Featured story June 19, 2015
How To Beat The "I Just Don't Have Time" Excuse
We live in a fast paced world where we need to squeeze 28 hours worth of life into just 24. We've got work, school, kids, responsibilities, stress, chores, and barely enough time to sit and decompress. Who has time to live the fit lifestyle? EVERYONE.
Currently, I work 40 hours a week at a medical facility; I'm working on my bachelor's degree; I'm studying for my National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified PersonalTrainer certification; I'm a freelance writer, a Smartbody Nutrition brand ambassador, I have a dog, a fiancé, and I am planning my wedding! With that type of schedule, you would think I'd have every reason to make excuses for skipping the gym. But, it turns out; I'm in the best shape of my life! Here are tips and advice on how to manage your time and balance your life so that you can beat the "I Don't Have Time" excuse.
First things first, in order to want to beat your excuses, you're going to have to be motivated and dedicated. No one is going to stick to a plan without intrinsic motivation! You have to want to be fit and you must be willing to make the sacrifices necessary in order to make it happen. Your motivation can be as simple as wanting more energy to get through the work day without crashing. Or it can be as complicated as deciding to compete in your first fitness competition. Whatever it is, make sure you have a passion for it. That passion is what will drive you towards your goal.
Now that we're motivated, let's tackle the first hurdle: "I don't have time to get to the gym."A one hour workout is only 4% of your entire day. Ask yourself if you truly don't have time or if you just don't want to go. If you'd rather go straight home from work to relax, then you've got time! Make it easy on yourself and get a gym membership at a location closest to either work or home. Maybe it's not the best gym or the biggest or you don't have friends who go there, but the proximity to home or work may be what gets you to walk through those doors more often.
Aim for hitting the gym at least 4 times a week. Choose the 3 busiest days of your week and take them off as rest days. On your days off and the other two days of work, makesure you get yourself to the gym. If you like to go to the gym after work, be sure to pack a gym bag with a change of clothes, a snack and your supplements. That way, you have no reason to stop by the house after work and tempt yourself to hit the couch. If you're an early bird, set your alarm just one hour early, pack a bag for work and swing by the gym for a solid lifting session! It will raise your energy levels to power you through the rest of the day and then when you're off work, you can just go straight home.
So, my advice is to either go straight from work to the gym at night or go straight to work from the gym in the morning. Stopping by the house in between is a recipe for low motivation. Oh, you're too tired to work out before or after work? Invest in a great pre-workout! When I feel exhausted and hungry after work, I take down a serving of pre-workout with some ice cold water and my body is jolted into attention. But how else do we combat exhaustion during the day?
I suggest getting yourself to bed EARLY. I go to bed at 7:30pm so that I can wake up and start my day at 4:30am. With that sleep schedule, I'm able to work all day, go to class afterwards, then hit the gym and still have time to shower and relax at home with Netflix for a couple hours. Most people don't get their 7-9 hours of sleep, which I highly recommend while on a diet and exercise regime. Sleep is when your body repairs what was broken down in the gym, so if you want to start seeing results, start with seeing some zzz's. Sleep is also what helps regulate ghrelin, the hormone that causes you to feel hungry. If you don't get enough sleep, you raise your ghrelin levels, making yourself hungrier and sabotaging your fat loss efforts. It's a commitment to change your sleep schedule, so begin by trying some melatonin and shutting off that second episode of Game of Thrones. It will be there tomorrow. If you don't dedicate yourself to getting good rest, you'll be too tired for the gym tomorrow and we don't need any more excuses.
Ok, now that we've been working out and getting quality rest, let's attack the next issue: "I don't have time to cook all that food!" Meal prepping can be daunting, especially if you feel like you don't know what you're doing. Many people suggest dedicating 1-2 hours a week to cook your entire week's worth of foods. Personally, I'd rather use those extra hours to relax on my days off. So, this is where the shortcuts come in. Purchase some Tupperwarecontainers, your choice of frozen veggies and some chicken breast. Make sure to invest in a crockpot that has a removable pot because this is what is going to save you so much time! Before I go to bed, I like to throw all my raw chicken breasts in the crockpot, toss some low sodium broth over the top, turn it on low and let it cook overnight. In the morning, I turn it off, quickly shred the meat with two forks and pop the removable pot into the fridge. Done! Total prep time: 2 minutes. Now, when I prepackage my meals for the day, I'll throw some frozen veggies in a Tupperware container, microwave it for 2 minutes, and then spoon some of that shredded chicken over the top. It's so fast and easy that I never spend crazy amounts of time in the kitchen slaving over baked chicken breast and grilled asparagus.
Start using these time management techniques and don't allow yourself to make excuses. If you're motivated and dedicated to living a fit lifestyle, your busy schedule shouldn't hold you back. Find shortcuts where you can, make use of any extra time and be sure to enjoy this busy, hectic, crazy, beautiful fit life.
Written By Kayla Oliverio