Sometimes, the hardest thing about exercising isn’t the act itself. Sometimes it’s the space it takes up in your schedule, and the space it takes up in your brain. The things that must be considered before you make it to the gym: do I need to pack my kit? Should I train in the mornings or evenings this week? How will I manage three sessions a week when I have work meetings and plans in the evenings?
If giving up feels like the only option, you’re not alone. But there are ways to balance your career, personal life and training schedule. Leading female personal trainer at Ultimate Performance, Aroosha Nekonam, shared her tips with Cosmopolitan UK:
1. Treat exercise like an appointment
Whether that’s with yourself or a personal trainer, Aroosha says you should “schedule it into your week as you would an appointment with the doctor or dentist, or an important meeting at work.”
“The majority of our clients have very busy schedules, but it helps that they have firm ‘appointments’ pre-scheduled with their personal trainer that they can stick to, so they know they will be able to train three times a week,” she explains. “This keeps them accountable and organised.”
2. Use your commute wisely
Aroosha suggests using your commute to work “as an opportunity to get in some extra exercise and boost your daily activity levels.
“Walk, run or even cycle to work a few times a week and keep a fresh pair of clothes at work so you can quickly change ready for the day,” she says.
3. Find something time efficient that works with your daily schedule
Only have a small amount of time to spare? You and me both – so you could trying sucking it up and opting for a high-intensity class.
“You don’t have to spend hours in the gym,” Aroosha says. “Find 45-60 minutes at the beginning, middle or end of your day to do a challenging workout that pushes you outside of your comfort zone.
“Doing classes or having a trainer takes away any thinking or planning on your part, which is great if you’re busy. You just have to show up.”
4. Commit to small amounts of time
“You shouldn’t feel you have to train seven days a week,” Aroosha explains. “Just work regular workouts into your schedule every week and you will see progress.”
5. Always do something, rather than nothing
Moving tiny amounts is far better than sitting at a desk all day. “Even if it’s just a 20-minute power walk to the grocery store at lunch time or taking those 10 flights of stairs rather than charging to the lift,” Aroosha says. “As long as you get the heart rate up, it’s better than doing nothing at all.”
Mostly importantly – remember not to beat yourself up. We all skip the gym for a night on the sofa sometimes, but consciously trying to make an effort is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle.