Can time constraints be a barrier to improving fitness levels?

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Time restraints can be a barrier to improving fitness, but there are ways of getting fit even with limited free time.

    •    Break up workouts into 10 minute increments. Your body will reap the benefits whether you work out for 10 minutes 3 times a day, or for 30 consecutive minutes.

    •    Pack a lunch the night before to eat at your desk, and then workout during your lunch hour. Don't worry if you don't have time to go to a gym. Make use of the environment around you. Run the stairs, go for a walk, and use benches for step ups and crunches. You'll be more energized when you return to work, and therefore, more productive.

    •    Keep flex bands and free weights at your desk. Take 5 minutes at the top of each hour to stand up and stretch. Do some bicep and tricep curls. Tie the band around your ankles and practice tube walking. Get down on the floor and do some planks. Get your blood flowing!

    •     Go to bed an hour earlier, and get up before everyone else. While you may think you're being productive by staying up late, generally the late night hours are spent procrastinating. By setting a regular bedtime and getting up early, you will also improve your quality of sleep and most likely increase the amount of sleep you get. Starting your day off with exercise means you will be more energized and productive. You will also be more likely to cross it off the list by getting it done early, rather than eliminating it from the list by putting it off.

While we all have a long to do list, remember that making exercise a priority will give you the energy to finish time consuming tasks, will improve your mood and outlook, and will improve your immune system so you're less likely to get sick - Three great reasons to make time to stay fit!

Lori Zrebiec
Fitness

If only there was an extra hour each day…I say this to myself entirely too often!  Time management can certainly hinder or excel your desired fitness level. Personal and professional commitments make it difficult to find time to dedicate to our health and fitness, and often it is our exercise routine that gets cut first from our daily priority list.

It is important to make time to be healthy. Schedule you’re exercising for a time that you know will not get cut short. For example, exercise first thing in the morning. Typically, there are less distractions that can get in the way if that is the first thing you do in the morning. If we plan to exercise in the evening, it is more tempting to talk ourselves out of it. It’s much too easy to say yes to dinner with friends (or sitting on the couch) versus go to the gym!

There will certainly be days we just don’t have an opportunity to spend time at the gym, and that is where we can get creative. We know about taking the stairs and parking further away, which are fantastic tips, but we can also fit in quick bits of exercise throughout the course of the day, as well. For example, stretch your arms while at a traffic light, do lunges down the hallway when brushing your teeth (a personal favorite), do 10 pushups before hopping in the shower or even wall sits while talking on the phone.

These quick bits of exercise are great to keep your momentum going on the super busy days, but to maintain optimal fitness levels it is important to prioritize your schedule and commit time to your health and fitness.

One of the best tools I use with clients to improve their levels of fitness is not a treadmill, not a dumbbell, not even an overpriced pair of new sneakers. The best tool for many of my clients winds up being a daily planner. Time is one of the biggest excuses people use to not exercise. Usually, it is a lack of self-control in their daily routine that prevents them from being more physically fit and finding time to exercise.  I understand we all have families, friends, careers, and a plethora of other things that take our attention away from health and fitness.  However, you must accept that in order to be good for all the other aspects of your life, you need to be good for yourself first.  Find the time to be healthier and more physically fit or you will have to find the time for doctors visits and hospital stays.

Please consider using a daily planner. For about $10 or $15 you can get more control over your daily routine and find the time (30-60 minutes) to invest into yourself for exercise. For one week, write down everything you do, no matter how small or insignificant…and no matter how silly it seems. I assure you, once you try using a daily planner you will have more control over your “time constraints”  and you find time for exercising. Remember time is our most precious commodity, spend it wisely, because once it is gone you cannot get it back. Good Luck!

Absolutely!  Until you actually feel or see the positive changes exercise creates, it can be hard to prioritize your work out.  What I like to do is fill my calendar completely down to a phone call with my best friend.  Initially, it seems silly, but what it does is free up larger chunks of time for that brisk walk around the block.  And remember, the most important appointment you should keep is the one with yourself.   

Time does not have to be a barrier to fitness. If you don't have time to do an hour at the gym it doesn't mean you should forgo doing something positive.

It is beneficial to breakup your training routine into ten to fifteen bouts of several sessions a day. Take ten minutes out to do some body weight squats along with push-ups. Then run a flight of stairs and do this several times a day. Not only will short bouts of five times a day keep you moving, it will be as good as doing one consecutive hour with the added benefit of revving up your metabolism. The more you kick up your engine, the more calories you burn. 

Time is one of the biggest barriers when starting and keeping up with an exercise regimen. Know the great benefits of exercise and prioritize it to your everyday life.Choose a convenient time of the day or night to commit to your exercise program and stick to it. Make sure to add healthy eating habits the rewards will be great.
Time constraints are very common in everybody's life and occupation. If we all can hang out in the gym or fitness club all day, then fitness would be an easy thing to mantain. A time constraint simply means that you must focus your workouts to fit into your schedule.  One way to make your time more efficent at the gym is to plan your workouts ahead of time. A good way to plan workouts is to put them in your calander or palm pilot/organizer. Decide what days youll do your cardio, resistance and classes(if you belong to a gym). Write down exactly what exercises you will do on each of the days you will be working out. You should only need about 45 minutes to complete your workout, so plan well. Do more multple joint exercises over 1 joint exercises to save time and be more effective with your limited time. This is a good way to keep your workouts efficient and effective.
Time is the #1 barrier to exercise. The research suggests that although it's a barrier it's generally a perceived barrier. Perception is reality but with awareness of how people use their time they realize they do have sometimes small chunks of time that they didn't realize they had or people come to realize that it's about priority. 

To become more aware of how you use your time try keeping a time journal for a day or two. This will  help you to see where there might be areas of time for short or long periods of physical activity. It might also help clarify how you are using  your time and help you to decide if what you do during the day are the priorities that are most important. 

If time is a barrier it can also be helpful to incorporate exercise into your day. For example, parking your car further away or finding physical activity that you can do with your family or friends.  

Of course time is valuable resource for everybody and if you only look for “openings” in your schedule to fit exercise in, you probably won't find them.  The key is making the time for fitness by making it a priority in your life. In terms of improving your fitness levels, time can be a barrier if you have a goal that requires much dedication and added time to accomplish, say to be an elite athlete for example. However, most fitness goals within the general public are a lot less complex and realistically would only require 30 – 60 minutes a day, most days of the week to accomplish.  In short, don't let lack of time hold you back from improving your fitness. Exercise more effectively and with greater purpose and you can still improve and make greater progress.

Time constraints can be a barrier to improving fitness levels when fitness is not a priority. Make fitness a priority by changing your mindset. Acknowledge how important it is to improve your fitness levels, and use that as motivation to commit to health and fitness. In addition, there are a few strategies that can help you make time.

  1. Choose activities that you enjoy. If you hate to run, then opt for a brisk walk. You are more likely to schedule time for activities you enjoy.
  2. Keep it simple. You are more likely to go out for a thirty minute walk than workout at home with specialty equipment.
  3. Make a commitment to fit it in. Even on days where you are busy, find ways to get more activity. Get to work a little early and take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park farther away from the office. By making your goals a priority and managing your time wisely, you can be well on your way to improving your fitness levels.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.