The most common excuse for not exercising? “No time.” Most of us struggle with making time for exercise. When your inbox is out of control, your boss wants to schedule another 6 p.m. meeting, your kids need to be bathed, that’s when workout takes a back seat. Busy as we may be, we have less trouble finding time for television, social networking, or even dull household tasks.
It’s exactly during those times when you feel like you’re running out of time (instead of, running), your workout becomes more important than ever. Not just if you’re working toward a goal or training for a race, but because even 20 minutes of physical activity can drastically improve your mood, mindset, and overall well-being. (And that’s good for you, your boss, your kids, and everyone around you in general.)
So how to make time for exercise when life feels crazy and there is no motivation?
Here are some ways to keep your workouts in the rotation, no matter how busy you are.
- Schedule your workouts
Decide on the best time for exercise in your schedule and actually enter it into your digital calendar as a repeat event. This way it will show up daily and there is less chance of you scheduling something during that time.
- Run Errands
Mop the floor, scrub the bathtub, or do other housework at a pace fast enough to get your heart pumping. Walk to that grocery store instead of taking the car. Climb those stairs rather than taking the elevator. Have a conference call you can’t miss? Need to return a few phone calls to family and friends? Grab your cell phone and get walking.
- Catch up with friends or Make it a date
Take your date/partner to a dance class or for cycling or go on a hike or a picnic. This will make the date interesting and get you your much-needed workout. You can also schedule a fun session with your friends, this will make you less likely to cancel the activity.
- Find five minutes for yourself
Even if your day is packed with meetings and other commitments, you absolutely can take out five minutes for yourself. It can be while watching tv. Do crunches, planks, yoga poses, squats, lunges, or pushups while you’re watching. You can also use the commercial breaks to mix in brief cardio intervals. Run in a place or up and down the stairs.
- Limit your screen time
All of us surf aimlessly for hours on end. That’s a surefire way to waste time you could spend in more active ways. Set a maximum screen time and stick to it.
- Carry an activity tracker or wear a pedometer
Activity trackers like StepSetGo give you an accurate number of steps you take in a day. You might think that you are active, but a pedometer app will give you an exact count of your activity. This may motivate you to do even more. Try and maintain a step count of 10,000 steps a day!
- Break it up
Nothing better than getting 30 minutes of continuous exercise in a day but if that’s not possible, exercise in shorter intervals. Short brisk walks, a couple of crunches here and there might do the trick.
Dance around the house, dance with a video, dance with your partner, dance with your dog!! Put on those dancing shoes and burn those calories!!
In the end, it’s easy to feel motivated about the idea of exercising. Let’s all run marathons! But somehow, a lot of our plans never leave the “idea” stage. We’re all busy people!
When a workout has a place in your schedule and you realize how amazing you’d feel if you had been working out according to the fitness goals you set for yourself months ago, then you’ve got a habit you can be proud of.