A hectic work schedule can often mean that other parts of our lives our pushed to the side. Many people find it challenging to have a positive work-life balance, often not being able to find the time to stay fit and eat well.
Fortunately, sports nutrition experts Bulk have highlighted five ways to stay fit and healthy during a busy work week.
Change your commute
While it may seem like taking just a few steps to your car and driving to work will save you more time in the day than walking, it’s not as practical as it may sound. When working an office job where you remain sedentary for a large portion of the day, doing so means that you’ve incorporated no physical activity into your daily routine, therefore you’ll have to add more time onto your day by exercising before or after work.
However, if you spend 15 minutes walking to work and another 15 minutes walking back based on a five-day work week, you will meet the recommended target of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. You can also adapt your morning route even if you take public transport by perhaps choosing a bus stop or train station which is slightly further from your home to get some more steps in.
Consider home workouts
To save time waiting around in the gym at peak times for machines to be free, as well as travelling there and back if your gym isn’t close by, you can dedicate a specific area in your home for workouts. Whether you do so in your garage or even if utilise some space in your living room, make sure that the area you choose has enough space for an exercise mat.
If weight training is your go-to workout, invest in dumbbells or kettlebells to replace the machines you may use in the gym – this is much more beneficial for your physical health too, as free weights help develop strength by incorporating more muscles. Alternatively, if cardio is your priority, incorporate exercises like burpees, squat jumps, and jumping jacks into your routine or even opt for an outdoor run if the weather is on your side. Not to mention, switching to home workouts will save you splurging on a gym membership.
Create a workout schedule
When it comes to your job, you can familiarise yourself with your routine and therefore can prepare yourself for the day ahead – and this is possible with exercising. Evaluate which days’ work best for you and stick to this so that, like work, you become comfortable with the routine and prevent making excuses to skip the workout.
By choosing one of the days over the weekend to exercise, you require less time during your working week to fit a workout in. While it’s suggested to do 150 minutes of moderate exercises each week, it’s recommended to exercise for around 75 minutes a week if you partake in vigorous activities like running or cycling – so you can opt for a workout on a Saturday morning to feel energised for the weekend and designate just one other day of the week to meet the suggested exercise guidelines.
Cook your meals ahead
Staying fit and healthy isn’t only about physical activity – it’s also down to what you eat, too. It can feel overwhelming sticking to diets and finding the time to cook when you have a busy schedule over the week, so meal prepping will keep you from spending too much time in the kitchen every night.
Cook several portions of food for the week at once instead of just making one meal every night – you can usually leave meals in the fridge up to four days, so you can use the opportunity to have your work lunches prepared as well as being able to eat straight after a workout on an evening to ensure you have time to relax. Consider your favourite meals in your diet, and you can even prepare different ingredients separately such as vegetables to prevent you from getting bored of the same food. Like working out, it helps to have a schedule to ensure you’ll have time to do all of the preparations.
Keep your gym clothing handy
If you head home after work to get changed into your gym gear ready for a workout, you take the risk of becoming too comfortable and making excuses to not go back out again – so keeping your exercise clothing on you will not only save that trip home, but it will also give you some motivation.
Keep a bag with you that contains clothes, shoes, a water bottle as well as any equipment you may need. Whether you finish work earlier than expected or even if you have half an hour free over lunch, doing so will make you more available to workouts whenever you find yourself free as you cut out the time it takes to get yourself ready at home.
A spokesperson from Bulk has commented: “Working out can be a hobby for many, but for some it can often spark feelings of dread when it feels as though there’s not enough time in the day. As keeping fit isn’t only about exercise, but also about what you eat – it can seem a challenge to balance all aspects when the majority of the week is spent at work.”
“However, this article reveals several ways to stay fit and healthy without adding too much time onto your day, whether it’s choosing a day in which you have the most free time to meal prep or working out at home. With these tips, exercise feels less like an errand and instead becomes something to look forward to as well as a way to blow off steam after a stressful day.”
The research was conducted by bulk.com which is founded on the belief that sport, health, fitness and nutrition are for everyone – no matter who you are, what you do, or how you do it.