Everyone eventually hits a wall after committing to a more active lifestyle and regular exercise. A time will come when it seems impossible to keep up with your new exercise routine. Perhaps it’s a family vacation, an extra busy time at work, or the holiday season. Whatever it is, don’t let it disrupt your momentum.
Fitness experts say that after a seven-day break from exercise, your next workout will be harder. For example, if you’re working out at a level eight on a ten-point scale, after a seven-day vacation, you may find that you’ve dropped to a level three or four. Losing that hard-earned progress can be incredibly discouraging.
Personal Trainer Ashleigh Sutton has some tips to help you stay on top of your fitness goals during those extra busy times. Ashleigh is the Owner and Master Trainer of Fitness with Ashleigh and the personal trainer for our Real Women participants in Houston, Texas. She has been training for more than three years now and has helped over 40 clients lose weight, look and feel better, and achieve their fitness goals.
According to Ashleigh, “Everyone can find the time to do a little something each day, even if it’s only one set of a few exercises. Some calories burned is better than zero calories burned.” She says it also helps keep you in the habit of making time for yourself and your health each day.
Ashleigh suggests that once you make working out a priority and start looking for those spare moments, you’ll find ways to fit in exercise, even on busy days. You can do calf raises while waiting in line at the store, wall pushups in the shower, and squats while waiting for your toast in the morning. Consider doing something like leg lifts in the breakroom while the coffee is brewing or taking a five-minute afternoon break to walk around the block or run stairs.
You can also do your daily workout in smaller doses throughout the day. Choose five to six exercises that take five minutes and do that in the morning, before lunch, in the afternoon, in the evening, and anytime you have five minutes to spare. Choose things that you can do anywhere and that don’t require equipment. Ashleigh suggests a routine of 20 jumping jacks, 30 squats, 15 lunges, 25 crunches, and a 30-second plank.
Ashleigh says the most important thing is to be kind to yourself and do your best. One day you might have time for a three-mile jog, whereas other days all you can spare is 20 minutes during lunch. If five minutes is all that you have, make the most of those five minutes and do more when you can.