I get it. You’re too busy. We all are. Work hours are long; the commute may take even longer. Kids need to go to activities and all you want to do is rest. Maybe you even started jogging a few mornings per week and doing yoga before bed, but then fell out of pattern or feel like it’s just not making a big enough impact.
What to do when we can’t make the hours in the day any longer?
It may seem counterintuitive, but the first step is sleep! Every person’s sleep needs vary, but it is important for your energy and hormone balance to get adequate rest. The National Council for Certified Personal Trainers highlights the important connection between sleep, fat loss and health in their blog Is your Pillow the Secret to Fat Loss?: “Most people tend to overlook the rest component of energy balance. There is a newly discovered link between sleep deprivation and serious illness such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and cancer.” Lack of sleep will likely leave us with hunger cravings and low motivation to engage in effective exercise. So, make sure to take time to control what you can. Get some zzz’s!
If you can’t possibly see how to fit more sleep into your day, it’s time to make a schedule. It’s also helpful to consider making a priority list while you are at it. Some of the things that distract us during the day, like constantly checking our phone for new emails and messages, can actually wait until later or be reduced/eliminated.
Use your Workout Time Wisely!
Time can be also maximized with efficient workouts. Talk with a Certified Personal Trainer, attend fitness classes, ask for advice. While you are engaged in exercise of any form, make sure to make the most of it. You can do this by staying mentally present and engaged from warm-up, through your routines and into your cool down. Not only will this help you to use a larger range muscles and build body awareness, it will maximize caloric burn, strength enhancement and give your mind rest by taking you away from other stressors during your workout.
The NCCPT Blog has some tips for your warm-up below.
This blog reminds us that “a good warm-up should:
- Raise heart rate
- Raise core temperature
- Heighten the nervous system
- Increase balance
- Increase coordination
- Increase viseoelasticity of tissues
- Prepare the body for sport or activity”
Also remember to include some rest in your cool down. This is where incorporating yoga into a fitness routine can really pay off! Regardless of the types of activities you choose for your cool down, at the end, plan for 10-15 minutes of Savasana. The posture called Savasana is also known as corpse pose. During Savasana, you can guide each muscle group to release and allow for full body relaxation, while coming back to a steady breath and calm mind. It is the state between active mental activity and sleep, allowing a sensation of fully refreshing the mind and body. This will prepare you for either an energetic day ahead or transition into a good night’s sleep.
Still need a Push to keep good Habits?
Schedule sessions with an NCCPT certified personal trainer or yoga instructor. You can find more information about how to contact qualified fitness professionals here, along with more information to get you excited about fitness and feeling great. Once you get into a new routine, it will become much easier to stay with it as you start to feel healthier and more energetic!