One thing I get a lot of comments\questions about in my general day to day life, is how I balance my health and fitness goals with having a full time job. Whilst I am health and fitness blogger, by day I work a 9-6 office job in central London, I spend about 8 hours a day sat at a computer, I don’t often take a lunch break, it takes me an hour for me to commute to work, yet I still find the time to go to the gym, go to a yoga class, and stay on top of my diet. I thought I’d share some tips on how to balance a full time job and accomplishing your fitness goals.
Plan your workouts
Know exactly what you’re going to do each week, and when. Will you before or after work, or during your lunch break? I go to a Fitness First gym in central London, and I always without fail go before work. This doesn’t mean that I go every day, but when I do go to the gym on a week (non-weekend) day, it will be before work. Why?The gym is less busy, I avoid rush hour on the tube (the gym is near my work), and it gets it done. 6am Hannah hasn’t had any time in the day to think up excuses as to why I don’t want to work out, this doesn’t usually happen anyway anymore as I enjoy going to the gym, but it isn’t always the case! Going in the morning also means I get to do things in the evenings if I want to. And whilst it means getting up that bit earlier, 6am doesn’t feel so bad when you’ve done it for a few weeks. However, I know some people prefer going to the gym after work, or even at lunch time, find what works for you and then go with that.
When it comes to planning my workouts, I set aside some time every Sunday to work out (ha, pun not intended!) what workouts and gym classes I will be doing that week, and so I can make my calendar as streamlined as possible so that every evening I go to bed knowing exactly what I’ll be doing the next day, both in terms of type of workout (leg day or yoga?) but also what exactly I’ll be doing in that workout if it’s not a class (for example if it’s back and biceps day I’ll have a file on my phone with all the exercises, reps and sets written down). For example this is the type of thing that I write down in a note book every Sunday:
Monday – Rehab for my knee
Tuesday – Yoga class
Wednesday – Yoga class
Thursday – Chest and Tris
Friday – Rehab for my knee & shoulders
Saturday – Yoga at home & rest
Sunday – Back and Bis
I also always pack my bag the night before if I’m going to the gym or doing a workout the next morning, so I can literally just get up and go.
I food prep big time. Usually on a Saturday afternoon or on a Sunday I will head to the supermarket and do a big food shop with everything I’m going to need for that week. I try not to spend much money during the week on food, unless I’m going out to eat, so I buy everything that I need. I’ll have in a my head all the meals that I’ll be cooking, for lunches I will have done a batch cook on the Sunday or perhaps the Monday evening, and have the same thing for lunch every day of that week, and then in the evenings I tend to have something that’s quick to make, but that’s healthy, whether I’ve cooked a batch of mixed veg, and some quinoa, and then have some fish with it, or whether it’s a chilli that I’ve made in a batch and then I add some peas and sweet potato fries, I never spend too long in the kitchen at home because my free time is precious and like many of us in London I have a really small kitchen! Also, the earliest I ever get home is about 7pm and I never want to eat too late! If you have everything prepped on the weekend for the coming week, it’s a lot less likely you’ll end up snacking and eating something you’ll wish you hadn’t later on. And if you think you’ll still be inclined to buy food during the working day, just don’t take money/your card to work! That way you literally can’t buy anything, and it might help you save some money too.
Think of Your Workouts Like Meetings
Pretend your workouts or gym classes are really important meetings with yourself. You wouldn’t bail on a work meeting, or even meeting up for brunch with a friend, so start thinking of your workouts as you time that needs to happen and can’t be cancelled. That way you’re more likely to stick to them.
Integrate Your Social and Fitness Lives
We all love getting our heads down in the gym and nailing that workout, but you could also make some of your weekly workouts a social activity. A lot of yoga classes that I go to are with friends, you go along, do the workout, and then after catch up over a coffee or some food. I really like doing this because that way it doubles up, and you may introduce your friend to a new class or workout that they’ve not done before, or vice versa! There are loads of fitness events now in London (and elsewhere) where you go along, do the workout, but also socialise afterwards, you could go along with a friend for something a bit different, or you could even go along by yourself and make some new friends!
Allow Rest Time
Our lives are so jam packed these days that’s it’s really easy to over do it. I make sure that I have at least one rest day every week, sometimes even more than that (I sometimes have an entire rest week!), I will still be lightly active on these days, like going for a walk or doing some light yoga/stretching at home, but it’s so important that we let our bodies rest, as this is actually when our cells repair and regenerate themselves and we get fitter and stronger. The same goes for sleep. Try and aim for 8 hours of sleep every night, trust me you will feel so much better, and you’re a lot less likely to get ill.
Make Sure There is a Balance
So the whole point of this post is to help you strike a balance between your work and fitness goals, but it’s also important to make sure you balance everything in your life, this can be really tricky and it can seem a bit daunting but trust me it’s possible, and sometimes one thing may have to take a back seat for a while. If you’ve got a really important project going on at work and you’re working longer hours than usual, then maybe you’ll have to reassess your fitness goals taking that into consideration to make sure they’re realistic for the situation.
I hope this is helpful guys! Please leave a comment if you have any comments or questions 🙂