So something happened this past week: I actually had a life outside of work! Shocking, I know—most people don’t believe me when I say that I pretty much work all of the time. Maybe it’s summer, but there’s just been so much going on. Friends are moving in and out of the city, there’s a holiday weekend coming up, family stuff’s going on. It’s all be pretty great, but there’s one minor snag: I have absolutely no time to go to the gym. Seriously, I think I went once, and this time it wasn’t because I was lazy or unmotivated. I just couldn’t find the time.
This, obviously, is not exactly a phenomenon that’s unique to me and my life. People have work schedules much more strenuous than mine, families, school, and other personal concerns that take priority over finding an hour to hop on the treadmill.
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Ironically, the best way to relieve ourselves of all the stress of our daily lives is often put on the back burner when the stress takes over. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your workouts need to stop altogether in favor of other pursuits. In the past week, since, honestly, I’ve been feeling a little bit guilty about missing the gym more than I would have liked, I’ve found and tried out a few different workouts that can be done in a limited amount of time. Sure, they might not be as strenuous as a few hours in the gym, but it’s better than nothing, right?
Here are six ways to work out when you haven’t the time to do just that:
1. Free weights
You can lift free weights when you’re walking around your apartment getting ready for your next meeting, when you’re sitting on a conference call, or when you’re reading a memo or a brief. Just keep a set of five-pound weights nearby, and, so long as you’re not doing something that requires both of your hands, you can pick them up whenever you want.
2. Take a walk on your lunch break
I’m not saying you need to run a marathon or power walk grandma-style during your hourlong break from work, but get off your butt and move around. Even if you only have time to take a walk around the block, make sure you’re doing something to get your heart rate going. It’ll make you feel less like a work-obsessed blob.
3. Eight-minute abs
I do this video every so often when I know that I’m going to have zero time to get a full workout in, and it’s INTENSE. It’s also very late ’80s, early ’90s in the best possible way. My friends and I call the instructor Timothy. He says “gang” a lot. Let Timothy be your guide.
4. Run to and/or from work
Of course, I understand that this only really applies if you work within walking distance from your home, or if you work and/or live in a city. I’m not saying you should run home on the freeway. I want to you work out, not get run over by a car. I mean, you’ll feel sore after both, but one is significantly worse than the other. I’ll let you decide which one.
5. Do some midnight yoga
Even if you only do 10 or 15 minutes before bed, yoga will help you decompress for the day and stretch out all of the work-related kinks. Also, depending on what you do, it feels more like Winnie The Pooh getting ready for bed than an actual workout, and who doesn’t want to feel like Winnie The Pooh getting ready for bed?
6. Have sex
It’s really good cardio. Just sayin’. I’ll go now.