Time Crunch? Top 10 Ways to Work Fitness into Your Schedule

The most common excuse for not exercising is not having enough time. However, the lack of exercising for fitness may be a much deeper issue than time. Many experts suggest lack of motivation, negative associations, fear of failure, low self-esteem, or lack of enjoyment as underlying causes. Even in a time-crunched society, we seem to find time for social media and television. So the lack of time loses its validity. It takes a bit of strategizing, but you can find, or make, time for fitness and exercise. Here are 10 of the top strategies for making time to workout.

1. Schedule It!

You schedule everything else, why not schedule time for fitness? Write it in your calendar like all your important meetings. Choose a time for exercising each week and pencil it in. Set an alarm on your cell phone or computer to remind you. This can help you stay motivated and keep you from continuously pushing it to the back burner in your mind.

2. Find Five Minutes.

Even with a jam-packed schedule, you can find five minutes for yourself. Take one step toward self-care and your life will change. It’s quite alright to start small. It’s better than not starting at all. Planning a 5-minute walk can easily turn into a 10-minute walk or longer. It really is better than nothing.

3. Trade Your Screen Time

As busy as life is it’s easy to find yourself chilling out in front of the television wasting time. Trade it off for time spent getting fit. Instead of flipping channels watching nothing in particular, turn it off and get in a short workout. Go for a walk, run, or sign up at a gym near your house.  If you do enjoy a few shows, be an active watcher. Do some crunches, pushups, yoga poses, or squats while you are watching. Keep fitness equipment nearby and use commercial breaks for brief cardio intervals. Run up and down the stairs or in place. Do burpees or jumping jacks until your show comes back on.

4. Let Money Motivate You

Money talks. Put a few dollars on the line to motivate you to show up for activities. Hire a personal trainer or sign up for yoga sessions. Signing up for a 5K can be a motivator to train. Take dance lessons or schedule a babysitter so you can go for a run. Join a local sports team to get in exercise and social interaction.

5. Make it a Hot Date

The most popular first date is dinner and a movie. That’s so cliche’. Try something different on your next date. Take your date or partner to a cycling class, for ballroom dance lessons, on a hike or picnic. Head out to a local park and kick a soccer ball around. research has shown sharing activities builds attraction. Go for it!

6. Make Business Active

There’s a good chance your coworkers would like to exercise but have the same difficulty finding the time to work it in. Move weekly brainstorming sessions to the hallway or sidewalk. Or, just stand during meetings. Rather than ordering in coffee, maybe your group would like to walk to the coffee shop. Fresh air and endorphins spark creativity and ideas.

7. Social Activities

A friend asks you to meet them for lunch or drinks. Instead, offer an active invitation. Invite them to walk around the park or lake. Catch up on the latest news while on a leisurely bike ride. Try a new sport together like indoor rock climbing while catching up.

8. Make it a Family Affair

Sometimes, family obligations prevent time for regular workouts. Make fitness a family activity by doing group activities. Schedule family soccer games, bike rides, after-dinner walks, or nature hikes. Take the whole family to the gym. Kids will learn fitness is important as they see parents making time for it.

9. Ditch the Ride

If you live in an area where it is feasible, take the bus, subway, or train. Ride your bike to run errands, or to work. These activities add more steps to your day and step your fitness up a notch. If you cannot do it every day, try once or twice a week. Those who use alternative transportation tend to get more exercise than those who commute by car.

10. Leverage Micro-Workouts

Sitting idle for long periods of time can be draining on the body. Experts suggest never sitting still for more than 45-minute intervals. Whether you are at work or at home, work in some micro-workouts throughout the day. Plan 10-minute breaks where you can grab a cup of coffee, do stretches, or sets of intervals. A quick, but a hard set of 10 or 12 reps won’t necessarily make you break a sweat if you’re in air conditioning. But it will make a difference if it’s done several times throughout the day. 15 pushups or situps take less than 30 seconds. Set an alarm to remind you to move!