Luckily, my work day is only about six hours, but it is physically demanding work. Working out in the morning is a challenge for me and I like to use that time for writing. Afternoon workouts help me unwind from the day and release the stresses and challenges I’ve dealt with since morning. An afternoon workout brings relaxation, relief, and rejuvenation.
Working out late in the day helps me to navigate through healthy meal preparation for dinner time, as I want to be mindful of the benefits of my workout and follow through with a meal that will help my body get the most out of it.
Many people prefer to work out in the morning hours and head out the door after a healthy breakfast full of protein for maximum advantage or a protein shake before heading off to work.
Try these methods to make fitness a part of your life:
1. Replace Unhealthy Activities With Healthy Activities
Does it feel good to plop down on the couch at the end of the day and watch your favorite shows? Are you staring at your iPad or your laptop while you’re “watching”? How about tonight, you replace one half-hour of TV with a stress-reducing workout that will help you shed the frustrations of the day and sleep well? Try this workout with a warm up and cool down included at 23 minutes! With 7 minutes to put on your workout clothes and grab a bottle of water, you can be done in a half-hour and feel great about fitting it in.
If you are a beginner, try this workout to get into the swing of things. FitnessBlender has many great workout videos for free on their site. This one is a low impact beginner’s cardio workout. Check it out!
After you bust through the excuses and master that workout, try switching your evening dessert to a cup of Vanilla Greek Yogurt topped with berries of your choice to get a protein boost, so your body can use that workout to its best advantage, as protein helps to rebuild muscle and boost your metabolism. Or maybe a protein shake is more your style.
In the morning, after you get a terrific night’s sleep, replace your normal sweetened coffee, packed with calories, with green tea for a metabolic boost and a low 2 calories per mug! You can do this…
2. Create A Support Network
Tell your friends and family what your goals are. Ask them to help you be accountable to yourself. Find co-workers and friends who are interested in similar goals and walk together during your free-time. Climb the stairs in your building or at an outdoor park on your lunch break.
Create a challenge with your friends. Encourage one another to fit your workout times in at home. Experiment and swap great recipes for healthy treats and delicious meals.
Relieve yourself of all the opportunities to make excuses that you can.
Plan your healthy meals ahead of time. Make your healthy food easy to prepare and fun to eat. Purchase washed and cut salad mixes and cut and prep other fruits and vegetables to put on salads so they are ready for your week.
Celery, bags of purple cabbage, shredded carrot, snap peas, mushrooms, avacados or Slimcados (avacados with 1/3 the calories, half the fat, and more flavor!), feta, skim mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, bell peppers, cucumbers, and boiled eggs are all easy to prepare and have on hand to quickly make individual salads. For a sweet tangy surprise in your salad, add red or green seedless grapes. For an extra protein boost, throw in some almond slices.
Or put it all together in a large storage container in the refrigerator to pull from during the week. A rotisserie chicken or boneless, skinless chicken breasts compliment this meal well. To switch things up, instead of meat, heat up some black beans and scallions with cumin or curry powder and a bit of salt and pepper. Or, add a half cup of hummus to your plate and scoop it up with your cucumbers or some pita.
These foods are easy to prepare and deliciously good for you. And these suggestions are just for lunch and dinner! Experiment with foods you like that can be prepared ahead of time so putting them together is easier and more enjoyable than making a frozen dinner full of sodium or picking up pizza or burgers on the way home.
In the evening, put our your workout clothes for the next day. Place your water bottle right by them and put them on when you get home. Even if you’re not ready to work out yet, and you still have some tasks to do before making it happen, put on your workout clothes. It will make it easier to step into your workout mode. No excuses!
4. Steal Time
Reclaim your hours from those time stealers in your life and give it back to yourself for your well-being.
Television, cleaning the house, tending to family tasks, can all drain you and take away from your available time. We often cling to these tasks because we need to control them. Encourage your family to take on some of these tasks on their own.
Be clear about your expectations, and be reasonable in them as well. Don’t expect things to be done as well or as quickly as you can do them. Lower your level of need to see things done perfectly, and except good effort on the part of others in your home so you can have some time to concentrate on your own health and fitness.
You are no good to anyone if you can’t be good to yourself.
5. Go All-Out
Are you ready to take a stand in your life and make time for your own health and happiness? Then go all-out. Demand of yourself, and those around you, the time to be fit each day. Carve out that space for making delicious meals that scream “I’m good for you!” just by looking at them.
Enlist your family in healthy activities and exercise and make it your new normal.
Buy yourself some awesome workout clothes (Target and Old Navy have a GREAT, inexpensive selection if you’re worried about cost). Get yourself a quality pair of sneakers (do they still call them that?) so you can be sure to treat your body right. Download Spotify on your smart phone, iPhone, Kindle, or laptop and play the free playlists like Digster’s Workout Dance Edition (click on the playlist in the sidebar!) and get busy with a workout that will make you breathe hard and sweat!
You can do this. I know you can. Make this moment, and every moment after it, the best it can be for your life, health, and happiness.
What will you do this week to fit in fitness? Do you have tips to share? Please share them with us so we can enjoy lots of ways to meet our challenges. Your contribution is appreciated and important!
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