, PES, is a certified Performance Enhancement
and Injury Prevention Specialist through the National Academy of Sports
Medicine (NASM). He also holds a master's degree in exercise science, as
well as a bachelor of sport management, both from California University
of Pennsylvania. Ryan has worked with numerous collegiate and amateur
athletes across many different fields. Ryan also has had the opportunity
to work with several professional athletes. Recently he has worked with
amateur and professional athletes within the emerging sport of Mixed
Ryan is currently the director of fitness at a 700+ member gym near Pittsburgh, PA. He enjoys working with weekend warriors, athletes, and everyone in between. You can contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.