Five ways to fit fitness into a busy work schedule

fitnessWe’d all like to get fitter but, for some of us, busy working lives get in the way. So, if your business impinges on the hours before and after that, how do you still squeeze in the time to get fit?

Here are five top tips to make sure work and workouts can both be accommodated in your schedule…

Commute

Leave the car on the drive and walk or cycle and you’ll be able to turn those ‘dead miles’ into something worthwhile. It might not always be plausible for those who live further away from the office but even the walk to the bus stop might give you a brisk five-minute workout in the morning that simply sitting in your car cannot provide.

Lunch break

It’s important to take time away from your work during your lunch break, and getting in some fitness work can be ideal to take your mind off job matters. Try to build in a jog, walk or cycle at least a few times a week – or maybe even nip off to the gym. If you’ve got to work through your lunch that doesn’t mean you have to stay inactive. Sitting down too long is bad for you so make sure you get up regularly to walk around and don’t allow yourself to be chained to the desk. Think of this not so much as part of your fitness regime – but as ensuring that your fitness work doesn’t go to waste during the day.

Nutrients

A proper fitness regime needs to be fuelled by a diet that contains a balanced set of nutrients. By making sure you pack the right snacks to take with you to work you’ll be able to work on getting that right while you get on with your day job. Make smart use of supplements to top up the elements that you aren’t able to consume through food and you’ll be able to leave the office ready and raring to go right away. The latest lines from the likes of Fysiqal Nutrition should help.

Home

Do you work long hours and simply don’t have time to build in visits to the gym? Maybe you have to take paperwork home to complete? There are many ways in which you can carry out a full fitness regime without even leaving your own home. There are a whole host of workouts that can be followed on YouTube to suit every skill level. You’ll only need a corner of your living room and some weights and you’re off. Why not leave the weights near the television – or somewhere else in your eyeline – so that you’re encouraged to get to work?

Sport

One sure-fire way to build fitness into a busy work schedule is to play a sport. Team up with your friends and set aside a night every week when you’ll get together to play. You don’t have to enter into a serious league to get the most from this but by setting a regular time slot aside you’re more likely to go… and you won’t want to let your friends down either.

Making exercise a regular part of your working day will help it to become a key part of your schedule and, eventually, it won’t feel like you always have to ‘find time’. Little adjustments to your commute will help – keeping an eye on your diet and activity while at the desk can create the right starting point for fitness work. Exercising at home – and with friends – will also help you to build it into your working week.

How to stay healthy when you’re working from home

uspIf you’ve got children, a business, clients, friends, family and a house to look after, it’s easy for your own health and well-being to come last. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there?

But it’s important for mum to stay healthy – otherwise who else will do all these important jobs?

So (keeping in mind that this message is as much a reminder to myself as it is to anyone else who may be reading!), here are five quick and easy tips for staying a healthy work at home mum

1. Eat. Obviously, you don’t have a lot of time to eat, but this is essential to staying healthy. The good news that it’s OK to snack, as it helps keep your metabolism going and your energy levels up – so no need for crash dieting. Just make sure you snack on healthy things like yogurt, fruit and nuts rather than chocolate, biscuits and crisps. Not that I ever eat any of those things, obviously *cough*. Fruitdrop – who deliver fruit to offices so that employers can help their staff keep healthy – have this great recipe for fruity energy bars which are perfect for keeping you going while you work.

2. Drink: Water, that is.  In addition to eating healthy foods, you need to be drinking water throughout the day. (Note to self: 15 cups of tea don’t count)

3  Exercise: Although you may find yourself busy throughout the day and exhausted at the end of it all, it’s important that you squeeze in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. There are several ways you can do this. For instance, you can go on a walk, play Xbox Kinect/Nintendo Wii games with your family or take the kids swimming after school.

4. Be Happy: As women and mothers, we tend to overload ourselves with work, family and worries. There isn’t much time to focus on being happy. However, this is important too. Studies have shown that, generally, happy people are healthier people. In order to become happier, set aside a little time for yourself every day – or week – to do something you like doing. This time will help you feel refreshed and become happier.

