How to Make Time for Exercise
In my pre-baby years, making time for exercise wasn’t the uphill battle that it is now. As a fitness junkie, I loved trying new and challenging exercise routines, such as high-intensity Bollywood dance workouts, military-style bootcamps, running, and yoga (regular and aerial). Fast forward 3 years later… Saying that making time for exercise is a challenge is putting it mildly. In between handling a job which sometimes requires travel, raising an active toddler who needs constant attention, running a household, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, making time for exercise fell off the priority list. Gradually, I noticed my level of energy dropping. Besides the weight creeping back up, I was taking the lazy way out with eating what was convenient and not necessarily what was healthy and right for me.
It was time to take control of the situation. So recently, I have taken measures that were effective for me towards a healthier, fitter lifestyle. Each person may have their own way, but I’d like to share what worked for me. They’re simple tips which can be incorporated into your busy life to make sure you take care of yourself for the long run. Think of it as a change in lifestyle rather than a crash diet.
The “fit lifestyle” tip I’d like to share today: Find the type of exercise you enjoy..and then go do it!
Why do we find excuses to avoid going to the gym to run on the treadmill? Probably because we hate doing it! But perhaps if we picked a workout we actually enjoy, we would feel more motivated and more inclined to stick with it. Case in point: My husband hates the gym and will avoid entering it at all costs. But ask him to play tennis any day of the week, and he’ll jump at the idea.
I implemented this idea in my own life by getting back to what I love, running. Besides finding the workout I enjoy doing, I took some key steps to ensure I stick to it:
1. Make time for exercise, even if it’s 20 to 30 minutes: I started waking up just 30 minutes earlier in the morning so that I could go running. I’m sure we can manage to squeeze in that amount of time at least a couple times a week. It’s so doable and it’s a start!
2. Find someone to work out with: I knew that I would stick to my running goals much more once I had a running partner. A workout partner keeps you motivated and accountable. Personally, I hate being the one to bail on others so once running plans are set, I make sure I adhere to them
3. Find ways to keep your workout interesting: In my case, my husband and I signed up for races in different countries and in unique settings to keep us constantly challenged and excited. So far, we have done a run through the Singapore Zoo, a green heritage trail in Singapore, and the Angkor Wat run in Cambodia. Currently we are training for a 10K in Vietnam in the mountainous Sapa Valley!
4. Adjust your fitness routine to your current lifestyle: In the past, I could have managed more time and more days a week for my exercise. But now with a busy mommy-and-work life, I’ve decided not to set unrealistic standards and timelines on my fitness goals. If I can manage three workouts in a week along with healthy-to-decent eating habits, I consider myself very successful. There will be weeks when I’m really good and weeks when I’m not. I don’t stress about it because I’m in this for the long run.
So explore different workouts and find the one you love. Is it yoga, a dance workout, table tennis, or
brisk walks? Whatever it is, find a way to incorporate some of it into your life.