Overcome the 3 Biggest Workout Saboteurs

Learn to balance your schedule so you can have time to work out.

mens-healthby mens-health

Having trouble fitting your workout into your hectic schedule? Blame Father Time.

As you age and experience major life events, your levels of physical activity are likely to decrease, says a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health.

Researchers followed 546 people for an average of 38 years. During adolescence, 70.4 percent of people were logging five hours or more of physical activity throughout the week. But by midlife, that figure decreased to 17 percent.

So what’s responsible for the onset of laziness? The main culprits: Leaving college and landing a new job, becoming a parent, and experiencing tragedies within the family.

How can you avoid this same fate? Check out these tips from Liz Neporent, C.S.C.S., an American Council on Exercise spokesperson, that will help you make time for fitness–no matter what obstacles life throws in your way. (Want more must-have fitness tips? Check out our list of the best new exercises for every part of a man’s body.)

Your obstacle: You work 60 hours a week–on a good week
Blast your body efficiently with shorter, more-intense workouts, says Neporent. Whenever you have a window of time, schedule a workout, she explains. For example: Rather than wasting time hitting the snooze button, hit the gym for 30 minutes before work. Or if you have the option, squeeze it in at your lunch hour and eat at your desk, says Neporent. (For quick routines to incinerate fat and pack on mega-muscle, check out The Men’s Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts.)

Your obstacle: You and your wife have had a baby
Divide and conquer. Create a schedule where each of you has the same amount of workout time. Say, she takes the baby Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. You watch Junior Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. That way there’s no resentment, and you both have time to sweat.

Your obstacle: You’re dealing with a recent death in the family
Take a few days off to regroup. But after that, pick up your routine. As little as 15 minutes of physical activity has been proven to increase levels of enthusiasm, pride, happiness, and excitement, according to a study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.

If your usual routine seems too intense, try yoga. According to research published in Medical Hypotheses, yoga can help people with stress-related psychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety. “This sort of activity has a bit of a mind-body aspect to it,” says Neporent. (And just a heads-up, that’s not all it can do. Learn how to Improve Your Sexual Performance with Yoga.)