- Despite many of the great changes occurring in hybrid and remote work spaces, most workers still have traditional and inflexible hours.
- Working a 9-to-5 job makes maintaining a fitness routine especially challenging.
- Fitness enthusiasts can balance their active lifestyle with work by pre-planning meals, waking up early to work out, and working out on days off from work.
Most workers still have traditional jobs, which typically make balancing fitness with work very difficult.
Dedicated fitness routines require a lot of work and discipline even without a job. When optimized, a fitness regimen includes an exercise routine, a nutritional plan to support exercise performance and general health — plus a good sleep schedule.
While many workers now enjoy the benefits of flexibility that come with remote and hybrid work options, many other workers still do not.
Remote options make balancing fitness with work much easier because, in most cases, workers do not need to be in any specific place at any particular time, but instead have to meet set deadlines.
While most workers agree that traditional jobs should be a thing of the past, the reality is that the majority of workers still don’t have the amount of flexibility that it takes to easily balance fitness and a job.
9-to-5 work days are structured in a way that makes fitness incompatible with work
The 9-to-5 structured work-day, in particular, makes having a fitness hobby incredibly challenging.
For most, waking up early enough to work out and still make it to the office at 9 is too much of a hardship. Yet going to the gym after 5 p.m. on any given workday is a nightmarish scene of waiting for weights as the gym gets even more packed with others just getting out of work.
Beyond workout scheduling issues outside of office hours, challenges remain inside workplaces, too. Office culture in on-site 9-5 work environments tends to include coworkers or management encouraging copious snacks, regardless of an individual employee’s personal fitness goals.
Resisting that influence can be highly intimidating because it feels, at least intuitively, that you want to appease your managers and that just eating the cookie will aid in that effort. But as wise Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “put the cookie down! Now!”
Here’s how to navigate a traditional job as a fitness enthusiast
- Meal prep: Pre-planning healthy meals over the weekend or through meal prepping services is not only a great way to respond to the offer of a cookie, “No thanks! I have food!” But it is also a great way to not have to think about what you will eat during the week. By taking meal decisions out of the daily mix, you can actually clear your mind to the point of improving your overall productivity, which is a nice work-related bonus of a meal prepping plan for workers who are enthusiastic about fitness.
- Wake up early in the morning to exercise: This is an option many people dread, but, there are good reasons to wake up early. The fact is that gyms are typically empty early in the morning, which can help workers breeze through their workouts without having to wait. If you establish the habit of waking up early to exercise, and your exercise involves going to a gym, you will also likely develop the habit of finishing your exercises not only in time for work but with time to spare. Independent of that, waking up early can help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety while improving workers’ sense of self-motivation and confidence in themselves to achieve their goals. So it might sound bad, but, objectively, waking up early in the morning is nothing but a bundle of positives.
- Not working out on work days: Exercising on days off from work is much easier than working out on work days. Especially if a worker has a four-day work week, and thus, three days off each week, this is an excellent option. Generally speaking, to reap the most benefits you can from any exercise regiment, research shows that a three-day per week split is what is minimally required. Having only Saturday and Sunday off is not ideal if a worker can only choose to work out on days off from their jobs, but “not ideal” is better than nothing.