Expert Fitness Tips For Busy Women
You don’t need us to tell you that women these days are busier than ever before in history! Despite this, you know that regular exercise is an important part of a healthy life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do--especially when you have a busy schedule. All the workplace stress, sleepless nights, and long days at work can take a real toll on our health. But working is important too, so what can we do?
If you want to make room for fitness in your packed schedule, we recommend you take a tip from Nike and “just do it.” If you keep at it (and it we admit, it may be tough at first), getting your daily exercise will become second nature in no time. And you will be pleasantly surprised to know that you don’t need an abundance of time to achieve great results with strength training; just proven guidelines.
There’s a reason flight attendants tell you in the event of an emergency and oxygen masks deploy that you should secure your mask first before assisting someone else. Likewise, you can’t take care of others to the best of your ability if you’re not the healthiest, strongest version of yourself.
“If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don’t, you’re simply ducking your responsibilities.”
Taking care of yourself isn’t optional. You can’t delegate the responsibility to someone else.
Here at BoxFit we know that even with limited time you can reap significant rewards particularly with an expertly created home workout program. Because strength training provides numerous benefits. It’s one of the best activities you can do to achieve results without a lot of time: it’s efficient.
But you must follow some guidelines.
Workout Tips for the Busy Woman
Strength training provides numerous benefits (building muscle and burning fat for instance) so that’s what we’ll discuss here.
Bottom line: if time is limited, spend it on strength training.
SMART TIP #1: Stop telling yourself “I have to do all of this, all the time”.
Maybe when you were younger or before you had kids you were able to work out for 60+ minutes a few days per week, and now that you don’t have that option, you think there’s no sense in working out for only 30 minutes.
“I’d only have half an hour once I got to the gym, so what’s the point in even going?”
“I can only make it to the gym twice per week; and that’s not going to be enough to help me make any progress”
These are common, yet false objections. It’s not about how much time you have, but what you do with it that counts. When time is short, don’t waste it on the small things — sadly this is a trap many find themselves. You must focus on the BIG things that produce the majority of the results. Resist the temptation to nit-pick the small things.
BIG thing: I will strength train 2-3 times per week.
Yes! It IS POSSIBLE to do this — and we’ll show you how below.
Small thing: Is it optimal to work out earlier or later in the day?
No! Don’t focus on this; it’s insignificant. Just DO IT!
BIG thing: I’m going to eat at least 2.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight.
Yes. Do it.
Small thing: I’m going to debate whether I should eat an apple or strawberries
No. This is a waste of mental energy.
Both are good and anyone who says to avoid bananas or something equally preposterous is contributing to the lies that plague the health and fitness industry. You have better things to do with your time than get sucked into such nonsense. This isn’t just a “small” thing — it’s a stupid thing.
BIG thing: I’m going to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night.
Many people grossly underestimate the value of sufficient sleep so aiming for 7 hours of Zzz’s per night is a smart decision.
Small thing: Should I eat three or four meals per day?
Nope. Small thing. And the right answer here is: whatever you prefer and will adhere to long-term.)
SMART TIP #2: Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. This is your journey.
It’s tempting to compare yourself to your friends or other women at the gym or fit pros on social media.
Don’t do it.
This is your journey. Another woman’s body is not your measuring stick for success.
There are simply too many different body shapes and genetic factors to make comparison even the least bit productive.
SMART TIP #3: Perform compound exercises first.
If you have limited time, make it count.
Use large, multi-joint exercises like push-ups and presses, rows and pull-ups, squats, and lunges.
You’ll reap greater benefits from getting stronger (more on this below) with compound exercises than you will doing exercises like those you might see someone doing at the local gym such as leg extensions, bicep curls and other single-joint exercises.
SMART TIP #4: Stick with total body workouts.
Following this tip ensures you train each muscle group frequently.
If you don’t have much time to train, this tip is even more important. Include a lower body exercise (e.g., squats, lunges), upper body push (e.g., push up or dumbbell shoulder press), and upper body pull (e.g., pull-ups or bodyweight row).
When you follow that triple-exercise format you can achieve terrific results with just three exercises per workout. Or take the guess work out of the mix and let us do the thinking for you by participating in one of our Sculpting Programs
SMART TIP #5: Quality.
