Not having enough time is a major barrier to many people who work in a 9-5. It certainly is tough but barriers can be overcome.
Here are a few tips that I have found really helped me to get those sessions in even when I felt like doing anything but going to the gym.
#1 Pack your bag the night before
This not only means you can fly out the door early in the morning, but it also means even if you are training after work your bag is packed and ready to go which will save you on time, stress and most importantly excuses.
✓ Have your gym clothing laid out to allow for a speedy exit and avoid those excuses.
#2 Meal prep
If possible, have your breakfast ready to go the night before too, and even better if you can go one step further and have your meals ready for after your session. This is not only helpful for morning workouts, but it will help you stick to your nutrition plan after work too, especially if you have had an evening session.
Many people like to go carb heavy at night; especially after a long day of work and the temptation to crack open a tub of Ben and Jerry’s or nibble on crisps rather than a proper meal is very real.
✓ Make life easier on yourself and eliminate any hassle involved in a meal so that junk food is no longer the easier option.
#3 Get enough sleep
This is absolutely crucial regardless of your workout being before or after work. We need adequate sleep to function properly, but to reap the best results possible from your workout and diet, it’s important to indulge in enough sleep too. It can be tough enough getting up first thing to fit in a gym session before work, but lack of sleep will make it a million times tougher for you.
✓ If you don’t get enough shut eye, your body will also release hormones that will make you feel hungrier through the day, making it tempting to go off plan through the day, especially if there are vending machines and mars bars involved.
#4 Have a solid plan
By having a solid plan of what you are going to do when you hit the gym, it becomes harder to skip a session mentally because you have already committed to do that particular workout in your head.
✓ It will also help to keep you motivated and focused, which can be hard to find at 6am in the morning at the best of times.
#5 Workout buddy
By pairing up with a fellow exercise buddy, there’s more of a chance of holding yourself accountable to show up for sessions, even when the going gets tough. This is due to the fact that you’re no longer just letting yourself down by skipping a session; you are also letting your training partner down too.
✓ It also helps to have a friendly (or not so friendly face) in the early mornings that will motivate you to keep going even when you don’t feel like it!
#6 Home workouts
Have some home workouts close to hand to replace gym sessions if necessary. Invest in some equipment if possible, but there are also plenty of great body-weight routines that will get your heart rate up too!
✓ Consider performing circuit training workouts to save time and fit in a powerful workout that will set you up for the day ahead.
Take Home Message
It can be difficult to fit in exercise around a 9-5 job. When you are tired either from getting up earlier to go to the gym or you’re worn out from a busy day at work, the last thing you want to do is go to the gym.
The benefits far outweigh that temporary discomfort though, and exercise will give you more energy and lift your mood. Whether you train in the morning or night is a personal preference, but it is well worth making a effort to fit that session in, even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time!