This is a real world list, and one that a real professional would espouse to a time-starved client. -- D’Epiro
1. Be realistic, be reasonable: Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor will your fitness and your physique. Look to the science of behavior modification and work on changing one habit at a time… just one. Don’t start working out at high intensity for seven days a week and follow every latest diet fad.
2. Get an interval timer: Get the app or order the actual timer from www.gymboss.com. It will allow you to program two different timed intervals, one for work and one for rest. Rather than thinking that you need huge amounts of time for exercise, use the timer for short and effective high-intensity interval workouts.
3. Learn “Tabata”: The trendy workout regimen lasts only 4 minutes, but it’s an intense 4 minutes. Clinical research proved very successful at improving fitness and altering body composition. At 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, the Tabata protocol or any similar variation will give you fast and effective workouts. Use a timer to program these interval workouts, hit start, and it will be over before you know it.
4. Swing, baby, swing: Building on the theme of efficiency and effectiveness, the kettlebell swing gives you the most bang for your buck in terms of working your whole body, getting your heart rate up, building strength and power, improving posture and just about everything. Find a reliable StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructor near you using the instructor locator at www.strongfirst.com.
5. Stand up: Consider using a standing workstation, either full time or alternating it with your seated work station throughout the day. You’ll burn a few more calories and condition yourself to an upright and healthier posture versus the Neanderthal posture promoted by staring at a screen all day in a chair.
6. Don’t eat at your desk: Leave your workstation for your lunch break. “I always tell my clients: ‘notice the term is lunch break, not lunch typing, lunch coding, lunch working!” says D’Epiro. “Give your brain a little siesta.”
7. Read a book: Our favorite pick at Evolution Partners is Power of Full Engagement. Learn from the anecdotal stories about real people, and learn how to manage your energy better to be more efficient which might then leave time for exercise.
8. Move: By any means and mode necessary. Take walks, go to the gym, workout at home, follow videos on YouTube. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you move your body as it was intended. We weren’t designed to sit at a desk all day.
9. Lather, rinse, repeat: If you have the choice between a nice long workout once or twice a week or very short workouts most days of the week, you’re going to get better results from short, effective workouts more frequently. This is in line with the last tips: learn the Tabata protocol or the kettlebell swing, then perform that short, intense, timed workout frequently.
10. Do what you do best, hire all the rest: “Most strength and conditioning coaches I know don’t sit and tinker with their computers during breaks,” says D’Epiro. Fitness professionals seek the appropriate professional to fix things like their broken car or computer rather than trying to do it themselves. This clears up your schedule for more exercise and physical activity.