Don’t have the time to work out? Having a busy life is the number one excuse people give for not exercising and making healthy decisions.
But, a hectic schedule shouldn’t get in the way of your health and fitness and it doesn’t have to.
You don’t need to set aside a half hour or an hour each day to workout or hit the gym. You can get the exercise that you need throughout the day. This is especially true with strength training.
While cardio can get your blood circulating and is a great way to warm up before a resistance training session, you can still benefit from performing short exercises throughout the day.
Here are 7 simple strength training tips that anyone can use – even with an incredibly busy lifestyle.
#1 – You Can Get Started with Your Bodyweight
Strength training helps improve endurance, burn calories, build muscle, and improve bone health. And, you don’t need dumbbells and gym equipment to get started.
There are numerous bodyweight exercises that can help build muscle. This includes push-ups and pull-ups, which are great for working your arms, chest, and shoulders. You can work your abdominal muscles by performing crunches. Squats and lunges are great for your legs.
#2 – Start Off Slowly and Build Your Routine
You also don’t need to rush into strength training. You can start off slowly. Find time whenever you can. This can include just a few minutes of time.
Wherever you are, whether you are in your living room, the basement, or outside, perform 3 to 4 minutes of bodyweight exercises.
With repetition, it will become easier to find time for these mini-workouts. At first, you might only be able to perform a few of these workouts each day. Before long, you’ll be performing 10 mini-workouts, leading to 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day.
How many repetitions and sets should you perform? As many as you can. Though, if you only have a few minutes, 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions will probably be your limit. While this may not seem like a lot, it does add up throughout the day.
#3 – Increase Your Cardio Exercise
As mentioned, cardio can help prep your body for strength training. It gets the blood pumping, which can lead to a more effective workout. Since you’re pressed for time, you probably won’t be able to cycle, run, or jog before your strength training workout.
If this is the case, you can still find ways to get your blood pumping quickly. Perform a set of jumping jacks before performing your bodyweight exercise. You could also run in place or jog up and down a flight of stairs.
This only takes a minute and should help provide a bit of cardio to help boost the efficiency of your bodyweight exercise.
#4 – Stash Dumbbells and Weights
You can start with bodyweight exercise, but eventually, you’ll probably want to start using dumbbells and other hand weights.
This will help you work your biceps and triceps, to build more muscle in your arms and target that flab that tends to appear under the arm.
But, again, there’s the problem of time. If you keep your dumbbells in a closet, you’ll probably never bring them out and start using them. So, stash them in places around your house.
You could keep a set near the shoes. This way, whenever you get home and take your shoes off, you can quickly perform a few sets using the dumbbells.
Other useful locations include the basement, near the laundry, and in the living room. You could place a set of dumbbells below your coffee table and grab them whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
Just make sure you use the right weight. When you perform bicep curls and do 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, your arms should be tired by the last set. At the end of the last few repetitions, you should be extremely fatigued.
If you’re not feeling fatigued, then your weights are too light. If you can’t complete the repetitions, then the weight is too heavy.
#5 – Focus on Technique and Movement
Since you’ll only be spending a few minutes at a time performing these exercises, you can take things slowly and focus on technique.
Learning how to perform each move correctly will help prevent muscle strain and injuries. You can watch videos online to see specific examples of any strength training exercise.
#6 – Join a Gym and Take Strength Training Lessons
Joining a gym may not seem like a possibility if you’re pressed for time. But, it can force you to make the time. When you spend money on a gym membership and sign up for classes or lessons, you’ll be more likely to commit.
#7 – Listen to Your Body
The final strength training tip is to listen to your body. There will be times when you feel sore or too tired to workout. When this happens, don’t push yourself.
If you’re tired, take the day off. Just be careful. Don’t let a little break turn into a long stretch without any exercise.
Strength training is something that everyone should try to include in their daily routine. It can have such a dramatic effect on your overall health and fitness.
Women are often hesitant about strength training. You might be worried about gaining bulky muscle. This isn’t a problem.
Muscle simply helps you burn more calories throughout the day, as muscle requires more energy than fat. At the same time, you can gain more definition in key areas, such as your shoulders and neckline.
If you’ve got a busy life, but still want to be in the best shape possible, use these suggestions to begin incorporating strength training.
You don’t need a lot of time. You just need a few minutes here and there. Between activities or chores, drop down and do 10 to 20 pushups or crunches. When you lift the laundry detergent, perform a set of bicep curls.
Find ways in your everyday routine to squeeze in a little bit of exercise.