How to Find Time to Exercise with a Busy Schedule

I’ve always said that I wished days were longer. It’s just so hard to fit in getting the right amount of sleep, eating well, housework, actual work, and family time that taking care of myself just kind of falls to the wayside. While I would love to be able to go to the gym or workout at home every day, I just often feel too busy or too burnt out to do it. So, I started doing some research!

I was thinking that there had to be ways for even the busiest people to fit some exercise into the day, right? We’ve got 16-hours to work with in a day (assuming you get your recommended 8-ours of sleep) and, while it might be exhausting, we need to really seize those 16-hours and make our lives the best that we can! 

A heathy life is a great life. I discovered these methods for working more exercise into my day that I hope will inspire you to do the same! We’ve only got one life so let’s all be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, shall we?

Sneak in exercise on your commute

I know it sounds crazy, but you should definitely try running or biking to work – even if it’s just once a week! It’s a great way to exercise with a busy schedule and – if you live in a big city – might even get you to work faster than a train or cab ride!

If running or biking isn’t really your style, you can always go the route of parking a few blocks away from your building and sneaking in a half-mile walk before work. It goes by quicker than you think and is a great opportunity to listen to my podcast, Murder Speaks!

Multitask at the gym

You’ll save tons of time at the gym if you can combine multiple workouts into a single session. For example, while you’re on the treadmill, grab some lightweight dumbbells (3 to 5-pounds) and work those arms!

Check out these arm workouts and do one-minute of each with the dumbbells in hand:

  • Shoulder-presses
  • Bice curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Side laterals
  • Front laterals
  • Triceps kickbacks

You’ll be toned and sculpted in no time!

Turn waiting time into exercise time

Think about how much of your day you spend waiting around. Whether it’s for your lunch to be ready, for the train to come, or for your boss to give you an answer, so much of your day could be better utilized elsewhere. Next time you find yourself waiting around for 5 minutes, go ahead and exercise a little bit! Jog in place, do a few squats, stand on your toes to work those calves, or drop and do a couple push-ups. Don’t’ worry what anyone else is thinking. They’re not going to be as fit as you!

Workout while you watch

I know that after a long day at work you just want to come home and watch the next episode of your favorite show! But when you’re trying to work more exercise into your busy schedule, there’s no time for just sitting around. Luckily, there are so many exercises that you can do right from your living room!

A great way to break up your home exercise routine is to section it out into time intervals. So, if you’re watching an hour-long episode of something, pick 6 exercises to do for 2 minutes each and repeat them four times. You can also cut that in half if you’re watching a 30-minutes show or if you want to bust some moves out for the first half of the episode and then relax for the rest.

Stick to a schedule

If you can plan out your day hour-by-hour, you might realize that you have a lot more time than you think! If you can carve out a schedule that makes time for exercise just three times a week, you’re already in great shape! Once you’ve got the hang of working out three-days a week, try to add in an extra day at a time.

Don’t overwhelm yourself or pack your days with too many tasks! If you get burnt out, you’ll have no motivation to get back to your exercise routine or complete your other important tasks. Scheduling your days is all about finding balance!

Make your workout fun!

You don’t have to be a gym rat or avid runner to get exercise. Check out some local recreational spaces and see what kind of group or one-on-one activities they have that you can sign up for. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover that you love to dance!

Otherwise, you could gather some friends and create a rec league for a sport – something that everyone knows isn’t meant to be taken seriously. It will get you together with your friends for some bonding time AND you’ll get a decent workout in!

Get up earlier

Hitting the snooze button until the very last second used to be one of my favorite things to do. I started practicing with getting up just 10 minutes earlier every day until I could finally get up a whole hour earlier than I used to!

Working out first thing in the morning is awesome because it wakes you up and gets you pumped up for the day, but it also knocks your workout off your to-do list first thing in the morning!

If you can get up early enough, and you have someone at home to help you, you might even be back home before the kids get up. Wouldn’t an hour of “me time” first thing in the morning be incredible rather than rushing to get the whole house ready for the day?

Workout on the weekend

I know that weekends are supposed to be all about relaxing, but just one hour each day won’t hurt anybody! The way that I like to think of it is this: weekends are the part of our week that we’re supposed to do what we WANT to do instead of what we HAVE to do, right? If you want to get more exercise into your busy schedule, then you should take full advantage of the weekends!

If you’re determined to make weekends all about family time, plan some fun exercise activities for the whole family.

Here are some family-friendly workout ideas:

  • Bike ride
  • Kayaking/paddle boarding
  • Dance parties
  • Touch football
  • One-on-one basketball
  • Yard work
  • Swimming
  • Walks for charity

Track your progress

You can do this either in a journal that is dedicated to your workouts or wherever you have written down your schedule. Just seeing the fact that you’ve accomplished your goal of working out and fitting exercise into your busy schedule is enough to make you want to keep going! Plus, it’s really fun to look back on your past workouts and see how far you’ve come.

Use competitions to motivate you

Try to stick to a similar workout goal with a friend OR create a competition with yourself! Giving your exercise routine that competitive edge will help you stay focused and keep on making time in your schedule to exercise.

It’s important to keep the competition healthy and only use it as motivation – don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t win or reach that goal you set for yourself! Just keep trying and always do a little bit better than the day before. You’ll reach that goal in no time.

Avoid workouts that you really don’t like

If you really don’t like riding a bike or going for a run, just don’t do it! Fitting your workout into a busy schedule should always be something that you WANT to do. Even on the days when you don’t exactly feel like working out, chances are you’ll be happy that you did! However, if you consistently are doing exercises that you really don’t enjoy or ones that make you uncomfortable, you might find yourself making more and more excuses as to why you’re not going to do them.

Eat well, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep

You have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself if you want to fit more exercise into your busy schedule! If you aren’t taking care of your body in all the right ways, exercise might end up doing more harm than good. You’ll want to make sure you’re eating enough healthy foods so that you don’t lose too much weight; you’re getting plenty of rest so that you don’t injure yourself; and you’re well-hydrated to replenish all of the water you lose through sweat.

Don’t wait to start finding ways to add exercise to your busy schedule! Grab a pen and paper right now and schedule out your day for tomorrow, hour by hour, and block out just 30-minutes of exercise time. Trust me, it’ll feel amazing!!

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