Trips, TDYs and running your kids everywhere. Who has time for getting or staying in shape? You can find sneaky ways to try fitting fitness into your busy military life!
Fitting Fitness into a Busy Military Life
So you don’t have time to get in a full workout at the gym. No sweat! You can find simple ways to add fitness to even the busiest of days in super creative ways.
Make Your Walk Challenging
Park farther away from your office or the store. Take the stairs or go the long way around.
Every step you take is burning extra calories! Over time, those little steps add up.
Working at home or hanging with the kids? Go for a walk around the block a few times every day. Bonus: pushing a stroller or hauling a small human around is a great whole-body workout!
Ready to add a challenge? Up the ante! Try these ideas:
- Walk the stairs a few times
- Find a hill and hike up
- Do lunges for a block, then switch to high knees
- Stop at every crosswalk and do squats
- Pause at benches or hip-height walls to do pushups
- Add in a few spurts at a faster pace, like a brisker walk or a jog
Take 15 Minutes to Sweat
Got 15 minutes? You have time for a quick workout!
Fitness doesn’t have to involve hours of lifting or miles of running. It can be a quick burst of high intensity in small segments.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a growing trend in fitness. HIIT workouts are pretty much what the name implies: short periods of very energetic movements. Think: jumping jacks, jump squats, plank jacks and other similar compound movements.
You can find simple HIIT workouts on YouTube. Having instructional videos to guide you is super helpful to staying on track and getting your sweat on effectively.
Try these channels:
- PopSugar Fitness
- Physical Kitchness (owned by a USMC spouse!)
- Fitness Blender
- The Body Coach TV
All of these channels have workout videos that fit a full-body workout into 20 minutes or less. Best of all, many videos require little to no special equipment!
Workout Where You Are
Running around all day leaves very little time for actual running or lifting or workouts generally. Instead of trying to find a full hour or more to get a workout in, you can add moves into your normal routines.
A great place to workout quickly is the playground. Yes, seriously.
Try these moves:
- Suspended Knee Tucks: place feet into a swing’s seat and balance on your arms; tuck knees to chest while contracting abs
- Bench Jumps: do a box jump-type move, just onto a wide bench or low wall
- Stair Lunges: place one leg onto a play structure stair, then lunge
- Bulgarian Split Squat: facing away from a bench or high stair, prop the toe of one shoe onto the elevated surface and the other leg forward into a lunge position; squat
- Tricep Dips: find a bench, place your hands behind you and then lower your behind off the bench and toward the ground
Do a few of these moves 10-15 times each, 3-4 rounds total. Or for as long as you’re at the playground. Whichever comes first.
By mixing your workout into your normal routine, it’s easy to multi-task! Plus, even if you don’t have kids, chances are good that there’s a playground near you. Even if you just have 15 minutes, you can squeeze in a great full-body workout.
Fit Fitness Into Your Errands
You’ve got lots of things to do, but also need to squeeze in a workout. What do you do?
One option is to run the errands, literally. You could also bike, but it’s not as punny.
Map out the places you need to go:
- Grocery Store
- Post Office
- Pet Store
Then pick an option for carrying your items, like a comfortable backpack or bike-bags. Then gear up and go. Hit your must-go spots and break a sweat at the same time!
If you’re trying to juggle errands, workouts and kids, load the kids into a jogging stroller or equip their bike with a decent handlebar basket. Drop your purchases under the stroller or into the bike basket as you burn calories.
Find What Works for You
Fitness can happen, even if you are super busy. All it takes is just a few minutes here and there to do a few moves. Even if you don’t break a total sweat, you’ll still be working muscles and burning calories.
It’s all about creating fitness moments and building a routine that works for your life.