Trying to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle is something that most aim to adopt. Whilst we know it should be one of our top priorities for our physical and mental well-beings, it is usually easier said than done. With work commitments, family life, relationships and social life standing in they way, trying to fit in a workout amongst our ever so busy schedules can sometimes feel impossible and trying to find the highly celebrated “balance” can feel so out of reach. But whilst we know it’s not, we have a few tips up our sleeves to make it that little bit more manageable to prepare for a workout when you’ve got a busy day.
Mindfulness for moving
Trying to lead that superwoman lifestyle: work, fitness, home-life, being sociable… it’s enough to make you feel like you have the world on your shoulders. Having that amount of pressure on top of you can become almost disastrous. So you need to make sure that the reasons why you are working out are the right ones, and that the exercise you are doing is the most efficient and effective for your schedule.
You should be moving because you love your body, and want to cherish it and keep it healthy, not because you hate it and want to change it. By adopting the right mind-set you can male your workouts seem more fun and rewarding rather than another chore to tick off that seemingly never ending to-do list. When we condition our minds to think of exercise as a way to feel good in our body rather than to look good in it, the rewards and the endorphins that we get from sweating that little bit more becomes instantaneous and we begin to love the movement rather than feeling pressured into doing it.
You also need to realise that something is always better than nothing. If you only have 10 minutes, than do just those 10 minutes. Don’t feel guilty for not putting in a full hour. Some of the best, and most beneficial workouts can be completed in 7 minutes. With the right preparation and organisation you can squeeze in the best workouts for your body without ever having to feel bad about not committing to a full session. Now that’s a load off your mind!
Organisation is essential
If you know that you are going to be particularly busy on a certain day, but still want to get your workout in, you need to be organised. It’s as simple as that. Make sure that you are choosing a workout programme that you can either do anywhere, such as at work, during lunchtime, or at home. If time is of the essence opt for something that doesn’t require too much pressure, time or equipment.
HIIT programmes, running, cycling and bodyweight exercises are all brilliant choices. Not sure what works for you, don’t be afraid to try different ways of moving until you find one you really love. You need to listen to yourself. What your likes and dislikes are. One person’s HIIT is another persons yoga.
Once you know what exercises you like to do, and when and where you can do them, make a schedule and commit to it. Most people use the excuse to miss a workout because they don’t have the time to do it. But if you schedule in the time and really organise and prioritise it, you can ensure that you actually do have the time and ability to do that workout.
If you need to get up 30 minutes earlier, or take some work home with you in order to do so, than do it. Write down your schedule on when you are doing what and that includes all work, home, personal and workout goals. Including when you need to take your gym-kit with you. Because working out is a priority that is worth sticking too and not worth messing up just because you ‘forgot’.
Preperation is key
So you have your schedule all set, you know what you like to do, where you are going to do it, and often you’re doing it. But how do you prepare to do so, when you already have such a busy day that you need to focus on?
Think about your workout as another work task. How would you tackle it. It’s not adding anything to your work load its just changing the topic from spreadsheets to dumb-bells.
Make sure that you have your gym-kit all clean and packed ready to go the day before (it’s one of the oldest tricks in the active living hand book), and any extra essentials that you are going to need such as your water bottle, or protein shakes/bars to refuel.
If you know that you are going to be having an extra busy day with the workout included, make sure that you get plenty of rest the night before, and eat a proper breakfast and lunch to fuel you up, and if you are going to be home late, why not meal-prep in advance so that you can just reheat and go when you finally settle in. All these simple tasks can make the idea of a work-out just that little bit more bearable and manageable. Everything is already completed and ready to go- so you can forget about everything else and just go and get your sweat on.
Things to pack
Depending on what exercise you are planning on doing, and what time in the day you are doing it, in the day you are planning on doing it will determine what you need to pack in your work-bag ready for your work-out. But here are some of our essentials that we just have to have in our bags
The Beauty Essentials:
- Dry shampoo (because who has time to wash their hair at the gym), deodorant and a brush with extra hair ties are definitely needed for that quick refresh and touch up.
- Make-wipes, because sweating with make-up on is a big no no.
- Hydrating facial spray – we absolutely love this thermal spring water one from La Roche Posay. The perfect cool-down and moisturising spray, to just spritz on and go.
- Make-up if you are heading off to work or drinks with the girls after the gym – a quick touch up of power makeups your thing. This one is completely optional.
The Workout Essentials:
- Moisture-wicking tank or top, compression leggings, a supportive sports bra, socks and trainers- check out our lookbook for the perfect styles for every exercise type.
- Workout specific gear such as swim cap, googles, swimming costume, towel, weight gloves, or yoga mat. Depending on the type of exercise you are doing it’s best to be prepared so no excuses pop up.
- A water bottle because you need to stay hydrated- and what better way to do than with a cute water bottle that’s eco-friendly!
- Pre or post workout fuel such as fresh fruit, nuts or protein bar/shake to refuel and renew after your exercise.
The Extra Essentials:
- Plasters/pain killers – now this may sound like a silly one, but a full hard day on your feet can lead to blisters or head-aches and aches and pains, and that shouldn’t be an excuse to not workout.
- Headphones, iPod or smartphone and holder plus a really good playlist that will motivate you to go harder, better and faster!
- Compact microfiber towel and hand sanitizer (although most gyms will have facilities in the changing rooms for you, but if your workout is outside, it’s best to be as prepared as possible).
So there you have it – let us know if you think these tips help! Go forth pretty lady, you can do it! Just make it a non-negotiable.