By Leigh Crews
World renowned composer and director Leonard Bernstein said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” How true! Fitness is no exception — without a plan, it is all too easy to let your exercise program slip right through the cracks. But if you can squeeze just 30 minutes out of your day, you can fit in a great workout. Here are some tips to turn your plan into a “great thing” for your body:
- Schedule it. Don’t wait for extra time to show up in your day—because it won’t. Mark off 30 minutes for exercise, just as you would schedule a doctor’s appointment, and then make it a priority.
- Don’t worry about the “right time” to exercise. It matters little if it’s morning, noon or night. Choosing a time that works within your schedule will help you establish a permanent routine and keep other obligations from undermining your plan.
- Recruit a workout buddy. For many people, an exercise partner is the glue that helps you stick to your commitment. Choose someone with compatible fitness level and goals so that you can each progress comfortably together and feel successful.
- Start slowly. If you are not accustomed to exercise, don’t try to do too much, too soon. Walking is a great way to begin an exercise program. It’s simple—you already know how to do it! It requires no special equipment other than a good pair of walking shoes, and best of all, you can do it anywhere.
- Make working out fun. Consistency is a key ingredient for any successful fitness regime, so seek out activities that you like doing. It doesn’t matter what the latest craze is that’s “guaranteed” to burn thousands of calories per workout. If you don’t enjoy doing it, you will never keep it up. Choose activities that add joy, not dread, to your day.
- Mix it up. You need cardio, strength training and flexibility-based activities for a well-rounded exercise program. Rather than walking the same route every day, mix things up by doing some strength training a couple of days per week. Try this awesome 30 minute strength training program that requires no equipment.
- Break it up when you must. On some busy days, 30 minutes straight is just not happening. On those days, three sessions of 10 minutes of exercise is better than writing it off completely. Do some body squats at your desk, take 10 to run the stairs, or find a quiet place to stretch. You will feel better and be more productive when you get back to your daily tasks.
- When (not if) you have to miss a day, you are not a failure. You cannot fail unless you quit. Redouble your efforts for the next day, and keep your good habit going. Don’t let a missed day turn into a missed week and a missed opportunity for success.