5. Sleep: Getting a good night of sleep is essential to your overall health. Sleep is when your body recharges itself. So, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t operating on a full battery, which means you’ll wear out quicker. It also means your body will too, which depletes your immune system. Plus it means you’ll be irritable and less likely to be happy (see tip 4). Can’t fall asleep? Here are some tips.

So I’m now going to take my own advice and get an early night. Night night!

If you enjoyed this post, why not make sure you stay in touch by joining  my mailing listI’ll also send you a copy of  my e-book Running a business around a family: 9 steps to success.

 Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The easy way to stay fit as a working mum

A couple of days ago I had a chat with Janet of Kitchen Table Sewing about exercise. I’ve not done much exercise since my children were born (well, apart from lifting and chasing toddlers), but Janet is into running, both on her own and with a toddler in a buggy.

I used to do a little running in my LBK (life before kids) and this chat reminded me how it cleared my mind and put my worries back into perspective as well as making me feel better physically.

(Note the word ‘little’ – at my absolute peak of fitness I managed to do the Flora Light 5km run. A big achievement for someone as unathletic as me and a brilliant experience but definitely a long way short of a marathon :). Or even a half marathon!)

Janet mentioned that although running takes some time out of your day, it more than makes up for that time by making you feel more able to deal with the challenges that family life can throw at you.

So now I’m actually considering going for a little jog!

But if running isn’t your thing, how can you fit exercise into a day that’s already full with children and work? You could try the 10 minute workout method! [Read more…]

I Started A Business With a Baby: Aimee Rogers of Revitalize Fitness

There aren’t all that many mums featured on Business Plus Baby who started their business when their child was still a baby. Most mums find their baby is a toddler before they get to launch their businesses (for very good reasons!) . Today we hear from Aimee Rogers of Revitalize Fitness who (unlike me!) was organised enough to plan her business while she was pregnant. We wish you loads of success in your new business and as a new mum, Aimee.

Tell us a little about your business

My business is personal training and physical activity provider/consultant.

What was your job before starting your business?

Physical Activity Referral Coordinator for Sheffield City Council (managing an exercise referral scheme to help people who have medical conditions to get more active in an attempt to improve their condition).

How did you go from your old career to your new business?

I am currently on maternity leave and will be made redundant from the council in March as a result of cost cutting.

What were your reasons for starting a business?

I have always wanted to be my own boss and start my own business, being made redundant/finances helped with my decision but also I’m able to manage my own hours to fit in around baby to reduce the cost of childcare in the future.

Did you use any childcare?

My baby is only 8 weeks old but i used the last half of my pregnancy to set up and “develop” the business, getting ideas down, registering etc.  Now I work when baby sleeps or when he is having daddy time!

How did you get your business idea?

I have always worked in the fitness industry since leaving university and feel that my business is more of a hobby.  I have spent a lot of time and money getting trained and qualified to the high level I am currently at and I didn’t want that to go to waste once i was made redundant. I also wanted to maintain something for me once the baby was here so i didn’t just end up being “mum” (as much as i love it!!!).

What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?

As yet I have haven’t really encountered many challenges.  I imagine meetings/networking during the day will be problematic.  I have two close friends who are also helping me out with delivering sessions and training clients which has been a great help.  Once baby gets older I hope to have more input on the practical side but this will only help to expand the business and develop it further.

What training, information or advice did you need to get started?

I did a lot of research during my pregnancy (chilling out with a coffee and laptop!) and found websites such as business link yorkshire and the government websites a great help.

If you could give one  piece of advice to a mum of a baby or toddler starting a business, what would it be?

Don’t feel guilty or let anyone make you feel guilty for starting a business and spending time developing it.  I have developed my business to allow me to work from home and spend more time with my baby, however I still get the feeling that some people think less of me for developing my business while my baby is so young.