Many of us want to lose weight or get in better shape, but with our busy lives, it’s easy to come up with numerous excuses. I’m getting back into a good fitness routine and feeling pretty strong, but I’ve noticed that I still struggle on certain days of the week. The first step to overcoming your obstacles is to identify them!
For me, the days where I struggle to exercise is when I work. I’m a nurse and work 12.5 hour shifts, so my typical work week schedule is from Sunday night to Tuesday night, then off for the rest of the week. It’s that Sunday to Tuesday stretch, where I only have a very short amount of time to go home and sleep between shifts, where I have difficulty working out. If I go straight home to bed and try to get 8 hours of sleep, I only have about 45 minutes before I need to start getting ready to go back to work.
With this in mind, I try to plan my alternating running schedule so that I only have to run on one work day, and now on my running work day, I just wake up and head straight to the treadmill instead of trying to run outdoors.
I also tend to ‘hit the wall’ around 2 or 3 AM during my shift at work, which is when many of us turn to caffeine to help us get through the last 4 or 5 hours. Since I’m trying to avoid caffeine, I’ve resolved to kill 2 birds with one stone. If I’m not having a busy night, I can usually recruit another nurse to go walk the stairs with me – up and down 12 flights of stairs is a mini cardio workout and helps wake me up.
Maybe you can take a walk or go up and down the stairs on your lunch break at work too. For stay at home moms, it’s difficult to carve out alone time to exercise, so why not incorporate the kids? I’ve seen gently used jogging strollers at consignment stores and Play It Again Sports.
One of the biggest excuses I know I personally use is ‘simply not enough time in the day’. I have a few fitness DVDs in my arsenal which put that excuse to rest. Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred provides a great cardio and strength workout in only 20 minutes, and I have a number of Pilates and Abs DVD that are broken up into 10 minute segments. When I think about only having to spare 10 minutes, it seems much more doable.
What are your obstacles to fitting in your workouts? Can you identify any solutions?