Finding balance - How to exercise when you work full time

One of the biggest barriers people have to training is that they don't have enough time or are too tired after work. Working full time can take a lot out of you and you would be forgiven for wanting to put your feet up and unwind with a nice glass of wine after a long day. The problem is your health is being neglected by this routine and lack of exercise and as a result your quality of life too will be negatively affected.

So how can we get around this barrier?

There are a few ways to tackle this. I've come up with 5 things to look at when trying to add exercise to your daily routine.


One way is to look at ways you can substitute exercise for something else in your current routine.

For example, how do you travel to and from your place of work? 

Why not try walking/jogging or if it's far cycling? Walking/jogging is a great way to burn fat as the low intensity demand means your body will select fat as its primary source of fuel. If your workplace is 5km away that's a great bit of training you've just added twice a day. Not to mention you'll be far less stressed than if you try to tackle the morning traffic or the masses of people rushing around on public transport. Stress in itself can have a highly detrimental effect on your health so if your morning routine is a cause of stress I suggest you look at changing it asap! Be careful if you are overweight though as jogging is a high impact exercise and can lead to issues with joints if done excessively and/or without appropriate footwear. 


Another way to add exercise is to never take the easy option.

For example if you work on the top floor take the stairs. Stair climbing is a great lower body workout and also gets your heart rate up which is a good thing because that means you'll be burning more calories. Likewise if you're on the tube use the stairs and offer someone else your seat as sitting down uses a lot less muscles than standing up. 


Get a 30 min workout in on your lunch break.

If you have an hour for lunch why not visit the park or gym for 30 mins and work up a sweat. There are so many benefits from doing this. Asides from the gains in physical fitness, you'll also be far more alert, happier and energetic for the remainder of your day. If your barrier is that you are too tired you will be surprised at what a difference 30 mins of exercise can make to your energy levels. Not to mention you'll sleep better also resulting in even more energy and focus and an increased sense of wellbeing.


Mum and sis enjoying one of my group Muay Thai sessions

Mum and sis enjoying one of my group Muay Thai sessions

Find something fun  

Exercise doesn't have to be just about squats and burpees. There are so many fun ways to get a good workout. For me martial arts namely Muay Thai is the most fun exercise in the world but try and find what you're interested in. There are plenty of options if you do some research into whats going on in your local area. The social aspect can be great also as you can make friends outside of your normal work and home environment. If you really enjoy exercise you'll be more likely to do it even after a long day when you're feeling super lazy.


Pair up

If you live with your partner set a routine together of days/times you're gonna train and what you're gonna do. If you both set out to do it together you'll feel more accountable as you wont want to let that person down meaning you'll be less likely to flake out and cancel. If you don't live with your partner then find someone else. A friend, a relative, a neighbour, a work colleague, a trainer, anyone who is also determined to improve their health and lifestyle.


At the end of the day the most important thing is to be happy.

There's no point dragging yourself to the gym every evening and doing boring workout routines you hate if you're just gonna be miserable at the end of it. If it doesn't make you happy then don't do it. But if you want to change your health for the better you have to be prepared to make an effort. Don't expect it to be easy, because changing habits is never easy. But once you've created those new habits you'll be a lot better off for it. Happier and healthier. So find what works for you and then make it happen. But from now on you have to stop using the "I'm too tired"/"I don't have the time" excuse because that's all it is, an excuse, and there is always a way for those with the heart to look for it.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. Perhaps you know someone who might find it useful also so do feel free to share.

Thanks for reading.