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Old 11-08-21, 04:55 PM  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
Logistics advice: how to fit in workouts on busy days

My goal for the rest of the year is to try to work out six days a week. The issue is that I am in-person at my job two days a week, and those are basically 11-hour days due to having a very long commute. I have to leave by 8 am and don't get home until 7 pm. I get up around 6:30, but due to how exhausted this schedule makes me feel, I almost never have a chance to squeeze in a workout before I have to leave; it's kind of all I can do to wake up, eat breakfast, and get myself ready. I'm a teacher, and so I get a little paranoid about looking my best, so I probably take too long to primp and whatnot.

I've considered fitting in a workout in the evenings, but then the same issue exists just at the end of the day: I'm exhausted. I'm basically in the car for almost 3 hours, I'm on my feet for 3 hours, and there's no way to work out during anything like a lunch break or anything, mostly due to COVID closures of campus rec facilities.

On my work-from-home days, I have all kinds of flexibility. I get up around 7, work out around 10, and fit in all my tasks around it. I sometimes even have time to go on a long run outdoors if the weather's good. I can even squeeze in a studio yoga class sometimes. It's all extremely doable, and obviously I have the same kind of freedom on the weekends.

So what do I do on my teaching days? Try to get up an extra half hour earlier and just suck it up and do it? Do it after dinner or before bed? I'm just at a loss, and I can tell that I'm suffering by only exercising five days a week.

I've got a lot of shorter workouts so I know I have things I can do that are also probably even either gentle if I do it at night or high energy if I do it in the morning. I know I could even work out in my PJs if I can't summon the wherewithal to change clothes. This is just some kind of mental block, and I need some advice on getting past it.
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Old 11-08-21, 06:02 PM  
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Location: New Jersey
Start with short workouts and get it done in chunks - like 10 minutes. You will gradually work up to more. When I had a schedule close to yours (end of fiscal year in Government contracting is hell, trust me) I did the Firm express workouts. Once in the morning, once in the evening. Just knowing it was just under 20 minutes I could make myself get it done.
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Old 11-08-21, 06:42 PM  
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I agree with chunks. There's a lot of good things being said about micro-workouts sprinkled throughout the day. Maybe try 5-10 minutes in the morning; a 5 min walk after your commute & before going to your desk; 10-15 minutes at lunchtime; then 10 minutes when you get back home in the evening. With a day like that (& I lived a similar life for years), don't even think about trying to squeeze in a 30-45 minute workout when you get home.
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Old 11-08-21, 07:32 PM  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: TarHeel country
When I was a teacher (elementary level), one of the teachers I worked with fit exercise into the day. When her kids had recess, she’d walk laps around the play field. Many of her students did as well, and they kept track of miles and such. It was pretty neat, but obviously won’t work for all teaching situations.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:27 PM  
Join Date: Nov 2005
I have also faced this problem a few times with different work schedules. I agree with fitting in small segments of exercise. And I agree with not waiting and trying to do it at the end of the day. That never worked for me because I was just too tired and it was just too daunting to get home and change into my workout clothes and get going. For a period of several months I was able to get myself up at 6 AM and get in a workout then before leaving for work, but I know that doesn't work for everyone. Another thing I did was to stop on the way home from work and do a Jazzercise class or go to a pool. It was a nice transition between work and home. Another thing I've done is to do a Leslie Sansone type workout in my office during my lunch break. Finally, at one point I did just go down to working out 5 times a week. My long work days when I didn't get formal exercise were still very active with a lot of walking and being on my feet, and I decided that rest was important too.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:54 PM  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: West of Chicago in the Illinois Corn Belt
It’s hard to train your exhausted self to get up earlier, especially in the winter when it’s dark and maybe cold. I suggest for a week or so get up 30-40 minutes earlier and not necessarily to exercise. Find things to get done that make you feel as if you are accomplishing something. Then after two weeks replace that with 30 minutes of exercise. Lay all your clothes out the night before, including work clothes. Get your bags etc ready to go. Now you have started the habit and just switch out what you do. I also visualize getting up at my designated time as I set my alarm. I am usually up by 4:30. Clothes laid out etc. I work two jobs and get hone at 7:30.

I also like the suggestion of walking at lunch or recess.
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Old 11-09-21, 02:42 AM  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Do you have time to work out where you work? (Is there a place that you could do something in 40 minutes?)

Also: I think you might reconsider the 6 days a week to 5 days. Give yourself a break one of the days you commute, and use the extra energy you've saved for a higher intensity day (or 2) when you don't commute. 6-days-a-week isn't some magic number. You may get even better results in 5, and stagger higher/lower intensity workouts, depending on your goal(s) (weights/endurance, for example).
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Old 11-09-21, 05:48 AM  
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PalmTreeVille
on your in-person days at school, before you leave campus, is there 15-30 min you can designate to do a quick walk around campus, or go up and down some staircases at the school?

my DH is also a teacher. at one point when our oldest was born, DH would get up at 4 in the morning, drive to the school and work out in the gym, then return home to take our son to the sitter, and from there, go back to the school to teach. by the time he returned home in the morning, i was ready to go to work, around 6:30 AM.

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Old 11-09-21, 07:44 AM  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
These are all fantastic suggestions, particularly the "chunks" of small workouts. I have FIRM Express and Leslie's 10-segment 10-minute walks, and obviously those two alone are great for what people are suggesting.

While the weather is still somewhat not-as-bad, I should also take advantage of taking some walks on campus during breaks.

Thanks, everyone! Still open for even more suggestions. A friend also told me yesterday that five days/week is still pretty great so to stop being hard on myself, and that's a tough lesson to learn. Exercise is such a huge stress reliever for me, and so on my most-stressful days, I do miss it. But I obviously don't need to work out SEVEN days a week or anything, and even five is fantastic.

I didn't get up in time to do anything before work today, but I may indeed try to get a walk in at lunchtime.
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Old 11-09-21, 09:05 AM  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NE
If you decide to fit in short workouts, Get Healthy U TV has many free 10 minute workouts. You can sort and choose by type of workout, too.

Get Healthy U TV - 10 Minute Workouts

Sort by Type of Workout

I tried one of the breathing meditations. If you don't feel up to doing a workout, maybe a short meditation can help with stress relief

I agree with your friend- five days a week is pretty great!
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mental block, morning exercise, motivation, schedules, scheduling workouts

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