1. Maximise your time (HIIT it)
Not everyone can afford 2-hour gym workouts, which may not even be as effective! Aim instead of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that alternates between work and rest to jump start your metabolism. HIIT workouts are typically really short and I’ve never done one that exceeded 30 minutes. 30 minutes workout + 30 minutes shower (that’s a luxury!) = super efficient!
Bonus: HIIT workouts also have an afterburn effect, so you continue to burn fat the day after your workout.
2. Optimise your workout (Form and function)
A lot of people currently exercise to attain a certain aesthetic, and that’s cool. But what if you could attain an aesthetic and improve your daily movement? I like functional training for this reason. Use compound, natural, functional movement like squats and deadlifts and you’ll find that carrying everyday weight like groceries and suitcases becomes easier. (You’ll also be less likely to injure yourself moving that bedframe around if you’ve learned proper lifting form!) If you really don’t have time, skip the isolation exercises like bicep curls, and bust out some rows or push-ups instead.
Bonus: If you can do a pull-up or a muscle-up, you can probably scale that wall to escape the zombie horde. Conditioning your body to be an optimal functional machine means you’re more likely to survive!
3. Minimise the effort (pre-pack everything)
When I first started on my fitness journey (and sometimes even now), one of my favorite excuses for skipping a workout was because I didn’t pack my gym bag. If you’re like me, help yourself out by pre-packing everything instead of scrambling in the morning. I always carry a set of toiletries and sets of fresh underwear (hey, super important!) in small travel cases with hooks so I don’t have to think about it in the morning.
Bonus: This is also super helpful if you find yourself having to stay over somewhere at the last minute, or if you just want a mid-day shower somewhere. Or you can also stay fresh about a week into the zombie apocalypse… in case that matters to you.
4. Be part of a community
My best fitness experiences have come from the support of a larger community that bonds over the gruelling burpees that we had to bust out. It’s always fun to work out with friends, and the encouragement and friendly badgering to do one more push-up makes the process a little less painful.
Bonus: You automatically know a bunch of people who are also more likely to survive a zombie apocalypse and you can band together a la The Walking Dead.
5. Take a hike! (Ok, a walk.)
This is the ultimate no-frills baby-steps fitness-related change you can make. It doesn’t cost anything and may even save you money. There’s no need for special attire, except maybe leaving those stilettos at the desk or at home. Taking a walk also boosts creativity. My MA supervisor advised me to take walks when I was writing my thesis and shared how he used to take these long long walks when he was a graduate student. I didn’t take his advice back then. Now I wonder how much easier the thesis-writing process could have been if I had taken his advice!
You may be busy, but how about walking just a little bit more every day?
Bonus: Mark’s Daily Apple gives you 17 reasons to start walking more. 17?!
Image credits: Finding Balance by woodleywonderworks