In 2019 everyone leads extremely busy lives and fitness can take take a back seat because of this. Balancing kids, work, sleep and a social life is tough and many of my Personal Training clients struggle with this. We are all aware of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle but it’s not a priority to a lot of the population. I’m sure many people think that they don’t have enough hours in the day to get to the gym or prepare healthy home cooked meals, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In very few cases, some people are so stuck for time that it is impossible to find a spare half an hour to workout, but in most cases I find I can always give some suggestions to fit workouts and healthy eating into most lifestyles - one of the biggest parts of my job as a Personal Trainer is to find ways to encourage a healthier day to day life whilst not disrupting or compromising anything in my clients lifestyle.
Everyone is completely different and my daily routine will look very different to others, so my advice is always very specific to the client, however I have come up with a few tips that may help you to include fitness in your life without compromising your other priorities.
If working from a desk or any other stationary job, try and get up as often as possible (once an hour is great) and go for a brisk walk for a minute or two. This can be around the office, outside, to the kitchen - it doesn’t matter where, just move! If you can’t leave your desk, try at the very least just to stand up and do some stretches.
Do something on your lunch break. It doesn’t have to be a workout (although it’s definitely possible to fit a 20 minute bodyweight HIIT workout into an hour lunch break), but a walk outside is beneficial in so many ways and is especially refreshing for an office worker to get away from the screens and get some fresh air.
Set yourself an achievable goal for an amount of water to drink each day. Not only will it keep you awake and focused, it also gives you an excuse to get up from your desk to get more water or go for a toilet break.
Get up early! There’s no better feeling than getting an early workout in, and whilst it may be hard to get up at first, you’ll soon learn to love the early starts. If evenings after work are hectic for you, going to the gym before work might be the answer. I start my working day at 4:30am with my first PT clients, and these are always professionals who lead a busy life and need to get their workout in early.
Prepare your lunches in advance. Batch cook your lunches at the weekend and then there is no excuse for junk food once you get to work, as you’ll already have a delicious meal to look forward to.
Bring in your own healthy snacks to work. Offices are especially notorious for cake, biscuits and any other sweet treats that people might bring in, and this is quite often every day! Although you shouldn’t restrict yourself completely from these foods, by bringing in your own snacks you are far less likely to go for the biscuit tin.
Set yourself a step goal and use an activity tracker or your phone to keep count. This doesn’t mean you have to go for hour long walks - we don’t all have the time for that, but just a little bit more conscious movement throughout the day can really add up.
It’s clear that the majority of my tips centre around the goal of increasing your general movement and step count. It’s not necessary to be in the gym to lose weight or improve your health and the vast majority of us could benefit from just moving more! Your NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) is basically any movement or energy expenditure that isn’t during specific bouts of exercise, so this includes walking, household chores and shopping etc. It is so important for everyone’s general health, but is especially beneficial to work on for those trying to lose weight. Whatever the goal, I encourage all of my Personal Training clients to increase their NEAT as it’s one of the easiest things we can all do which has one of the most beneficial effects on our health and wellbeing.
If you want to be fitter but still think that you don’t have any time to work on your health, I’d be more than happy to give advice and see how we could fit Personal Training sessions around your lifestyle.