How to Prioritize Workouts when Work Gets Tough
The following is a guest post by Vanessa Davis. Her bio follows.
It’s incredibly easy to excuse ourselves out of exercise. There are always reasons why other things are more important, more urgent or simply more enjoyable. The biggest problem with working out is the fact that we demonize the process, our mindset stands in the way of becoming the best physical self that we can be. As usual, the problem is in our way of thinking and bad habits that are much easier to maintain that overcome.
If you’re working hard and that is your biggest excuse for not working out, then this article is here to nudge you in a new direction. There are ways to prioritize your exercise even when working hours are crazy and you believe you don’t have it in you to work out.
Get Into It Slowly
Many people trickle the decision process down to – As of tomorrow, I will *enter unobtainable goal here*. If you’ve been down this path, as so many of us have, then you know that starting or stopping to do something abruptly rarely ends well, more often than not, you will just revert to the same old behavior patterns. That is why it’s so vital to ease into exercising, especially if you’ve never had much interest in fitness before.
Working a lot leaves you exhausted both mentally and physically, which is why squeezing in some exercise into the whole chaos can be a challenge. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend two hours at the gym every day, and your workout routine doesn’t have to be strict and repetitive. Doing your best will do just fine for starters, so that your body can get used to the fact that it’s moving much more. Some days it will just walking home from work, other days it might be having a run during lunchtime and sometimes you will have to do more intense workouts, but let those be the days when you’re not working as hard.
Make an Appointment with Yourself
Business meetings are important, there’s no doubt about that, but what about meetings you set up for yourself? We’re not talking about having dinners for one (though that’s quite therapeutic too), rather you showing up for yourself when it matters. This doesn’t just mean exercising regularly, but also eating healthy, managing your stress and getting plenty of sleep.
If you know that you’re likely to push back your workout as soon as something else pops up, make an appointment in your calendar, so that you have a couple of hours reserved exclusively for physical activity. This is a great way to outsmart your excuse system because if you’ve made plans to work out beforehand, then that time remained intact, so you better grab your gear and get going.
Don’t Get Stuck
One of the reasons people stop working out is because they get bored with doing the same thing over and over again. Getting stuck in a same workout routine will get old quite quickly and more importantly, it will stop giving results aka you will hit a fitness plateau. It’s very important to keep things lively, as that will help you associate exercise with doing something you love and not something that is a chore. If you feel insecure and exposed at the gym, don’t go there, take a run in the park instead. If you really don’t like running, try swimming and be amazed with the benefits it offers. And if nothing aforementioned works, go for a dance class, do yoga, try mountain climbing, the sky is the limit really, all you have to do is explore your options and find what fits best.
It’s a slippery slope with this one, but treating yourself when you achieve a certain fitness goal is definitely something that works. Every time you get out of the office and you’re tired, but you still muster strength to hit the gym, you deserve a small reward. Before you get carried away, we’re not talking about having a slice of pizza for dinner or an extra cocktail after your meal, but rewarding yourself with something that is actually good for you. That can be anything that doesn’t compromise your healthy diet and lifestyle and rewards should be in proportion with the achievement. You shouldn’t buy yourself something pretty every time you lose a pound, but if you reach a goal that took months to obtain, then go a little crazy. And yes, even indulging yourself with decadent food is allowed, as long as you do it in strict moderation.
You spend about a third of your day at work, so you better try very hard to have some time for yourself after you’re done. Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of our wellbeing, which is why you should prioritize it and do your best to respect the practice because that is the best way to respect yourself. – Vanessa Davis
About Vanessa Davis
Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at www.diet.st. She’s originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn’t cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.