Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are talking about one exercise topic for two minutes and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now this week, we’re talking to those of you who are on a time budget. Those of you who want to exercise, who need to exercise, but your schedule is super restricted. How can you still fit exercise in with a limited time budget?
1) Make Sure You Are Doing Resistance Training
Tip number one if you are on a time budget – make sure you are doing resistance training. The first thing people like to drop out when they are crunched for time is something that they have to go to the gym for. What ends up happening is people end up doing a bunch of cardio instead. To make your time at the gym more efficient, write down exactly what you are going to do–the times for rest and the times for work–before you go to the gym. That way, when you get to the gym, you get in and you get out.
Action Step: Find two times during the week when you can get 20 minutes of strength training in. It may be more tempting just to go for a 20-minute run because you don’t have to head to the gym, but strength training now will pay tremendous dividends down the road when it comes to keeping your joints mobile and your muscles strong.
2) Look for the “Dead Zones” in Your Day
Tip number two if you are on a time budget – look for the “dead zones” in your day. Look for the times when you can’t do much else, but you have five minutes here or ten minutes there. Use that time to walk around, do some squats at your desk, or crank out some pushups. Be physically active during that time as opposed to using it as a time to check your social media feeds. Look for the dead zones in your day and utilize those to get in a little bit of physical activity if you are on a time budget.
Action Step: “Pay the toll” before you open your social media apps or check your email. Do 20 squats, power walk for three minutes, or hold a 60-second plank. We all enjoy withdrawing into our phone. Just make sure to get in a little bit of physical activity in beforehand, especially if you are on a time budget.
3) Do High(er) Intensity Exercises
Tip number three if you are on a time budget — if you are low on time, do exercises that are effective with very little time. What this means is, if you go to the gym, try lifting heavier weights with control, and do fewer reps. Compare this to the amount of time it would take to do lots and lots of reps with light weights. If you are on a time budget, maximize your time in the gym by going hard while you are there.
Action Step: Pick 5 exercises to do at the gym and do one set of each until you cannot do another rep. Use a weight that will get you to momentary muscle failure within 120 seconds. Rest 1-2 minutes between each exercise, and you will be done within 20 minutes.
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