With interning this year full time, I feel like I gained a lot of respect and sympathy for those who work for 8 hours or more each day and really just don’t feel like they have the time to go to the gym or workout, even if they want to. I understand now the feeling of “I’m just too tired to go to the gym” or “After finally getting home and getting a chance to relax, the last thing I want to do is do a tedious 1 hour workout.” This post is all about things that I have done this year to help me stay fit, even while I am working full time as an intern and taking class on my day off. There are also some other general ideas that I have come up with to still get a quick, effective work out in, even with only a minimal amount of time to give.
If you get a lunch break and work in an area that is safe to walk around in or near a residential area, take a quick 15-20 minute power walk outside. During the summer months, I would do this all the time. Occasionally, a coworker would come with me, which was even better because we were able to talk and the time flew. Don’t just casually walk; pick up your pace a bit and make it a quick, brisk walk that feels good when you are done but you are not sweaty and out of breath. I also found that this helped me clear my mind and relax a little bit. We all know how stressful some work days can be! I know that when I just sit around after lunch, I often times become lethargic, tired, and the rest of the day seems to move by at a slower pace than in the morning. When I would walk, even if only for 15 minutes, I would feel energized, more awake, and ready to take on the afternoon!
If you work in a big office (or a small one) and have the ability to call a coworker to ask them questions or communicate… don’t! A lot of times if I needed to communicate with a coworker, I would get up and walk to see them and take the longer route (because the clinic I was in was very small). On the same note, I would make about 2 laps around the clinic on my way back, just to keep myself moving and get in a few extra steps. Once again, this helped me feel more awake during the day and many times I felt I was able to concentrate and get tasks done more timely and efficiently.
Try yoga! After a long day at work, when you don’t have much time to spare and feel exhausted, yoga can not only help stretch out your muscles and relax, it can also give you a great little 20-30 minute workout (if you do it right at home). There are so many 10-20 minute yoga videos accessible now through the internet. All you have to do is search and pick a few that interest you! I am always surprised how great I feel after doing a quick yoga session at night. I also think it helps me sleep better.
Don’t go to the gym hungry! If you do have the energy or dedication to go to the gym after your day at work, good for you! Make sure though that you are not doing this when you are starving. I find that if I go to the gym straight from work when I am already hungry, instead of packing a quick snack such as a granola bar or some nuts, or don’t stop home and take a 15 minute relaxation/snack break before going to the gym, I tend to be so famished by the time I get home after my workout that I eat double what I probably should. I have learned my from mistakes and usually work very hard now to remember to pack a quick snack if I am going to the gym after work!
Start your morning off right. If you really find that you just do not have any time during the day to get in a walk or any time after work to head to the gym (or you are just too darn tired), try becoming an early bird, and get a workout in first thing in the morning. If waking up at the crack of dawn to make sure you have enough time to drive to the gym and back sounds absolutely awful, wake up a little later and do your workout right in the comfort of your own home. There are plenty of quick full body workouts or workouts for target areas that are accessible online now. Invest in a yoga mat or a pair of weights and become your own personal trainer. I always think to myself, some type of activity is better than none! So if I only have time for 30 minutes each morning, at least I am trying!