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Schedule It In1 of 12
"Put the workouts on your calendar, and treat them as important meetings," says Julie Ireland, Senior Coach & VP Client Experience with the David Allen Company—the creators of the Getting Things Done productivity book and methodology. Carving out those daylight hours and writing them in indelible ink on your schedule increases the chances of sneaking in that lunchtime workout, versus just thinking about doing it once you find the time.
Shift Your Day2 of 12
"Acknowledge that working out during daylight hours may mean shifting other 8am to 4pm activities to early morning or evening, so get permission to be flexible with schedules," Ireland adds. That might mean that work meetings get scheduled for later so you can plan a morning workout, or that you trade chores with your spouse to free up an afternoon.
Optimize Your Lunch Break3 of 12
Swap time in the cafeteria at work for a fast workout during lunch, says Glassford. It won't be much of an endurance session, but at least you'll be outside, and you'll likely have a more productive afternoon after your physical jump start. Pack a lunch to eat at your desk afterwards (it won't feel so sad if you've already gotten that Vitamin D fix.)
READ: The Best Workouts for 9-5 Life
Change Up Your Workout4 of 12
Keep an arsenal of easy indoor workouts for the days that you simply can't make it out during the day. Having a few activities that you can switch to in the dark makes it easier to get a workout in, even if Plan A didn't happen, Glassford says. Strength workouts and yoga are some of the easiest, most effective workouts to do indoors—and having a few go-to routines guarantees you'll never miss a training session.
Don't Putz Around5 of 12
"I recommend that people, if possible, bring their bikes and kits with them to work and essentially go straight away after they get off," says coach Heath Dotson. "This allows people to squeeze in quite a bit more time since it cuts out the commute and inevitable putzing around at the house when you get home."
Make Friends With Your Alarm Clock6 of 12
"Being an early bird, three days per week I have a 30-minute circuit routine for upper body and core exercises that I do. If it's still dark out I'll hop on the trainer for thirty minutes of high-intensity interval training [HIIT]," says CTS coach Tracey Drews. "I prefer the morning for two reasons: it helps to start my day with extra energy and just in case the day gets out of control, then I know I've gotten my training in and don't have to worry about having missed a workout."
READ: Get Ready Faster with this Time-Cutting Cycling Gear
Pre-Make Your Meals7 of 12
Whether you're trying to squeeze in a workout in the morning or night, make your schedule easier to handle by having ready-to-go meals, like pre-soaked oats or a smoothie that just needs a quick blending, says coach Brandon Davis. For dinners, you can make a big batch of stew or soup and freeze single servings. Cooking should never keep you from a workout.
Sleep Better8 of 12
The best way to make sure that you get a workout in during daylight is to make the most of your nights. Davis says his top tip is to improve your sleep hygiene and get the best sleep possible, so you wake up ready to crush. If you're riding your bike in the morning, for example, have your bottles already on your bike, your tires pumped and your Garmin charged so you're ready to roll as soon as that alarm goes off. And if you need a little extra pick-me-up, a little coffee never hurt anybody.
Enlist a Buddy9 of 12
"If you're not an early riser, have a training partner if possible," Davis adds. "The accountability of having to meet someone is a powerful motivator on those tough morning sessions." And with daylight in short supply, you can't afford to be late and risk annoying your buddy—or make a rule that the late one buys breakfast after.
READ: 6 Ways to Bag a Sunrise
Ask Yourself "Why?"10 of 12
One of the best ways to remind yourself that sneaking in an outdoor workout is important is simple: remind yourself, or ask yourself, why exactly you love working out, especially outside. "Ask 'Why does exercise matter?' For me, for example, generating a healthy and fit body enables me to be more available to my purpose, so I'll prioritize it over other things," Ireland says. If you're into bikes, think about your perfect bike ride: the crisp smell of fall, the sun on your face, the wind at your back and the satisfaction of pedaling in the sunlight versus sitting on your bike trainer in the basement. You'll be halfway out the door in no time.
Go All-In Before Daylight Savings Happens11 of 12
The days with long sunshine hours are coming to an end, so if you have any vacation days left for the year, consider doing a big block of endurance training and long hours while the sun is shining, says SmartAthlete coach Peter Glassford. The cliche "make hay while the sun shines" applies to workouts, too.