It’s easier than ever to skip a workout. With Netflix, after work drinks and commitments with family and friends, it seems like there is never enough hours in the day.
How do you fit in a gym session and still have a social life/sleep/relax? When I was younger it was easy; I would just hit the gym after class or before work. I never worked or went to school for longer than 6-8 hours. Fast forward to life today – working shifts up to 14 hours, changing time zones constantly, family commitments, boyfriend, friends and events; it’s easy to push aside a workout.
But we don’t WANT to skip that workout. We WANT to make it a priority. We all WANT to take care of ourselves.
Over the past four years of juggling an almost impossible schedule (just talk to another flight attendant if you don’t believe me), I’ve have 10 tips and tricks to share with you to help keep your workouts on track during the busiest times.
1. Bring Your Gym Bag with You Everyday
You’ve got to avoid the excuse that you don’t have your gym stuff with you. If you work a job that allows you enough time to workout at lunch – boom! You’ve got your stuff at your desk. If you don’t, and you decide to go to the gym after work – having your workout clothes with you allows you to avoid any unnecessary detours. I recommend packing a bag the night before and avoid leaving gym gear in a cold place (i.e. a car in winter, the underbelly of a plane, garage etc.).
2. Get a Workout Buddy
Whether that’s a buddy just for the day, your best friend or someone you met at a yoga class, having a buddy to go to the gym with holds you accountable. It’s easier to skip the gym when you plan on going solo. But, when you have solid plans with a friend, it becomes more difficult to avoid and is now a scheduled hangout.
3. Schedule Workouts in Advance
My daytimer is my LIFE. With an ever-changing schedule, its difficult to go to the same class everyday, or hit the gym before work etc. My lifesaver is planning my workouts a week in advance around my schedule. Knowing where I’m going to be, what time I start and finish work helps me plan what time I can go, where I can go and what equipment I have available to me. Having it written down also holds me accountable.
4. Be Realistic.
DO NOT over schedule yourself. Avoid scheduling barely enough time to workout – because if anything happens to take longer than expected, the first thing to go will be your workout. Don’t stretch yourself too thin – if you have a 15-hour day worth of work and plans, take the day off. This is where scheduling workouts can help. You can see what days might not work the best for you.
5. Pick the Right Workout
What I mean by that is pick the workout that will fit into your plans for the rest of the day. For example – Friday after work I have plans to go for drinks with my friends around 7:00 p.m. It wouldn’t make sense to go to a hot yoga class. Sweating until my hair is drenched, doesn’t give me enough time to shower and get ready to meet with my friends. But, a strength session and some dry shampoo will allow me to get a good workout in and not sacrifice my friends or, skipping another workout. You don’t need to abandon your social life to live a fit lifestyle.
6. Dry Shampoo
Speaking of dry shampoo…WHAT A TIME SAVER! This doesn’t always relate to those of us who rock a shorter do’, but for those of us with longer hair…OMG. Dry shampoo can save me two hours after every workout. If I had to wash my hair, blow dry and style…I would have no life, or I’d be so out of shape and unhealthy you wouldn’t be reading this today. My fav is got2B, although I only suggest this to blondes as it does come out white. For all my brunettes out there, comment below and let me know what your favs are!
7. Time Your Snacks and Meals
Be conscious of what time you’re eating and what you are eating before you plan to workout. Eating a huge lunch 10 minutes before you go to the gym is not very motivating. On the other side, not eating several hours before a workout can have the same effect. Eating at the wrong time is a great excuse to skip the gym – which is not what we want! Also, not having a proper pre-workout snack can make or break your workout.
8. Create a Fitness Goal
Not just any goal. Make it a goal that you can track. It can be anything from increasing the amount of push-ups you can do in one session, to run farther, lift more etc. Seeing the results weekly and in the long run can motivate you to get to the gym.
9. I’m Just Going to Watch One Episode…
This is one I’m 100 per cent guilty of. One episode turns to five hours straight of Friends and inevitably skipping my workout because it’s “too late for me to go now.” Don’t do this to yourself! Netflix before a workout is literally the worst. Unless you are superhuman and can ACTUALLY only watch one episode, I suggest skipping the show binge session before a workout. Try listening to music while planning or prepping before going to the gym as an alternative.
10. Find Motivation and Reward Yourself!
We’ve all hit that workout slump. Whether it’s within the first week or after a month or two. It can sometimes feel like you’re just a zombie going in and out of the gym. Not only does your workouts and results suffer, but not being focused or uninterested, can lead to injury. Remember to reward yourself for the goals you hit. Don’t just ignore the amazing accomplishments you’ve had this far. Rewards (like a new swimsuit) will help keep you motivated. There are a number of other things we can use to increase our motivation. Some examples that have helped me over the years are as simple as a new workout outfit, following motivational posts on facebook and instagram (follow me for that too!), tracking and breaking my personal bests, taking a selfie after a tough workout and including friends in any workouts or competitions. Find what works for you!