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  • How You Can Make Time to Workout Anywhere, Anytime


    by Robert Cheeke, author of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness — The Complete Guide to BuildingYour Body on a Plant-Based Diet — plant-based nutrition certified- Cornell University

    All photos are of Ed Bauer

    By far the most common question I get asked as a vegan athlete is, “where do you get yourprotein?” Almost as frequently, when I ask people about their training progress, the mostcommon excuse I hear for not exercising is, “I don't have time.” This answer is a form of willfulself-delusion and a poor excuse. Every person has the same 1440 minutes each day. It is up tous to determine what we'll do with our time. Saying you don't have time to exercise (or eatproperly) is to wipe your hands clean of responsibility, to put the blame on external factors anddelude yourself into thinking that 1440 minutes (or 24 hours) in a single day just isn't sufficienttime to fit exercise into your schedule.

    Cleary there are aspects of our lives we have more control over than others. Many of us believewe require eight hours of sleep each night, yet many people get by with seven or even six hoursor less per night. Others may get more. There are various factors at play determining how muchsleep we really need, including stress, work schedule, our children's sleep or school schedule,our nutrition programs that make us either more or less energized or tired, and so on. Sleep isnecessary but is not an excuse not to set aside time to exercise.

    The amount of sleep we get, and our ability to adjust it to create more time for exercise, isonly one area of life we have to manipulate to create more time. Our daily lives are broken upinto three eight-hour categories: sleep, work, and leisure time. As discussed, sleep can only
    be adjusted by an hour or two for most people to maintain health and to feel properly rested.Work may not be able to be adjusted without changing vocations or working for yourself. Withthat in mind, let's focus on what we tend to have a whole lot of control over, our leisure time.Leisure time is usually spent commuting, preparing food, eating, socializing, running errands,relaxing, spending time with friends and family, exercising, watching TV and wasting time.

    Unless our work is physical labor, leisure time is when 90% of us exercise. Since our leisure timeis probably adjustable, let's examine what we're doing with it and create ways to improve ourtime management. Consider preparing food that will last for days, making larger portions ratherthan making something new each day. Keep fruit, nuts and prepared foods on hand at all times

    so you always have quick, accessible, healthy snacks available at home, in the car, at work andat the gym. Plan ahead so you can spend time focusing on what is important and spend lesstime on the activities that are less important — those that keep us from achieving our healthand fitness goals. Realize that exercise can be performed anywhere, anytime. Consider thefollowing suggestions for improved use of time based on your desire to include exercise in yourdaily life.

    A few tips to create more time for yourself are the following:

    Watch less TV

    Spend less time surfing the web including (but not limited to) Facebook, YouTube, Twitter andother time consuming sites

    Find ways to incorporate physical activity at work

    If you work at a computer, get up and move around every 15-30 minutes, or when appropriate

    Plan your day with exercise as a priority so it doesn't get put on the back burner or missed

    Don't waste time

    Some general tips to include exercise into your daily routine are to:

    Recognize that exercise is not just in the form of weight training or sports, but physical activity(moving, lifting, pulling, pressing, carrying, etc.) — Many random chores and activities we doaround the house are forms of exercise

    Take the stairs rather than elevator or escalator

    Park farther away than usual and walk greater distances

    Play games and sports with your children or pets

    Join a sports team

    Go for a walk first thing in the morning

    Go for a walk after dinner, before winding down for the evening

    Gather with friends for a weekly visit to a park or hike

    Train for a local 5k run

    Care about your health and fitness and act accordingly

    Now that we've determined why many of us don't make time for exercise and have some ideashow to manage time and create fitness opportunities, let's look at some exercises that can beperformed almost anywhere, anytime. You certainly don't have to be a member of a gym orclub to achieve high levels of fitness and be happy with your results. The following exercises canbe done nearly anywhere, anytime:

    (If you are unfamiliar with one or more of these exercises by name, search them on theInternet to get a description of what they are.)

    Endurance and Lower Body Exercises:

    Body-weight Squats
    Wall sits
    Stair climbing
    Box jumps
    Jumping rope
    Lateral side-steps

    Martial arts

    Upper Body Exercises


    Static holds
    Hand stands
    Wall push-ups
    Incline and decline push-ups
    Lifting heavy objects
    Bouldering and rock climbing
    Pushing or pulling movements
    Shadow boxing

    Core Exercises

    Leg lifts and leg raises
    Bridge static holds
    Yoga poses
    Pilates exercises

    Total Body Exercises

    Jumping jacks
    Star Jumps
    Mountain climbing
    Sequence of a squat to a push-up to a jump, repeated
    Cross-Fit exercises using body mechanics only

    Any kind of martial art

    Examples of various workouts

    Total body workout without any gym equipment

    Warm-up with 10 minutes of aerobic activity (running, jumping jacks, box jumps on a bench,
    stair running, etc.)

    Three sets of push-ups of 10-20 reps to warm up the upper body

    Run for 3 miles at a moderate pace

    Push-ups 1x20, 1x20, 1x20, 1x20, 1xfailure

    Sit-ups 1x30, 1x30, 1x30, 1x30, 1xfailure

    Squats 1x30, 1x30, 1x30, 1x30, 1xfailure

    Yoga poses or static holds for upper body for 10 minutes, with rest between sets

    Stretch after workout

    Upper body workout without any gym equipment

    Warm-up with 10 minutes of aerobic activity (running, jumping jacks, box jumps on a bench,
    stair running, etc.)

    Three sets of forward arm circles to warm up the shoulders

    Three sets of backward arms circles to warm up the shoulders

    Three sets of push-ups of 10-20 reps to warm up the upper body

    Decline push-ups (feet up on a bench) 1x20, 1x20, 1x20, 1xfailure

    Narrow hand position push-ups 1x20, 1x20, 1x20, 1xfailure

    Chin-ups 1xfailure, 1xfailure, 1xfailure, 1xfailure

    Dips 1xfailure, 1xfailure, 1xfailure, 1xfailure

    Stretch after workout

    Lower body workout without any gym equipment

    Warm-up with 10 minutes of aerobic activity (running, jumping jacks, box jumps on a bench,
    stair running, etc.)

    Bodyweight squats 1x30, 1x30, 1x30, 1xfailure

    Lunges 1x30, 1x30, 1x30, 1xfailure

    Box jumps on a bench or stairs 1x20, 1x20, 1x20, 1xfailure

    Find a hill and run 200 meter hill repeats — Sprint up the hill, walk down, sprint back up. Repeat
    3-5 sets

    Wall sits — 3 sets to failure

    Stretch after workout

    The “I don't have time” excuse looks a little silly now, doesn't it? Given all the tools providedabove, you have a list of exercises, some sample workouts and tips to manage time and fitexercise into your daily schedule. Aim to exercise for 30-60 minute sessions 3-5 times a week,and include some form of exercise in your life every day. I wish you all the very best with yourhealth and fitness.

    More workouts and meal programs on www.veganbodybuilding.com

    Robert Cheeke

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