With the New Year already here, you might be thinking about your resolutions. You’ve made the commitment to your medical weight loss program, but perhaps you’re ready to think about adding an exercise regimen. Of course, the typical reaction to that thought is “How am I ever going to find time?! You’re not alone in these thoughts. Juggling work, family, home, and a social life makes exercising consistently a challenge. It can be done, though, and—more importantly—it should be done. To help you, we’ve gathered some advice from busy working parents who achieved their weight loss goals by fitting fitness in using some creative time management techniques.
Tip #1: Take advantage of your ‘dead time’
“My office just relocated 20 miles outside the city—over an hour commute during rush hour. So I joined a gym right near my office and head there right after work. Since I leave the gym after rush hour is over, my commute is cut down to 30 minutes. I get home at almost the same time and my workout is done!”—Amie Perl, Washington, DC
There are so many examples of dead time during your day, but your daily commute is probably the biggest of them. Take advantage of it: Either avoid the morning commute by getting in for an early workout at or near your office, or head there straight after work. Not only will you save time, but you’ll be much less stressed by not sitting in rush hour traffic! If you take the city bus to work or to the subway or metro stop, know this: it’s been noted that city buses actually don’t go much faster than the average brisk walker (all those traffic lights and stops make progress slow-going). So consider walking instead, and you may find it doesn’t take much (or any) longer.
Tip #2: Reduce prep time (and opportunities for excuses)
“I started doing a 6am boot camp to get in shape. I sleep in my workout clothes and have everything ready so I just roll out of bed, brush my teeth, and head out the door. If I go to bed ready, I have already committed to going and I get a few extra minutes of sleep, too!”
—Shonna Owen, Los Angeles, CA
The early morning workout is the ultimate contradiction: You feel like a rock start all day after you do it, but actually getting out of bed can be your biggest hurdle. Since we all know the litany of excuses that hit whenever we try to exercise regularly, think about how you can save time andmake sure you show up. If you’re exercising during your lunch hour, another tip is to pack your lunch to save time and then eat it right after you work out. It’s better to work out on an empty stomach, if possible, so that the extra blood goes to your muscles instead of digesting your food; this can help stimulate muscle growth and increase your metabolism.
Tip #3: Stick to the home-front
“As a Pilates instructor, I know how important fitness is but after I had my baby, it was impossible to find the time. So I created a 10-minute fitness series I did in my bathroom every night—things I could do while brushing my teeth, or moisturizing. It was so effective, I soon had all my friends doing it, and I decided to turn it into a product—the Fitness Flower—to help others get in shape with it!”
—Estelle Shaw, Hermosa Beach, CA
Home-based exercise can be ideal for the stay-at-home mom trying to lose the baby weight or the telecommuter fending off work-from-home weight gain. The great advantage of home-based exercise is that you can fit it in during short-term increments during your day—while your baby is sleeping, or on your ‘lunch break.’ On Demand Exercise TV (available in many households) features 20-minute workouts you can do in your playroom with the kids around. Doing 10 minutes of squats or lunges while you do your personal grooming morning and night adds another 20 minutes. Just remember, it’s not all or nothing—every little bit counts as you work toward your medical weight loss goals.
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