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6 steps to maintain fitness during the work week

Let’s face it – everybody could use more time in the day.

Although ‘Fitstagram’ pages on social media may make maintaining a consistent fitness routine on top of a full work schedule and social obligations look easy, finding ways to do everything in 24 hours is no simple feat.

It can feel overwhelming and difficult to try and find time to hit the gym, the running foot pod or the yoga mat. Not to mention  how downright unmotivated you can feel if work or home is feeling especially stressful.

Our team at Network Health regularly confronts the question of how to make time for fitness. It’s not an easy question, but based on the success of others, we’ve found some solid strategies that should prove successful.

Here are six steps to staying on track for your fitness goals during the work week

  1. Schedule your workout
    You schedule appointments, meetings and family events with your preferred calendar so why not schedule workout time? Having this exercise reminder on your calendar will decrease the likelihood that you will skip the commitment you made. After only a few weeks, it will feel like an unshakable part of your daily routine.
  2. Mind a consistent sleep schedule
    If your fitness routine and goals are the towers you’re building, sleep is the deep foundation on which it sits. The difference between a good night of sleep and a bad night of sleep can impact your performance over the next few days. You read that right – the next few days. Creating consistent sleep habits is beneficial and provides the energy and motivation you’ll need to meet and exceed your most ambitious fitness goals. Although many view sleep as a last resort, experts recommend scheduling it the same way you do everything else throughout the week – just like your workouts.
  3. Get creative about opportunities for exercise
    Even with a great night of sleep and scheduled workouts on the calendar, life happens. During these unusually busy days or weeks, separating exercise time from work or home life may not be easy or even seem possible. Find ways to squeeze in activity time by flexing your creativity muscles. For instance, at work you may find yourself having walking meetings, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or using a standing desk .At home, you can find ways to get more activity by taking short walks around the block or going up and down the stairs more frequently. Investing in high-quality women’s workout clothes will make your workout as comfortable as possible. Simply adopting a mindset where you ask yourself if there is a more fitness-friendly way to do anything is a great way to find those little opportunities to get steps and activity throughout your – otherwise – crowded days.
  4. Level up your fitness by relying on those around you
    Support, accountability and enjoyment are huge factors in the statistical likelihood of you sticking to your fitness routine and achieving your goals.
    Making fitness a part of your work time is a great way to ensure it’s never falling to the wayside. Beyond the simple steps we just went over, your coworkers and team members can provide a network of support and encouragement.
    An example may be starting a weight-loss challenge or a step competition at work to encourage and motivate one another.
  5. Remember to focus on exercise quality over quantity
    A busy lifestyle leaves less time for exercise which is why it is important to focus on exercise quality instead of quantity and on intensity over duration.Rather than time spent, your heart rate is the primary factor in how many calories a workout burns. This means a shorter, moreintense workout can have a bigger impact than a longer one which doesn’t raise your heart rate as much.Choose circuit training intervals and other high-intensity methods to optimize your workout and reduce the amount of time needed for your exercise routine. As always, consult your personal doctor before beginning any workout routine to make sure the intensity level is a good fit for your level of health.
  6. Have an alternate workout plan
    Those who find success sticking with a fitness routine are often those who are best prepared for the unknowns. Having a backup plan for each part of your fitness routine is a great way to ensure an unexpected event or scheduling error doesn’t throw off your fitness journey.Fitness is about commitment, which can be easily derailed when plans change. Don’t let the unexpected get in the way of your progress.

Visit Network Health’s blog Grow in the Know for more tips on health and wellness.

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Morgan Radlinger is the Wellness Programs Coordinator at Network Health. Morgan received her bachelor’s degree in Health Promotion and Wellness from University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Morgan also is a Certified Wellness Practitioner through the National Wellness Institute.

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