How to Stay Fit with a 9 to 5 Job
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Finding the best time to exercise i.e. It's hard to maintain a regular routine of lifting weights or getting your heart rate high while still working your 9-5 job. It gets easier as long as you gain momentum.
If you want your habit to stick, make sure that it has these qualities:
- It is compatible with your natural behavior (e.g. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
- It fits well in your current environment. Do you have to attend a meeting at 9am every morning, or is your job more flexible?
It doesn't matter what time you choose to work out, there are pros and cons to a 9-5 schedule.
You can maintain your commitment by creating a schedule that is in line with your lifestyle and what others expect of you (e.g. Going to the gym three times a week, on T/Th/Sat will give you the most overall value as well as the lowest daily resistance.
How can you fit a daily workout into your schedule?
The biggest excuses are "There isn't enough time" or "I am too tired". It can also lead to poor eating habits such as putting a microwave-ready meal into the oven because you don't have time to prepare it.
Planning ahead and using your creativity to manage your time are the keys to success. We've outlined some ideas below to help you get started. We'll help you find time to lose weight, or build muscle.
Do Not Be Afraid of Morning Exercise
Flexible exercise plans are best. Morning workouts are not as bad as they seem, provided you do them properly. You won't need to find excuses later in the day to explain why you didn't get to exercise. This also helps to increase your heart rate, which is great for preparing you for a stressful day.
After a good workout, the feeling you get after showering is one of the most rewarding. It's a good way to begin the day. You can have breakfast up to an hour prior to working out if you are an early bird. Otherwise, it's fine to work out with an empty stomach.
Pack a shake with a banana, or a smoothie that contains protein powder, fruit, and other ingredients to help you replenish your body, increase your energy, and repair damaged muscle tissue.
Use Your Lunch Break
It's possible that you have a limited amount of time, but if it is feasible to exercise at lunchtime, this will be an added bonus. Any exercise, from a simple walk to a brisk run will reduce stress.
Lunchtime is an excellent time to squeeze in a quick but intense workout. Also, short workouts are good. HIIT (High Intensity interval training) is an excellent way to get a good workout in a small amount of time.
Use Your Commute If You Can
How you can use your commute to work as an exercise depends on your level of fitness and how near your office is. You can use your commute time to run or cycle to and from work. I used to cycle approximately 18 miles daily for my commute. It was far nicer (even in bad weather) to cucle alongside a canal into the city centre.
A second idea would be to cycle from your home to the office, and then run back. The next day you could cycle into work and return to your home. You can always arrange for a transport service to bring you closer if you are living a long distance away. You can use your commute as an opportunity to get in some exercise before you start your workday.
You Should Check the Proximity of Gyms to Your Workplace
It is time-consuming to go to the fitness center. However, if you do it on your way to or from work, and even at lunch, your time will be better managed. This is an excellent way to get in some intense workouts throughout the day.
The time you choose to exercise will be determined by your schedule and how you like to workout. Others prefer to work out early in the morning, while others use their workouts to de-stress at night.
Exercise At Your Desk
Exercise regularly to keep the momentum moving. Try switching to a standing workstation if your job requires you to sit.
It is becoming more popular to use standing desks. They are a great way to burn calories while you work. Standing desks are not a form of exercise, but they're a healthier alternative to sitting all day.
Superset workouts are one of the easiest ways to trim down on exercise time when time is short.
A quality superset session can usually be finished within half an hour and still provide great muscle-building benefits; just be wary when pairing exercises that use similar muscles.
Doing a deadlift with standing overhead press would tire out your lower back too quickly and cause overexertion on joints.
Beware Of Hunger!
Diet is an important part of any workout program. You should have protein shakes, fresh fruit and granola bar on hand if you are working out in the morning. This will help you to avoid consuming too many calories. Preparing food in advance will ensure that your food choices when you need to replenish the body are healthy.
Fit means you have to take responsibility for yourself. It means that you should not make excuses for why you do not have time to work out or take care of your nutrition. There are many reasons why you may not want to exercise, but your 9-5 job should never be among them. It is possible to work around your schedule, but managing your time better is key.
Get Plenty of Sleep
It's exhausting to try and fit in an exercise routine while working full-time. It's important to avoid falling asleep in the middle of the day.
You shouldn't neglect your sleep, whether you are a night person or morning person. Check to see if you are getting enough rest.
Add Some Supplements
It's more important to take supplements with a balanced diet if you are short of time. You can achieve your goals faster by taking a good supplement. It will also give you more nutritional support so you won't crave unhealthy food between meals.
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Many times we waste more time traveling to and from the gym than actually exercising, which makes our workouts inefficient.
To maximize efficiency of your exercise sessions, rather than spending precious minutes on treadmills or at front desks jogging on them or conversing with fellow members about them; try taking your workout outside, or better still do calisthenics circuit training at home!
Many people don't realize they can save a considerable amount of time by performing simple exercises at home on their own time.
You don't need a gym membership in order to achieve an effective at-home workout - all you need are some kettlebells, dumbbells or resistance bands to start exercising effectively at home!