None of us need a reminder that life doesn’t always go to plan. It’s as obvious as our burnt toast that even the easiest things in life sometimes go belly-up. So when you’re planning your fitness regime, you have to allow time for interruptions. You travel out of town on business, take holidays, get sick – or a loud, cracking thunderstorm rips the skies open moments before you step out on a much-anticipated run. Life just happens.
Some of these breaks are good and in fact, your body may even appreciate the rest time. Even Olympic athletes-in-training have scheduled downtime factored in for them to perform at their peak. The rest of the time? Follow these tips to make sure interruptions are just an occasional setback and don’t wreak havoc with your mission for fitness.
Sneak in fitness and exercises throughout the day
Not only will the sneaky extra activity be good for your body (research indicates that just one burst of aerobic activity daily cannot undo the harm of a day spent sitting down), but it also takes the pressure off you actually attaining your once a day workout time. Park the car further away from the train station, take the stairs, throw in 10 squats or push-ups throughout the day whenever you get a chance. Make sure you do stretches on your breaks or try and grab a 15-minute walk at lunchtime. Short but sweet!
Get up earlier
An early start for exercise is advantageous, particularly if you have a schedule that’s unpredictable. Get up 30 minutes earlier to do a short workout and you can relax knowing that you’ve got the essential exercise behind you already. Anything else you manage will be a bonus.
Pack a Thera-band or exercise video in your suitcase
A brilliant travel companion, a Thera-Band or elastic tubing weighs almost nothing and takes up very little space in your suitcase. They’re super-handy for stretching, particularly after a long flight, and you can use them anywhere for arm and shoulder exercises, abdominals, glute and thigh work. Your favourite exercise video won’t go astray either. Be realistic and make sure it’s relatively short, then grab a towel from the bathroom, throw it on the floor in front of the TV – and away you go.
On the subject of travel, many hotels have great gym facilities available, so check them out. If not, hit the fire exit stairs. After all, if it’s good enough for firefighters…
Create an equipment-free workout
Providing you’ve got an exercise mat and can wave your arms around like a helicopter without knocking over the furniture, even performing a 15 to 20-minute indoor workout will be way better than nothing.
It’s raining, it’s pouring
When it is pounding with rain outside and the thought of venturing out is just too ridiculous, sometimes you just have to abandon your plan. If you can’t replace your run with a trip to the gym, it’s time to improvise. Clean the house! Turn up that funky music with a disco beat and get vacuuming, scrub surfaces, whiz through the bathroom, clean the windows, then gloat in the glory of a great workout, gold stars from your partner/living companion – and a clean house!
When there are no interruptions
Realising that workout interruptions will happen some days should give you the resolve to make the most of what you’ve got on a good day. If there’s nothing stopping you, get on out there and grab a quick workout. Then, when fitness interruptus does hit, you’ll be so glad you’ve covered at least some of your exercise quota.
Sage Institute of Fitness – it’s more than a job, it’s a rewarding career.
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