Habits of Fit People: Develop a Plan B

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Developing a plan B. So why does something like this matter?

It's hard enough to get the gym or carve out a few minutes to work out at home without LIFE getting in the way. It seems like 1,000 different things happen in a single day that can throw off your plans to exercise: a sick child, a last-minute deadline at work, a traffic jam, a phone call from a friend in need—you name it. And as if these unexpected events didn't make it difficult enough, then there are the saboteurs—the co-workers, friends and even loved ones who sabotage your efforts or discourage you from following through. It's a wonder that anyone with a job, family or social life is able to exercise at all!

That's where a plan B comes in. Similar to the 10-minute rule, a plan B is something else you can do that's better than doing nothing. It's an alternative you can use when you are late for Pilates class, unable to get to the gym, or simply don't have the time for your usual workout. The key is that you have to think about it in advance, long before the interferences or interruptions come your way—that's why it's called a plan.

Here are just a few "plan B's" that I keep up my own sleeve:

  • Walking or running outside. Walking is a good alternative when I'm feeling low on energy or under the weather. Running is a great workout that I can do when I'm short on time or unable to get to the gym.

  • Workout DVDs. It's a good idea for everyone to have a few good DVDs at home. When I work late, need a shorter workout, or just feel less than enthusiastic about my usual routine, I can usually find a workout DVD at home that fits my schedule and my mood.

  • An express routine. If time is the issue, I'll fit in a shorter version of my strength training or cardio routine, usually bumping up the intensity (incline, resistance, speed, etc.) to make the most of my time. Sometimes I'll do just one set of each strength training move, and switch between each one quickly to limit downtime.

Why it works: When you plan for the unexpected, you're better able to face it and take it in stride. When you don't have any alternatives, it's easier to just give up and get down on yourself.

Do you have a plan B? If not, come up with one now! What "go to" workout can you turn to when life gets in the way?