There’s no denying it: Life is busy. Seeking balance day-to-day can be hard. Add long runs and endurance races into the mix, and achieving balance can start to feel downright futile. And that’s OK. Who wants to live a mundane, totally predictable life, anyway? Still, the key to making this crazy existence fun, is learning to survive—or better yet, thrive—in the chaos.
So toss the notion of balance out of the window, and embrace the joy of a slightly off-kilter life. With a little time management and a lot of initiative, you can still see improvements. Below, the top three ways I squeeze quality workouts into my hectic schedule.
1. Don’t Be Afraid of a Quick Cardio Session
Your goal might be to run three miles a day, but that doesn’t always have to mean three continuous miles. If your work schedule allows you to take a 30-minute break, use that time to log a mile or two. So what if you have to sponge off quickly in the office bathroom afterwards? Try and find the amusement in the situation, and take pride in knowing you’re working towards a fitter, healthier you. By getting in miles when you can, you’ll develop the rhythm needed to be an “opportunistic runner”—someone who can bust out a run whenever the opportunity presents itself.
2. Minimize Your Carbon Footprint
Speaking of the office, how far away is it? Have you ever considered commuting by foot? Imagine showing up to your desk having already logged 5,000 steps. If you can’t walk to work, then try turning everyday errands into workout opportunities. Tuck your shopping list into your shorts, run to the supermarket, and take a ride share home. Or, bring a backpack and make it a weighted walk back home.
3. Embrace Unexpected Opportunities
Inevitably, things are going to pop up that threaten to derail your training. Instead of throwing in the towel, approach these obstacles with enthusiasm. Have to go on a last-minute work trip? Pack some workout clothes and take advantage of the time away from your usual obligations. Miss the bus to the gym class you’ve been excited about all week? Take to the streets and get in some steps by exploring your city by foot. Whatever the challenge, figure out a way to use it to your advantage.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.