On this fine Thursday, the topic I’m bringing to you from my desk is how to stay active when you have a crazy busy schedule? I must admit, I’ve never been a consistently active person. And when it comes to going to the gym or picking up a sport, I have to really convince myself before taking the leap. I typically go through spurts and they are generally motivated by sudden slight weight gain or an enormous amount of indulgence. When you couple that with an extremely jammed pack schedule, staying active is honestly big challenge.
I know I’m not alone in this camp, and hopefully at some point in time, most of us find our way to increasing our activity levels.
Keep reading to find out how some of my person tips, and recommendations on some fabulous tools and gear on the market!
Simple Tips to Stay Active with a Busy Schedule
1. It’s not about prioritizing your schedule but rather scheduling your priorities
A quote from Stephen Covey sums it up. If you deem staying active as a priority, then block off time for this priority. Whether this means starting your day earlier, or bringing your lunch to the office and utilizing your lunch break as your ‘active time’, don’t only make a mental note of it, but literally block time off in your calendar. I’ve said many times to myself, “If I have a free slot on Wednesday, I’ll stop by the gym,” but the truth is, meetings and phone calls end up taking up your schedule if you don’t block it off first.
If it is a priority, make it happen.
2. Workout with friends
Finding friends and colleagues to work out with is both fun and also keeps you on track. You become accountable to each other’s well being, and we all know that a little bit of peer pressure never hurts. Why not swap dinner and drinks on a Friday night with a night out with the girls at Pursuit OCR instead? The girls and I have a fun date planned next Friday night to try this first full indoor obstacle course training center in Toronto.
3. Experience new workouts you enjoy
Some people really enjoy hopping on a treadmill or elliptical at the gym, and I’m just not one of them! I really enjoy trying new studios and workouts. Recently, I tried kickboxing at Big Hit Studios, a Barre class at Beaches Pilates, a workout at Surfset and a Hot Yoga class at Yogatree. The variety of activities not only increases my interest in staying active, but also allows me to workout different muscle groups. I love and use ClassPass, a monthly membership that allows you to book classes at over hundreds of studios.
4. You can stay active at home
If cost and location becomes a hindrance for you, there are definitely ways for you to stay active at home. Long are the days of workout VHS (by the way, I LOVED the old school Claudia Schiffer tapes), there are so many mobile apps on the market that can be a great aid for your at-home training days. Recently, Mark Cuban invested $1.5 million in one of my favourite fitness app – Sworkit (derived from Simply WORK IT). The Sworkit free version takes a user through 5-60+ minute strength, yoga, pilates, and stretching workouts that require no equipment, which is perfect for home use. If you’re willing to invest a minimal dollar amount, the Premium version includes customization and personalization options. I encourage you to check this out!
5. Finding cool gadgets to track progress
Last but not least, and by far a very important element of staying active, is to make sure you’re seeing results! Tracking progress is very important when it comes to becoming successful in anything you do. Measuring activity level is no different. I recently got my hands on the TomTom Spark GPS Fitness watch that offers a unique combination of an integrated music player, built-in heart rate monitor, 24/7 activity tracking, multi-sport modes and GPS (which is what TomTom is known in the market for).
Prior to being introduced to this, I used to take my phone to my workouts as a means of a music player. The downside of that is that it becomes a major distraction as I can also check my emails and social media accounts. With this fitness watch, I can store my playlist and listen to it WIRELESSLY during my workouts, removing any need of my phone (or cords for that matter). The playlists can also be downloaded from iTunes and Windows Media Player and holds up to 500 songs (up to 3GB). It also comes with a niffy set of wireless earphones that connects through Bluetooth.
In terms of tracking progress, you can set the watch to various sport modes and intensity level. If you are interested to learn about your sleep performance, there is also a built-in automatic sleep tracking. Sounds cool, eh?
Shown above: TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch
Hope these simple tips will inspire you to stay active regardless of how busy your schedule is. As we all know, staying active gives you more energy to do what you already do BETTER! So go out there and kill it!