Don't have time for the gym?
One of the biggest challenges as a trainer and coach is helping people find their motivation. Everyone who comes in wants to spend the time making themselves fitter, or stronger, or a bit more toned, or a bit firmer, or just generally in better shape. But as we all know, it’s not that simple.
Things happen. Life gets in the way. The best intentions and most carefully laid plans can go out the window without warning, and when they do, it can be really easy to lose motivation. “I’ll go later” becomes “I’ll go tomorrow” which turns into “I’ll try to make it sometime this week” in an instant. Ask most people who are struggling to be motivated to exercise and a lot of them will tell you the same thing – they just don’t have an hour to put aside to do it. That’s not just an excuse either – it’s usually true. We have commitments to work, to study, to our kids and their sports and dance and music and other extracurricular activities. We need to find time to do laundry, mow the lawns, walk the dog and call mum. All these things are relevant to modern daily life, and all of them can take time and motivation away from the best of intentions.
So here’s a quick tip for finding or keeping motivation when it seems unlikely you’ll make it to the gym: Stop trying to do it all at once. A standard workout session at our Crossfit gym last an hour. It’s usually got a warmup, strength component, conditioning component, and cooldown. Add in time to drive to an from the gym and it can easily look like an hour and a half of time some people just don’t have and aren’t willing to make work.
There’s no rule that says if you’re going to exercise and get fit that it all needs to happen at once. It’s great if it can happen like that, but it’s also not necessary. So, if you can’t spare an hour in a day, but you can find two or three windows of about 10 minutes, you’ve got all the time you need to help make your health and wellbeing a priority.
The best part? You don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive gear for a quick home workout. Just a clock (or a mobile phone) and a little bit of space, whether that’s on your back lawn or in your living room with the couch pushed back a little. Here's an easy way to put together a home workout that works for you.
Some people may be familiar with tabata workouts, but for those who aren’t, here’s the simplified version. It’s eight rounds, each consisting of 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.
Four minutes may not seem like much, but when you’re working flat out for 20 seconds at a time it adds up pretty quickly. So, if you’ve literally only got five minutes to spare, you’ve got time to do a workout. If you’ve got 10 minutes, you can fit in two with a short break in between.
As for the exercises, pick any of these bodyweight movements:
• Mountain climbers
• Plank holds
• Hollow holds
• Squat holds
• Skipping (if you have a rope)
• Dips (off the edge of a bed frame, coffee table or couch)
Mix up the exercises you choose, and be realistic in your goals – don’t tell yourself you’re going to do it four to six times a day to begin with. Start off aiming for one a day, and if you finish it and feel like doing another one, then do it.
If you’re short on motivation and short on time, start off with the small and simple fitness goals. When you achieve them, be proud of yourself for getting it done, then set a slightly bigger goal and go after it.
I’ll end this article with my favourite quote:
“You won’t always be motivated. On those days, be disciplined.”