Like most people my life can get busy and I go through periods where it is tricky to find the time to work out as much as I want to leading up to ski season.
The past two months have been pretty hectic over here and I have had to put in extra planning to stay on track with my fitness goals.
Here some of my favorite tips and strategies to create a fit and healthy lifestyle, even when life gets busy.
1. Stay focused on small tweaks and changes, one at a time.
Don’t set yourself up for overwhelm. Even when you read a blog post like this it can feel like pressure to implement lots of changes. See if you can just let yourself take in information and work out what is actually useful to you and relevant to your challenges.
Just like fitness, change happens slowly and over time. So challenge yourself to make small and easy changes that add up over time.
The less time and energy you have available to you, the more you need to plan your fitness activities just like you would any other commitment in your life. If you sign up for my free report here you can read about my best advice to plan your fitness activities.
You will not only need to plan your fitness activities, you will also need to plan around them. Set aside time for things like laundering all your gear at the beginning of the week or meal prep for a couple of days in advance. The more you can think ahead, the better.
To stay on track with your fitness, you need to maintain good energy levels throughout the day. Good nutrition is absolutely key. When you plan your week of workouts, also plan your pre and post workout meals and snacks. I find that having something quick and healthy in my fridge at all times makes a huge difference. I make a big batch of easy to bake coconut muffins or mini fritatas on the weekend that I can grab in the morning after a run or take with me to snack on throughout the day. I usually stick to “real food” but during very busy times I use a whey protein powder as a post workout snack (choose a concentrate not an isolate).
The night before I have an early morning run planned I put out my workout gear as well as my work outfit including underwear, socks and jewellery. I also make sure I have my handbag packed and ready to go by the front door. That way, I can jump in the shower after my run, get dressed super quick, grab a bite from the fridge to take with me and walk out the door. It saves me precious minutes and means I leave the house calm and refreshed instead of hassled and hectic.
5. Adjust your workouts
Shorten your workouts:
When you are very busy, you may need to adjust your workouts to fit in with the time you have available. Over the last two months I have had to shorten some of my workouts. To keep the intensity, if I only have 20 or 30 minutes available to run I pick up my pace and log more distance or add in some hill sprints.
A great way to fill a shorter workout is to try a new activity. If you only have 15min for your cardio, try a new machine or a new activity. This is a win-win. You always want to slowly ease yourself into any unusual activity so a shorter workout is perfect. Your body will also love the variety.
The same goes for your strength workouts. If you only have a short time available to you, try some new moves.
Use multi-tasking moves:
You can also focus on multi-tasking moves like the plank variations in my “Get-Fit-To-Ski” program.
If I am pressed for time just 10 min of vigorous planks and squats can make up my workout that day. I even do squats while I am cooking dinner!
Break up your workouts:
The other thing I do is break up my workouts. While I may not be able to face getting up at 5:30am to do an hour of strength work or muster the energy for a full workout in the evening, I can manage 15-20 min in the morning and 15-20 min when I get home. I usually do “abs and arms” in one session and my legs in another. If I am very busy I will shorten both and possibly do them over two days.
Walk or bike whenever you can:
Don’t forget about walking. Look at your schedule and see if you can find spaces of time like lunch breaks where you can take yourself out for a brisk walk. You will find this is as good for your headspace as it is for your body.
Consider talking out your bike to commute or run errands. If you live in a city you may find that biking to work actually saves you time.
I hope that some of these tips help you stay in shape and ready to ski this winter. Do you have any tips to share on how to fit workouts into your busy lifestyle? If yes, head on over to my Facebook page and leave a comment.
Wether you are a seasoned skier or intend to hit the slopes for the first time this year the one thing I find most people underestimate about skiing is how crucial their fitness levels are to their safety, performance and enjoyment of skiing.
The fitter you get, the better you will ski. At any level. It is that simple.
Here are my five best tips to help you get in shape this season:
1. Make a plan.
There are a three key steps to making a greatplan.
First of all, you want to decide how much time you have to build up to your ski holiday. I would suggest at least two months but you can add in as much time as you like. I see every month from April to December as time to prep for skiing!
Take time to honestly write down what you are currently doing to exercise. This is important because the one thing you NEVER ever want to do is to launch into an aggressive campaign to get fit suddenly. This is so important I will expand on it later.
Now, take out your calendar and start to make a plan on how you can add in ski related fitness activities to what you are already doing and build up the time and difficulty of your workouts slowly over time.
With realistic expectations, clarity and workouts in your calendar you are already well on your way to getting fit for skiing. In my “get fit to ski” program I use an e-book to help people create a clear game plan to prepare for skiing.
2. Do your cardio
Think of a day on the slopes like being on your feet for a full day at a higher altitude then you are used to. If you don’t really have a fitness routine in place yet, start walking, biking or get on an elliptical at an easy pace two to three times a week. If you have trouble gaging your expenditure you can invest in a heart rate monitor. I honesty think people are in greater danger of overdoing things then under doing things and a heart rate monitor can help you stay safe and steady.
If you already have a steady cardio routine you can add some high intensity interval training either as a separate workout or as a component of your cardio training. As I get closer to ski season I add more hills and sprints to my regular running and biking routine. If you are an expert skier this kind of training is invaluable to tackle those long, steep divine powder slopes or moguls!
If you do decide to work with high intensity intervals please educate yourself in the method to make sure you understand how to correctly time your intervals, recover properly and avoid injury.
3. Balance is EVERYTHING
When I was a kid growing up in Switzerland the biggest compliment you could ever get from a coach was “you stand well on your skis”.
What they were talking about was balance. You know, that effortless, smooth gravity defying quality we see in the winter athletes we admire the most. Instead of thinking only about strength training, include as many exercises as possible that train your balance. The best part? If you choose your exercises wisely you can train your balance in such a way that you will effortlessly increase your strength and endurance.
4. Be a turtle!
Don’t be afraid to go slowly, it’s the only way to consistently improve.
Every day I see people injured by throwing themselves into boot camps, running miles their first day out or hitting the slopes with no preparation. The best advice I can every give you is to resist the temptation to overdo it. Start where you are and take small steps forward toward your goals. In fitness, consistency is the golden ticket.
5. Train your mind!
Your body is amazing, it is a phenomenal machine that is built to move easily with balance and grace. If you are willing to study and understand some simple ideas about how you are made to move you will see your skiing improve dramatically, with out ever even being on your skis! I insist my clients learn about things like the relationship between balance, flexibility and stability as well as understanding basic ideas about how their hip joints function.
Skiing is truly a magical sport, there is nothing like being outside all day in beautify scenery gliding and swooping over the snow. I hope these tips help you have your best season ever this winter!