A common mistake many busy women make is rushing through their workout.
If you’re going to do it, do it right. Give your workouts the respect they deserve. Make every rep count. Put as much effort and focus into the first rep of a set as the last.
Even if you only have 15 minutes you can create a training effect.
You’ll need to keep rest periods to a minimum; using circuits (exercises performed in alternating fashion) as opposed to straight sets (performing all sets of an exercise on its own before moving on to other exercises in the workout) will give you maximum benefits in minimum time.
Here’s a sample circuit:
- Squat x 8 reps
- Push Ups x 8 reps
- Dumbbell row x 8 reps per arm
Perform each exercise one after the other, and only rest as needed. Perform a total of 3-4 circuits. You should be able to complete 3-4 circuits in 15 minutes if you keep rest periods brief. You’ll be breathing hard, but you’ll experience how effective a quick, high quality strength training session can be.
Or if you prefer to follow along with your own personal coach in the privacy of your own home, try this fast and effective 20-minute workout with our very own Dikshika
SMART TIP #6: Improve your performance.
Every time you repeat a workout, aim to do better than last time. Perform at least one more total rep for each exercise or increase the weight. If time is at a minimum you can decrease the amount of rest between exercises or circuits.
Gradual, consistent performance improvement is your key to success. This is why we recommend that you keep a workout diary so you can see your progress as it unfolds over time and know what you must do to progress.
SMART TIP #7: Schedule workouts on most convenient days.
We recommend taking a day off between total body workouts. For example: perform your total body workouts on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Or if you can only work out twice per week, aim for something like Tuesday and Saturday. But if you know the only days that you’ll actually commit to working out occur in a row, like Saturday and Sunday, then that’s what you must work with.
You’ll achieve greater results making do with what you have to work with than waiting for your schedule to be “ideal” or less chaotic. Set yourself up for success by scheduling workouts when you know you’ll do them, and this may change with your schedule.
SMART TIP #8 Supplement with bodyweight workouts.
Maybe you can’t devote 20 minutes to drive to the gym, wait for equipment to become available, do your workout, and drive 20 minutes home. Before you know it, what should’ve been a 30-minute workout turned into a 2-hour event.
If that’s a challenge you are having, then we might have the perfect solution for you – enjoy our high energy fun and effective workouts in the convenience and comfort of your own home for 14-days for FREE.
Download the BoxFit at Home App here and get started today.
If you can only devote 1-2 workouts to the gym each week, perform a third bodyweight workout at home.
Here’s an example of an effective bodyweight circuit:
- Reverse lunges
- Glute bridge
- Inverted rows
Perform those exercises as a circuit. Either perform 2-4 circuits or set a timer for 10-20 minutes and perform as many circuits as possible.
Each time you repeat the workout either…
a) perform more reps for each exercise,
b) complete more total circuits or, c) perform the same number of circuits in less time.
SMART TIP #9 Got extra time? Sprinkle in additional isolation exercises.
As stated earlier, we always recommend you perform compound exercises first, but if you find you have some extra time available for your workout then this is a good opportunity to include additional exercises, like isolation exercises for extra work on body parts you want to prioritize.
Want to give direct attention to your arms? Perform a few sets of dumbbell curls and lying extensions at the end of the workout. Want to boost your glutes? Add in single leg hip thrusts. Want to keep your shoulders healthy? You can’t go wrong with face-pull variations or band pull-a-parts.
This extra work is just a bonus; great if you have the time, but not mandatory. Forget “perfection”; it’s about what’s practical and sustainable long-term for you.
The best workout program or eating regimen you can follow is the one you’ll adhere to for months and years, even if that means “only” strength training twice per week. Two workouts per week over the course of a year is 104 workouts. That’s a hell of a lot better than zero. Don’t let the desire of perfection distract you from what’s doable.
Now that you know what to do, here are some of our most popular workouts for you to get you started:
10 min HIIT Workout with Dikshika
Abs & Cardio with Akhil
Legs and Booty with Dikshika
20 min Body Blast with Akhil
Total Body Express With Manik