Many excuses are made for why we don’t exercise but the most frequent one I hear is “I just don’t have time”. My response is always the same, “how can you not make the time?”. Exercise actually increases your energy level so you need to make the time to exercise so you can take on more. So if you have a busy schedule and struggling to find the time to exercise, consider the following.
My top 10 ideas to consider for those on a busy schedule.
- Workout Early in the Morning – Getting up early takes some discipline, but it can be very rewarding. I use my morning runs as “Me Time”. It is the one part of my day that I control. I travel a great deal and sometimes work 12 hour days so working out in the evenings was unpredictable. Besides, by the end of the day, I’m usually exhausted and my energy level is not what it is in the mornings. You can change your body clock to adapt to early morning workouts and it is a great way to start the day which is why it is my #1 recommendation. A lot of people workout in the early mornings and you might find a friend willing to do so with you.
- Walk/Run at Lunch – This is a great option and a good way to revive your energy during the day. Or even better, if you have an option of working out at a gym during your lunch hour, you should take advantage of it. This beats sitting at your desk and working through lunch which many of us do these days. Most likely you will find you are more productive at work after your lunch time workout. Also it will make your evening time more enjoyable, knowing that you have completed your workout during the day.
- Work out at Work – if your company allows, sit on a stability ball at your desk to strengthen your core – you will be surprised at how this will help! Also, if you can keep dumbbells at your desk and squeeze in a few dumbbell curls during the day. You can also do ab crunches in your chair (but don’t try this if your chair is on wheels!), leg lifts under your desk, lunges, or squats. Be creative and look around your office area to see what you might use as a means to workout. Who knows, you might even motivate your co-workers to do the same.
- Take a Walking Meeting – have you thought about having a meeting with a co-worker while walking? If you can do this while on the job, it is a great way to improve your fitness while working too. Studies have shown that we actually think better during activities so who knows, you might have a great idea during a walking meet.
- Take the Steps – One sure way to improve your fitness level is to take the stairs when you can. I usually always do this unless I am climbing more than 5 floors in a building. Also, I avoid the moving express walkways in airports and other locations and use that as a means of exercise.
- Park further Away– Instead of parking in close to your designation, consider parking farther away. I do this when going to a business meeting, grocery store, movies, shopping, etc. Use the distance to get in a short little exercise but make sure you park in a safe location and be aware of your surroundings.
- Make it a Social or Family Event – Take your spouse, kids, pet, or a friend with you on a walk / run around the block. It is a good way to stay connected and pass the time. Involving others (including pets if you have one) helps keep you motivated. It is better than sitting on the coach watching TV!
- Invest in a Treadmill – If you can afford it, consider using a Treadmill in your home. Watch the news and other shows on TV while working out at home. It beats sitting on the couch. A friend of mine uses a treadmill to walk and she reads while walking (she lost 25 pounds over an 18 month period doing this!).
- Get off the Couch – We are a society that enjoys the tube but that does not mean we have to be couch potatoes while doing so. Next time you are watching your favorite show, consider doing push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, lunges, etc. during the commercials. Make it intense and see how many you can do during the breaks. It is a great way to work out and enjoy your favorite show too!
- Stay True to Your Weekend Schedule – regardless of your busy schedule, make the time to get your longer workouts in over the weekend (or when you have time off from work). There is no excuse to missing a weekend workout. Over time, your fitness level will improve and your walks/runs will become a habit. Tell yourself, you must do these workouts and accept nothing less. Keeping yourself fit will not only improve your mood, but you will find over time you can better manage stress, your energy level increases, and you will feel better overall knowing that you are living life to the fullest.