How to stay active when life gets busy
Physical activity benefits far more than just your physical health. Regular exercise can help you sleep better, manage stress, give you more energy, improve your concentration, boost your confidence and decrease anxiety.
Finding the time and interest to build physical activity into your daily life can sometimes be difficult. It can be even more difficult when your life is in flux, so here are some ways to keep you on track when your routine is out of kilter.
What to do
Being physically active has many health benefits so keeping this a cornerstone of your life will reap many rewards. If you find that you’re overwhelmed with work, social and university pressures, then your exercise habit may drop off the radar. Time will be the biggest demand here, so try some of these tips to fit more activity into your day.
- Try to break up your exercise sessions into two 15-minute blocks, or even into three 10-minute blocks, if finding a spare 30-minute block each day to exercise is difficult.
- Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily life. For example, get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way, or take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Keep a diary of your daily activities for a week. Use the diary to assess how much spare time you have – you may have more time than you thought.
Make exercise enjoyable
Starting exercise is great, but the real challenge can be sticking with it. To start with, find an activity you enjoy, be it walking, running, swimming or tennis – it doesn’t matter what it is. If you enjoy the activity, you’re more likely to keep at it. Exercising with a friend can boost your social interactions and keep you accountable too. If you can, exercising outdoors in natural environments and green spaces can give you a feeling of vitality that indoor environments just can’t match.
Have a ‘Plan B’
Be ready to go to a ‘Plan B’ when life gets busy as it invariably will. If the weather is bad, find an indoor location like a recreation centre as an alternative or create an at-home workout for when you just can’t make it to the gym. The key is to not get discouraged. Just jump back in and try to learn from whatever got you off track.
Get involved with some of Deakin’s clubs, sports, events and volunteering opportunities.
More help and advice
VicHealth's Be Healthy Blog includes tips on how to re-establish a healthy routine.
The BetterHealth Channel has information on how to get active when you are busy.