Staying Healthy on a Busy Schedule

busy_schedule_mikko-blog.jpg

Sometimes we might get really busy with different commitments in life and training might not be the highest priority on the list at that time. This happens sometimes and it’s pretty common in today’s society. This article shares some tips how to keep up with your fitness when busy and how you can maximize your training sessions.

1. MINDSET
Mindset is a really important thing. Try to adapt a mindset where you tell yourself that training has so many positive things for youth everyday life that you really can not ignore training completely. Falling out of training completely makes it so much harder to come back after the break. Keeping up with fitness also makes us functioning better at other areas so there is no reason to stop training completely.

Make training a habit and remember that little training is better than no training at all. I’ve been many times in a situation where I don’t feel like training at all but after I do a short 10-15 mins workout with a good intensity I feel so much better afterwards. I’m sure lots of people can relate to that similar feeling.

Training has so many positive effects on the rest of your life, you don’t want to avoid it completely.

2. KEEP IT SIMPLE
When training needs to happen but there is only limited amount of time to do it, you need to keep training simple and compact. Don’t plan too many exercises/parts per training session. Planning too much usually stresses us out if we are not able to complete everything we planned beforehand. Focus only couple movements and do them well.

For example do back squats 5 x 8 and then 8-12 mins AMRAP of light front squats and pull ups. This is basic stuff and nothing fancy here but doing this you get it done in 30-40 mins if you want and you still train majority of your muscles. You still get both strength and conditioning stimulus during the session.


SIMPLE WORKOUT COMBINATIONS FOR BUSY SCHEDULES:
Combining strength and conditioning components into a one single workout using barbells or dumbbells is a great way to get a good volume in in short period of time. Movement selection is important when we are short of time. Favor compound multi joint exercises such as deadlifts, squats, presses, lunges, cleans, snatches and use these movements in a workout. These movements have a great carryover to functional fitness and wellbeing in everyday life. If you choose heavier loads you get strength workout at the same.

For example: 8 rounds: 8 power cleans, 8 steps walking lunge, 8 bench press. Whole body workout. One squatting, one pulling and one pushing movement. Loads approximately 50-60 %/1RM. If you want you can bump the weights even higher and do 5 reps each exercise instead of 8. This is even more strength type of a workout. I like going into training session like this knowing that this is the only thing I will do today and my plan is to give my 100 % effort. It helps with focus when there is not too much on to-do list.

The best and probably most time-efficient workout plan is joining group classes. Whether it is at CrossFit Alioth or your local preferred gym (CrossFit affiliate or not), these 60-minute classes are guarenteed to challenge you and are led by an experienced instructor to help you get the most out of your time in the gym. 


3. HOME WORKOUTS ARE ALWAYS AN OPTION
If you can not make it to the gym you can always make a bodyweight workout at home. If you have some equipment at your home, you'll have a few more options. But even if you just have space for bodyweight workouts- it is possible to get a great workout and stay in shape with a busy schedule. 

Kettlebells or dumbbells can be incorporated in a workout to get more variety. Pick movements and don't require too much warm up. 10-20 mins time domain is pretty good. After you finish your workout I guarantee you won’t regret that you did it. Remember small training is better than no training.

Remember small training is better than no training.

If your goal is to maintain good overall fitness without specializing in any area remember to vary your training sessions- even if you train only less than an hour per day. Some days it can be lift+ short conditioning, some days only barbell/ dumbbell workout with heavier loads, some days you can do cardio with machines and some days bodyweight workout at home. On a weekly basis if you lift moderately heavy, do high intensity workouts and take care your mobility you will maintain overall health and fitness even with a busy schedule.

Mikko Aronpää
@mikko_aronpaa