It’s almost the new year, and we all know what that means: time to reinvent and commit to new goals. Here are five time saving fitness tips to help you stay on track this year.
New year, new you, new goals – right? Typically those goals include health and happiness. What we also know is that too often those New Year’s resolutions only last a short while – with all of our good intentions getting pushed aside once “real life” kicks in.
I’m here to help you with one common pitfall: time management.
If there’s any reason to stop working toward your fitness goals, time should not be one of them. Try these time saving tips to help you stay on track with your fitness goals all year long!
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My Top 5 Time Saving Fitness Tips
Tip #1: Schedule Your Workouts
You wouldn’t cancel a meeting with your boss just because you’re too tired to go, right? You aren’t going to skip your dentist appointment because you’d rather watch a movie (ok, maybe you would).
The point is that scheduling an appointment with yourself – for your HEALTH – is a great way to make sure your workout happens.
Pick a time that works best for you. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or stopping at the gym on your way home. No matter when it is, make your daily meeting non-negotiable.
Don’t cancel on yourself.
By scheduling your gym time or home workouts and sticking to them, you are less likely to argue yourself out of getting it done.
Cut down the time you spend walking around the gym by planning your workouts in advance, too. If you know exactly what you plan to do each day, you’re less likely to skip out on it.
Tip #2: Aim For Just a 20 Minute Workout
Here’s a fun fact for you: you don’t need to spend hours at the gym to get good results.
Just because you don’t have 60+ minutes to hit up spin class doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go spend 20 minutes on a bike. Maybe that hot yoga class just doesn’t fit into your schedule.
That’s ok! Less time is enough time.
You can do a LOT in just 20 minutes at the gym.
For someone with a 30 minute window, that’s 5 minutes to change/prep, then 20 minutes to workout, and 5 minutes to clean up. Even if you only have 15 minutes of workout time, you can get your heart rate up and break a sweat.
Do what you can, when you can.
Another option – break up your exercise during the day if you need to. Spend 10-15 minutes exercising in the morning and another 10-15 minutes later in the day.
Any movement you do is better than nothing at all!
Tip #3: Do Compound Exercises
Compound exercises give you the biggest bang for your buck, exercise-wise. You use big muscle groups all together, burning more calories and using your time efficiently.
Squat presses, lunges with bicep curls, pushups with a renegade row, and planks are all moves that use lots of muscles in your body. These types of major muscle group movements are much more effective than small, isolated movements like tricep kickbacks or crunches.
Do these compound movements in a circuit format with little recovery time between each set for maximum use of your time – and to get a cardio effect with your strength training too!
My full body strength workout is a great one to try!
Tip #4: Keep a Bag Handy
If you prefer to workout at a commercial gym or health club instead of in your living room or home gym, make sure to keep a gym bag packed at all times – preferably in your car.
So many well-meaning people plan to go to the gym, only to realize they forgot to pack socks/shoes/sports bra/deodorant. (I’m looking at you, Megan and Arleen.)
Keep your gym clothes, shoes, deodorant, hair tie, dry shampoo, yoga mat, whatever you need in your trunk or by the door so you are sure to be prepared at all times.
Tip #5: Stock Up on Portable Protein and Snacks
Your workouts will be much more effective if you have a good carb-loaded snack before ramping up your heart rate. My typical snack is a banana because it fills my tummy and gives me a healthy burst of energy.
Apples, almonds, or even a snack bar can give you the fuel you need to power through a quick workout. After your muscles are spent, make sure to repair them with a protein source.
When I’m in a hurry, I like to munch on a Clif bar or Quest bar (amazing high protein and high fiber source) before my workout. It fills my tummy and gives me a nice little carb boost to help me power through a tough workout.
(HINT: set them up on Amazon for Subscribe and Save so you don’t have to remember to buy them each month!)
After my workout, I either eat a protein-filled meal (a cold salad topped with lots of chicken) or I drink a protein shake. I do still enjoy Shakeology (you can find my favorite Shakeology recipes here) but I add an extra scoop of protein to it. My favorite proteins are Garden of Life and Gold Standard (pretty sure my husband found the best price at Costco).
Are you ready to commit to a plan? It’s a new year, and a new you. How are you going to “life hack” your New Year’s resolutions this year? Which of these time saving fitness tips will you follow?
Get more home workouts and fitness tips here!
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.