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Getting Fit on a Busy Schedule: Time-Saving Tips and Tricks for Your Yoga Practice

March 19, 2024

How fit are you? We’re not asking you to look in the mirror but rather to think about how easy or hard it’s been to make time for exercise lately. Even with the best of intentions, it’s not always straightforward to balance a busy work and family schedule, let alone fit in exercise. Still, most people will agree that exercise is important. So, how can you make time for all your commitments and fit in yoga and other activities? Read on for our tips and tricks.  

How Much Exercise Do You Need? 

As with so many things in life, there are no hard and fast answers to the question of how much exercise you need. Your exercise goals, your current fitness level, and your age will all influence what is enough, what is too little, or what constitutes overdoing it.  

Having said that, some guidelines give us a useful starting point. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of vigorous exercise every week. Rigorous means that your heart is beating faster, and you can feel the effort you’ve made.  

150 minutes means 30 minutes five times a week. That doesn’t sound like all that much, don’t you think? Unfortunately, statistics show that only about 20% of teens and adults are achieving this level of activity. As a consequence, cardiovascular disease and other ailments are on the rise.  

What does it all have to do with yoga? Your yoga practice can not only help you get toned, but it also counts toward that goal of 150 minutes of vigorous exercise. So, we’ll talk a bit more about that, and we’ll also look at other tricks to add exercise to your routine. 


Five Tips for Making Time for Exercise in Your Life 

There are countless ways of fitting exercise, including yoga into your day. Here are five of our favorites. We hope they’ll give you a little inspiration to make more room for your well-being in your day.  


1. Schedule Your Exercise Times 

How do you make sure you don’t miss the likes of doctor’s appointments and work meetings? Simple – you add them to your calendar, and they become non-negotiables. Try doing the same for exercise sessions. 15 minutes of yoga in the morning can make a difference to your alertness, focus, and general readiness to tackle your day.  

Alternatively, the same 15 minutes is enough for a high-impact interval training (HIIT) session. The important thing is to treat your exercise appointment with the same seriousness as you do work meetings. 


2. Run or Walk Your Errands 

Could you literally run errands? Depending on where you live, picking up a pint of milk or a packet of coffee doesn’t need to involve a car journey. Rethink your regular errands and try to identify those that you can do on foot. You may need a little more time, but you’re hitting two birds with one stone. 


3. Use Your Kids’ Exercise Time 

What are you doing when your kids are running around on the soccer field or working hard during ballet practice? Of course, it’s great to cheer on them from the sidelines, but how about running around the field, or using that ballet lesson to go for a run or a brisk walk? You’ll be surprised by how much you can fit into these hours.  


4. Build in Non-Exercise Physical Activity 

This is a great tip for anyone with a sedentary job. Set an alarm that forces you to get up from your desk regularly. Five minutes of movement such as squats, variations of push-ups, shoulder stretches, or forward bends, done every hour, will soon add up.  

Granted, this may not give you much vigorous exercise, but it is still better than no movement at all. If there are stairs in your home, start running up and down rather than walking. If you work in a high-rise building, get off the elevator early and take the stairs for a few floors. 

Build in Non-Exercise Physical Activity

5. Make It a Date 

We can probably all agree that it’s hard to find enough time to balance your professional life, family commitments, seeing friends, and exercise. Why not meet your best friend for a walk-and-talk? 30 minutes of fast walking while catching up with each other is a great way to combine exercise and enjoy your social life. If you and your partner like the same activity, why not schedule it as a date?  


Making Time for Yoga – How Much is Enough? 

Can your yoga practice help you get fit? Yes, it can. At first sight, yoga may seem very different from a gym session or going for a run. But look closely: in most poses, you’re working with your body weight, which offers some of the same benefits as different types of weight training. You may not build new muscle, but you can tone the muscle mass that’s there.  

Consider an energetic vinyasa flow session. Most practitioners would agree that following the poses increases their heart rate. That is exactly what constitutes vigorous exercise.  

Another question is how much yoga is enough to make a difference in your health and well-being. The simple answer is that any amount of yoga is better than nothing to help you get or stay fit. Realistically, a practical approach often works best. For example, could you make time for a series of sun salutations in the morning? Following your breath and simply flowing with the sequence will give you a good rhythm. Sun salutations are also an excellent way of loosening up your whole body and getting you ready for the day.  

Throughout the day, consider taking a break with chair yoga. You’ll be doing your back a favor as well as getting a few minutes of exercise in.  

Just 15 minutes every day adds up to 105 minutes. Add one of Uptown Yoga’s Flow and Meditation classes, and you’ll hit the AHA goal of 150 minutes.  


Need More Inspiration? Join Us at Uptown Yoga 

What’s stopping you? Take a look at our schedule and book a class today. We’re happy to advise you which type of class will best suit your goals. Just one dynamic flow class every week will help you reach that goal of 150 minutes of exercise. And why not park a little further away and add a walk before and after class? Making small changes will soon add up to big differences in your fitness levels.  

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