Four Ways to Work Out With a Full-Time Job

By Elise Nelson on December 14, 2017

The most common excuse for not working out is having no time to do it. We’re all guilty of saying we’re too busy for fitness, but the truth is, there’s no such thing. It may seem difficult to think about fitness when you have a full-time job—you have to wake up early enough as it is, and by the time you get home you’re too tired to do anything productive. Plus, you need time for errands, eating, and sleep.

Being fit doesn’t have to take hours out of your day. You can decide how much working out you accomplish daily, as long as it’s at least a few minutes. Every second counts, and anything is possible. Here are four ways to work out with a full-time job.

1. Do a quick HIIT workout before or after work

High Intensity Interval Training is designed to give you a difficult, fat-burning workout in 30 minutes or less. These cardio workouts consist of sets that range from 20 to 90 seconds each, so you really have to put your best effort into the moves. According to a study done by the International Journal of Obesity, “working your hardest is key to when it comes to boosting endurance, increasing metabolism, regulating insulin levels, and losing body fat.”

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The quick nature of HIIT workouts makes them the perfect routine to incorporate into your day. Wake up a little early before work—easier said than done, but you can do it—and do a short HIIT to get your body moving for the day. You’ll feel more awake and ready to take on the day’s tasks while also working towards your fitness goal! Alternatively, you can complete a workout as soon as you get home from work.

You can find tons of HIIT workouts online, especially videos by various fitness gurus on YouTube. Here is a sample HIIT workout by Melody Scharff from The Fhitting Room.

2. Use every free minute wisely

There’s always time for working out in your day, even in moments you’d least expect. If you have extra time on your lunch break, go for a walk around the building outside. Instead of driving to and from work every day, try walking if it’s close enough. You can also walk to the bus stop and go to work from there. According to Experience Life, “people who take alternative transportation tend to get more exercise than daily car commuters.”

Even just a brisk five-minute walk every so often during your workday will help build your endurance. You have to start somewhere, and soon enough you’ll be able to jog for a mile!

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If you’re constantly competing with yourself, try using a pedometer, a step-counter. You’ll have a daily step goal to reach—see if you can beat it! All of you tech-savvy fitness lovers should invest in a FitBit. Alternatively, iPhones also have a pedometer in the built-in Health app.

3. Stay active at your desk

If you’re stuck at that desk job all day, why not get some health benefits from it? Try doing some workouts while you get your work done—the best type of multitasking there is. Studies have shown that sitting all day isn’t so great for your health. This is because when we sit, we burn less calories. So, if you sit at a desk for 8 hours, that’s 8 hours of not burning any calories.

To eliminate this problem, ditch the rolling desk chair for a stability ball. Now, although it’s fun to do, don’t just bounce on the ball all day while you work. Sitting on a stability ball will strengthen your core.  Do a few crunches every so often to keep your body active while you sit. You should also consider standing at your desk for at least half an hour.

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Try some leg raises or butt squeezes at your desk if you’re concerned about remaining subtle. No one will notice these small but effective movements under your desk! Here are some more ideas for staying active at your desk.

4. Find some fun workouts that you’ll enjoy doing

One of the most important aspects of a successful workout is your attitude. If you dread working out, you aren’t going to see the best results. To stay motivated for your fitness plan, choose some workout routines that you enjoy doing. Try fencing, yoga, swimming, or dancing. Here are a few fun ways to get fit without a gym.

You can also set up a reward system for finishing workouts, such as television time or eating a small snack. Create a playlist of your favorite music that you only listen to while you work out—this way, you’ll work forward to fitness. Try doing some workouts with a close friend a few times each week.

Working out should always be something you enjoy. If you find that you aren’t enjoying your fitness plan, make changes as soon as possible.

By Elise Nelson

Uloop Writer
Elise is a senior at Albright College in Reading, Pa, studying journalism. She hopes to pursue a career in feature writing and editing for a magazine. Much of Elise's time is dedicated to being Editor-in-Chief of Albright's student newspaper, The Albrightian. She is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, and co-hosts a radio show on WXAC 91.3 FM.

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