If you’re like most people, you probably have a very demanding life that doesn’t leave you with a lot of extra time. And when life is jam-packed, things like exercise often fall off our ‘have-to-do’ list.
Exercise is great for us. And it can help keep us healthy and vibrant as we age. It’s important for stress relief. It helps us get higher quality, deeper sleep, and it can give us the energy we need to keep pace with all our lives require of us. (1,2).
So today, let’s talk about creative ways you can squeeze that workout into your day no matter how busy you are!
Make Exercise a Part of your Schedule
-Wake up early and get your workout in first thing. It can be tough to wrangle yourself out of bed but getting exercise in before starting your day ensures that no obstacle the day brings can get in your way. Late meetings, the unexpected needs of children, and just plain fatigue often pop up as the day gets going and can derail our plans to make time for exercise.
-Another way to make time for exercise is to schedule it into your day like any other important appointment. Putting it in your calendar can prevent that co-worker from slipping in a meeting under your nose. Sorry can’t help you right now… I’m getting my sweat on.
-Find a workout buddy who can help motivate you to stay on track. We are far more likely to keep a commitment to a friend than we are to ourselves. Making it a friendly affair can help ensure that the workouts get done because we are less inclined to leave a friend hanging.
Fitting a workout into your workday
-Is your 9-5 within walking or biking distance? Try using your commute time to get in some cardio!
-If you work long hours, break up your day by going for a walk or jog around your building or at a nearby park during your lunch break. Bring a friend to help you keep the appointment with yourself!
-Work from home? Schedule a few 15-minute breaks to get some reps in. It is ok to break your work out into chunks throughout the day. It still counts even if it’s not all completed at once.
Use technology to help you stay on track
There are many fitness apps and websites that can help you stay motivated when you have a busy schedule.
Youtube has an endless supply of free videos made by personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts of all types. Check out a great list here.
Habit stacking is an easy way to fit exercise into your day. All you have to do is take a new behavior you would like to add to your routine and add it to an already well-established habit.
- Try some squats while you are brushing your teeth in the morning
- Bust out some counter push-ups while making your kids’ lunches
- Lunge through the house while you’re vacuuming
Squeeze physical activity onto your existing to-do list
Try doing an at-home circuit workout during your favorite shows! You can get your workout in, AND you don’t even have to miss a single minute of HGTV.
At your kids’ sporting events or practice
Do you have kids who play sports? Try a jog around the park on their practice days. Bring a yoga mat for some sit-ups or planks on the sideline.
Assemble a small home gym
When we need every spare minute in our day, the time it takes to travel to the gym can feel like way too much. An excellent solution to this is to create a home gym. This can be as simple as investing in a few basic pieces of equipment, such as dumbbells, exercise bands, and a yoga mat.
Of course, if you have more space and resources, you could build a more elaborate home gym with cardiovascular equipment, weight machines, and other fitness gear.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a workout here and there. Just get back on track and keep at it! Exercise is important, but it’s also important to listen to your internal wisdom. If it’s time for a break or a more easy-going physical activity, that’s ok. The goal is to find a balance that works for you and a realistic routine you can stick with long term.
Have the time but struggle with motivation?
We all do! Try committing to a small amount of exercise each day that you won’t talk yourself out of. 5 minutes? 10 minutes? Great! Do that daily until you’ve firmly established the habit, then build from there! We often try to come blazing out of the gates only to find ourselves overwhelmed. When we are building habits starting slow is often far more effective.
Following these tips will help you fit exercise into your very busy schedule. Just remember to have fun!
Too fatigued to exercise? Schedule a free consultation to discuss your hormone health, blood sugar, sleep, and stress. There’s no need to guilt trip yourself over not exercising when something else might be affecting your ability to workout.
- “Exercising to Relax – Harvard Health Publishing.” Harvard Health, 1 Feb. 2011, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax.
- “How Can Exercise Affect Sleep?” Sleep Foundation, 25 Feb. 2013, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/exercise-and-sleep.