Balancing Full Time Work and Staying in Shape

Working a forty- or sixty-hour week can make it very difficult to find time to stay in shape. If you’re having this problem, you are definitely not alone. Many others have found it hard to fit workouts into their workdays. This article points out some ways that you can work out — and still be a success at work.

You schedule the other important parts of your day — your meetings, your dates with significant other, your kids’ soccer practice. If you want working out to be a priority, you have to schedule your workouts as well. A lot of the time, these are easiest to work in at the beginning of the day — but you’ll have to discipline yourself to go to bed a little sooner so that you’ll be getting up in time. This might mean turning Letterman off a little sooner as well. You’ll like the results, though.

Skipping breakfast might seem like an easy way to ditch some calories, but what you’re really doing is slowing down your metabolism. Your body will miss the caloric intake and will slow down its activity. Over time, you will actually gain weight by skipping breakfast, because your body will still be working more slowly when you binge on that big lunch you’re having because you’re so hungry. Instead, have a healthy breakfast that incorporates carbs and protein.

Fast food restaurants are very convenient — you can head out from work, go through the drive-thru, and be done eating by the time you get back to your desk. However, while most fast food places have healthy options, they’re not usually what you are craving — instead, you are more likely to go for the burger and fries. Alternatively, take 10 minutes in the morning to make yourself a healthy lunch and take it with you. Eat it at your desk or in the break room and then use the time you would have spent in your car doing your body a favor by talking a walk.

Every 30 or 45 minutes, get up from your desk and move around. Walk around your office, walk around the block, and do some stretches when possible. This will increase your circulation, boost your metabolism, and keep your muscles and connective tissue strong and flexible.

Take your workout clothes with you and hit the gym on your lunch hour. If your workplace has a shower facility, then you can take a run while you’re on your lunch break, and then eat that healthy lunch when you get back inside. You’ll feel better than if you’d sat down for another hour, eating. You’ll also avoid those afternoon blahs when you hit that sugar crash.

If you don’t work out at lunchtime, then take your bag to the gym on your way home. If you get home, you won’t go back out to the gym — so make sure you do it on the way home. This can be the hardest time to make yourself work out, as your metabolism is at a lull at that point in the day, but you will enjoy the rewards.

Working out doesn’t have to mean sacrificing work. Use these tips to stay fit and successful.