In this post I share with you a few key hacks for those days (weeks? months?) when you feel like you are too busy to even take your socks off before you jump into bed.
Don’t stress about it
First things first, you are not a bad person if you miss a workout. There’s this whole culture online, particularly within the fitness community that if if skip a workout you’re weak or just making excuses. Sometimes life really does get in the way. Sometimes you really do have to skip a workout for circumstances out of your hands, and don’t need the extra guilt for doing so.
Book a date with the gym
Sit down with your diary at the beginning of the week and block out an hour across 3 or 4 days where you can fit in a workout. If you are having a particularly busy week, can you spare 30 minutes before work? In most cases the answer is yes!
Choose Something Over Nothing
You don’t need an hour—or even 30 minutes. You can do a workout in 20, 10 or even 5 minutes. It’s not always ideal but it’s better than nothing and it’s great for maintenance. I try to do 2-3 gym based workouts during the week where I focus on my strength and technique, and fill in the gaps with 1 or 2 home based HIIT workouts from my book The Food Medic.
Working out is the new going out
Drag your friends along to the gym, try out new classes, then catch up over brunch or lunch – perfect!
Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail
Do not aimlessly wander around the gym doing a few reps on every single machine. If you don’t have a programme, get someone to write one for you. Most gyms offer this at induction, and if they don’t ask one of the PT’s on the gym floor to write you one and walk you through the exercises! You may need to pay for this if it is not included in your membership but it will help give you direction and help you to focus on your goals.
Fit Fitness into your day
Get off the tube a stop earlier, take the stairs, go for a walk on your lunch break, or bike to your meeting! It doesn’t matter how you move, once you’re moving!
Embrace the #TUPPLIFE
Choose one of your days off as your meal prep day and batch cook your meals for the week. Keep what you need for the next 3 days in the fridge and put the rest in the freezer, then take out the night before. If you don’t have a lunch prepped for the next day, simply double up your dinner and put half in a tupperware box. Make your breakfasts the night before whether it’s a smoothie, overnight oats, or some eggs! I’ve tons of quick ideas in my book.
Take a shortcut
Bags of carrot batons, cooked chicken, cauli-rice, hummus, almond milk.. all of these things are technically ‘processed’ foods but they are very minimally processed in most cases and totally save on time when you’re busy!
Learn to say no
We are brought up as children to associate “no” with something bad or negative (no sweets before bed comes to mind!). I used to be so uneasy about turning people down or saying no to events, and I ended up burning myself out. I realised that by not saying no, I was lying to myself and lying to the person I was trying to please. Now I try to be as honest as I can, and when I say no, I explain why and they usually always understand. So be brave, and if you really can’t make it or really don’t want to do something – say so!