When I started grad school this past fall, people kept telling me that something was going to have to give. I wasn’t going to give up my relationship, blogging or working out (instead I gave up Netflix, Friday nights, and almost all weekends to get homework and blogging done). So today I’m sharing how I stay active even with a busy schedule.
My Fitness Journey
Even though I don’t talk about my fitness routine or the two half marathons I’ve trained for and run on my blog or Instagram very often, fitness is a very important part of my life. I started running in middle school as a sprinter, hurdler, and a jumper. In high school, even though sprinting and jumping (long and triple jump) were my main events in track, I also ran cross country as my fun sport. All my friends in the fall ran long distance so I naturally also ended running long distance for each fall season.
When I got to college, I transitioned to only running long distance. I also ended up learning how to partner stunt and did so for almost all four years and loved it. And along the way I’ve picked up Pilates, hot yoga, and have even taken ballet and hip hop classes.
But even with new chapters and transitions, my workouts are always a priority to me. So even now with a full time job, grad school, and blogging, I still choose to stay active.
Here are a few reasons why I choose to stay active:
- It distresses me and resets my mindset – especially if I’m feeling stressed or frazzled.
- It gives me something to focus on –outside of work, blogging, and school.
- And I’ve always valued my health.
Here are 5 tips to help you stay active even with a busy schedule:
1. Modify – don’t eliminate your workouts
Being a runner is a part of my identity. Between track, cross country, and training for half marathons during and after college, running has always been a priority in my life. I knew when I started grad school that I wouldn’t have the time to run 3-4 times a week like I’ve been doing these past few years. So instead of cutting running out of my life, I modified my running schedule to just 2 times a week. I typically do one 3 mile run during the week and one 5 mile run on the weekends.
When we start getting busy with life, things tend to drop off. Don’t let your workouts be one of those things. Don’t think you have to give up being active. Instead, think about how you can adjust the frequency of your workouts (so going from 5 times to 2 times a week) and the length of your workouts (1 hour to 30 min instead). Being flexible with your schedule, time, and frequency will allow you to continue to include your workouts as a part of your weekly schedule.
2. Make stretching a part of your routine
Did you know that I lead morning stretches for my team every morning? I was asked by manager to lead this effort. At first I was little embarrassed but I’ve learned to embrace it because I literally get to start each day with stretches!
My team and I are literally in our business clothes and we do a 10 min stretching routine. Sometimes there’s only three of us and other times there’s 10 of us. My team has talked about how much stretching has helped them start their day on a good note. Some of the guys have even told me they’ve gotten more flexible by just taking 10 min to stretch!
Whether you take 10 min to stretch when you wake up in the morning or you decide to stretch in the afternoon, my recommendation is to find a time that stretching works best for you. Stretching helps you feel good both physically and mentally!
3. Change up your workout time
Up until I started grad school, I would work out after work. I knew it was going to be challenging to keep my after work out schedule so I’ve now switched to lunch time workouts. Luckily we have a mini gym next to our cafeteria at work! Whether I can get a 25 or 40 min workout in, I always block out time to get a workout in. I feel so much better after my workout each day!
Whether you choose to work out in the morning, lunch, after work, or late at night, figure out the time that works best for you. I would recommend changing up your workout time to better suit your schedule!
4. Walk as much as you can
I spend so much time sitting… I work 40 hours a week and sit in class for 8-10 hours each week. So I try to walk as much as I can. I look forward to walking my dog Boone in the afternoons/evenings and weekends. I walk Boone to pick up his favorite treats and also to pick up produce from my favorite produce stand in my neighborhood.
My advice would be to look at places you can start walking to in your life. Whether that’s a coffee shop or a nearby park, try to include walking as a part of your daily routine!
5. Treat working out like a priority
If you’re serious about wanting to stay active even with a busy schedule, treat it like a priority. Put it on your schedule and don’t over schedule meetings or other events on top of it. If working out feels like a chore or feels boring to you, try a different work out class to spice it up. Working out is so much easier if you enjoy it!
Thanks Brooks Running!
Thank you to Brooks for gifting my entire outfit! Fun fact – I’ve been running in Brooks since middle school! I ran my cross country meets, my half marathons, and weekly runs in Brooks. I literally put holes through my last pair of Brooks’ running shoes so my newest pair of shoes from Brooks came at such a great time!
Shop my outfit:
Running Shoes: Levitate
Ghost Waist Mesh Crop Running Leggings
Dash Hoodie (Pink) – This is sooo cozy! I love running and lounging in this.
What are your tips for staying active even with a busy schedule?
Here are a few other tips for staying balance with a busy life:
How to Find Balance in Your Life – When You Blog, Work Full Time, and go Grad School
5 Self Care Tips to Take With You into 2018
How I keep my blog going with a full time job and grad school
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec