'I just don't have enough time to run!'
Sound familiar? If it does, you're not alone. Not having enough time to run is the reason women most often cite for not sticking to a regular exercise programme.
However, considering the fact that in the average home the television is on for nearly six hours a day, it's difficult to believe we don't have enough time to workout.
And when you consider that you can maintain a good level of fitness by running only 30 minutes four times a week, not having enough time becomes a less acceptable reason.
With that said, it is true that we are all under increasing time constraints. Despite the convenience of the information age, we all seem to be getting busier and busier – especially women.
While both spouses are working longer hours, women are still responsible for the vast majority of household and parental responsibilities. So, here are a few tips to help you find time to squeeze workouts into your hectic schedule.
1. Become a morning person
Studies show that people who exercise regularly in the morning are more likely to stick to their exercise regimes. It's a wonderful way to energise yourself for the day, and you're much less likely to have things come up: a late meeting, your child's after-school activities, etc. at 6am than at 6pm.
2. Change your lunch hour into your 'running hour'
Rather than go for lunch with your co-workers, go outside for a run during your lunch hour. If you don't have facilities in order to shower and change, consider taking a brisk walk instead. Over the same distance, you'll burn an equal number of calories whether you're walking or running.
3. Schedule a run into your appointment book
For many people, finding time in their hectic schedules to workout can be difficult. If that's the case, make sure to schedule a run in your appointment book or calendar to ensure you set aside an adequate amount of time.
4. Increase intensity while decreasing duration
If you only have 20 minutes to workout and therefore can't run your usual 40-minute route, don't despair. Just increase the intensity of your usual pace and run for a shorter amount of time. The workout will actually increase your endurance and muscle strength while saving time.
5. Workout a few times a day for short periods of time
Sometimes it's much easier to find two or three 15 minute periods of free time throughout the day rather than one 30-45 minute period. Studies have proven that people who run three times a day for 15-minute durations reap practically the same physical benefits as those who run for once for 45 minutes.
6. Buy equipment for your home
Nothing beats the convenience of a home gym. Once the kids go to bed you have workout equipment at your disposal, but you're still at home in case your children need you. You don't have to necessarily spend an arm and a leg either. Purchase a workout tape, a jump rope or a miniature trampoline to help get your heart pumping. The cross-training may even improve your running by strengthening complimentary muscle groups.
With every week consisting of 168 hours, it's difficult to believe we can't spare two of those hours to ensure our physical as well as mental health.
By setting aside time to run, you'll feel energised, be more efficient and therefore actually save time in the 'long run'.
Nothing improves a bad mood quite like exercise, and as my mother always says, 'If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!'
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