Fitting In Fitness
Three tips to keep exercise part of your busy schedule
Let’s face it: in the grand scheme of our hectic everyday lives, work and family can often take precedence over exercise. For many busy Americans, even if exercise is a planned part of the day, it can be the first thing to get bumped in a crisis or forgotten in favor of collapsing exhausted on the couch after getting home each night. But your best fitness intentions are wasted if you don’t act on them, and keeping up with exercise is just as crucial to weight maintenance as eating right.
Make exercise a priority.
If you’ve undergone a surgical weight loss procedure like gastric bypass or Lap Band, physical activity is not an option—it’s a weight management necessity. The typical American worker doesn’t fit a whole lot of exercise into those 8 hours in front of a desk each day, and other responsibilities often pile up in the evenings. With so much going on, exercise can get pushed off the bottom of the to-do list pretty quickly, but getting fit means committing as wholeheartedly to working out as you do to everything else that’s important to you.
To help keep you on track with your fitness goals, try some of these strategies to ensure that physical activity consistently stays a part of your day-to-day life:
Schedule each workout. Maybe you have a planner or calendar that you use to write down important business meetings, appointments, outings with friends, etc. Be sure to make scheduled exercise as much of a priority as all of these other concerns. Vague intentions to work out when you have the time will frequently result in blowing off exercise. Instead, try to sit down once a week and determine which days will be best for a workout session, or if you have a fairly fixed schedule, pick at least three days each week that will serve as regular workout days. If you don’t have a way to write out a weekly schedule, now is the time to find one that works for you.
Don’t fly solo. If you set up a workout date with a buddy, you’re less likely to blow it off. Having someone else around will motivate you to do your best and keep you entertained, making each workout feel less like a chore and more like a social activity. Joining a gym is a great way to get the same effect, and you may even make a few new friends in the process. Try picking a gym close to your job to maximize workout convenience –that way, you can head straight to the gym before or after work or even squeeze some exercise in on your lunch break.
Maximize weekends. If you’re forced to miss a weekday workout or can’t find time during the workdays for exercise, make your weekend workouts count. Avoid the temptation to relax the weekend away and get your blood pumping. This doesn’t mean your weekends have to be boring—on the contrary, you can pick from any number of entertaining weekend workouts that provide just as much fun as they do fitness. For some outdoor fun, try hiking, biking, kayaking or swimming, and if you’d rather stay inside, take a dance or yoga class.
Exercise is absolutely essential for weight loss after bariatric surgery, so ditch the excuses and start utilizing these tips for a more foolproof fitness schedule.