Alternatives to Hitting the Gym on Those Sedentary Social Nights

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Creating a regular fitness routine helps make us accountable and keeps us pushing forward toward our fitness goals. But when we get busy, especially with social events, our workout is often the first thing to disappear. Because of a shift in priorities and a suddenly packed calendar, it’s hard to stick to your gym grind or regular schedule—especially around the holidays.

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Instead of feeling guilty for missing your leg day, think outside the box to better utilize the time you do have. Yes, you can have both a social life and fitness routine! When you can’t dedicate time for a trip to the gym, bring the workout closer to home with the tips below.

Situation: You’ve been invited to an evening get-together, and have to head straight from work to the party.

Solution: If your fitness routine includes sweating it out after a hard day’s work, an evening social event could throw a wrench in your plans. Since there’s no time to hit the treadmill after you clock out, you’ll need to get creative and fit your workout into your work day. Try taking your conference call on your cell phone and use the time do laps around the office, or utilize the stairs as you chat. Scheduled a one-on-one meeting? Invite your co-worker to connect while walking outside.

Situation: You’ve hopped back into the dating pool and the nights out (plus the cocktails) are starting to take their toll on your fitness routine.

Solution: Working out can help you look and feel your best—and when you feel good, you’re sure to attract good company. Instead of skipping leg day or trying to squeeze a sweaty session in before your meetup, why not suggest an active date? Creative activities like hiking, indoor rock climbing, or even taking a yoga class together can break the ice with your date and also create fun memories—and help you keep up with your fitness goals.

Situation: You’re hosting a dinner party and don’t have time to hit the gym before guests arrive.

Solution: Maximize your chores and learn to embrace the shopping pain points as fitness opportunities. Create your to do list in your cellphone’s ‘notes’ app while taking a lap around the block. Park as far away as possible from the store (bonus points for ditching the car and biking or walking to the shop) to get some extra steps in. Once your bags are packed with groceries, continuously switch your grip on the bag to work different parts of your arms. If you’ve got a spare 10-20 minutes before you jump in the shower to get ready, try some bodyweight exercises—no equipment required; include as many rounds of squats, jumping jacks, push-ups and crunches as you can manage for a full body circuit.