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How To Make Time For Exercise (Even When You’re Busy)

Maybe you’re a reluctant exerciser or you could be like me- someone who loves to run. But even when you have the best intentions to get fit, family and work commitments always seem to get in the way. So how do you make time for exercise?

Short of quitting your job, it will always be a delicate balancing act! But don’t despair, these tips will help you prioritize exercise. Learn how to fit your workout into even the busiest of schedules.

how to make time for exercise

9 Tips To Make Time To Exercise With A Busy Schedule

These are some of the tips I’ve used over the years to fit exercise into a busy working week:

1. Set A Goal

If you’re building up your fitness for a specific goal, you’ll have a reason to get fit. For example, it could be an event, a race, or getting fit for a holiday.

Setting a goal makes your commitment to exercise so much stronger. Even the busiest schedules can find some spare time if the exercise motivation is strong enough.

Make sure your goal has a time limit. It’s better to follow a 12-week schedule for your first 5K race than aim for the vague goal of simply running more.

2. Analyse Your Schedule

I’m sure you’re super busy but when you sit down and analyze your schedule, you could be surprised by how much time you waste in a day. Often there are simple fixes to free up enough time to exercise.

These are some ideas to look at:

  • Meal Preparation: Batch cooking your meals 2 or 3 times a week saves time, there’s less waste and often you’ll end up planning and eating healthier meals.
  • Screen Time: I’m not pointing fingers but social media and Netflix can be serious time-suckers. Try limiting your screen time and use that extra time to squeeze in a quick workout.
  • Wake Up Earlier: As much as I love my sleep, waking up even 30 minutes earlier can give you enough time for a morning run or workout session before starting the day.
how to get more exercise when you-re really busy

3. Workout From Home

Whenever I’ve had a gym membership, I’ve never got the most out of it. It can be a hassle. You have to drive there, get changed, and, before you know it, your allotted exercise time is almost over.

When you exercise from home, you save time on traveling and can fit in a quick workout whenever you have 20 to 30 minutes to spare.

Take a walk, go for a run, or follow an online session. There’s a huge choice of free YouTube videos to follow – everything from online yoga workouts to walking in place.

4. Remind Yourself To Move More

It’s easy to spend far too much time sitting down, especially if you have a desk job. One way to make sure you get up and move regularly is to set an alarm.

Set your alarm to go off every hour (or even every 30 minutes) and when it goes off get up and move! Walk about the office, do a few lunges – anything to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up.

5. Dress In Your Workout Clothes

This is my favorite tip out of the list and the one I’ve followed the most. If I plan on exercising during the day, I’ll dress in my workout clothes.

Of course, it’s not always appropriate, but if you can pull it off, give it a try. There’s nothing sadder than getting to the end of the day still wearing my running kit when I haven’t been for a run. I find it’s a good way to guilt-trip myself into exercising!

tips to exercise more

6. Schedule Exercise Into Your Routine

Instead of leaving it to chance that you’ll have a free hour to exercise – because that happens almost NEVER – add your exercise routine to your daily schedule.

Make it a priority. If you don’t make time for exercise, lack of fitness will have a negative impact on your life and the people around you will suffer. You owe it to them as much as yourself, so schedule exercise into your routine.

It can help to set aside a specific time every day. Get your family on board so they know when you’ll be unavailable and won’t interrupt your workout.

7. Find Fun Ways To Stay Active

Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. Find something you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t try and run every day. Try dancing or swimming, or even a team sport. If you think you hate exercise, keep trying new things. I can promise you all you need to do is find the right activity for you.

Even when you’re a keen runner or walker things can get a little stale, so mix things up to stay motivated. Walk up a peak at dawn to see the sunrise, cycle to the beach for a picnic, enter a fancy dress race, or take a muddy welly walk with your family.

With a little imagination, you can find fun ways to stay motivated.

8. Make The Most Of A Spare 20 – 30 Minutes

You can pack a lot into a short exercise session. A HIIT session, a set of bodyweight exercises, or even a fast one or two-mile run can fit into a spare 20 to 30 minutes.

By upping the intensity, a short hard exercise session can be great cardio and just as good for you as a long slow run. Find small pockets of time in your day to squeeze in a quick workout. You’ll feel so much better for it!

9. Leave The Car At Home

The daily commute can be a good way to walk, run, or cycle. If that’s not practical, try leaving the car at home for the school drop-off or when you’re running errands.

I like to think twice before I reach for the car keys. Often it’s just as easy to head out on foot if it’s a journey of less than a mile. You’ll save money on fuel, help the environment, and squeeze some extra steps into your day.

take a walk in your lunch break

Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit

Remember, the goal isn’t to become an overnight marathon runner (unless that’s your dream—then, chase it relentlessly!) It’s about making movement a natural part of your day, finding joy in the activities you choose, and being kind to yourself throughout the process.

Everyone’s fitness journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another, and that’s totally okay! What’s important is that you’re taking steps (literally and figuratively) toward a healthier, more active lifestyle that fits your life.

Incorporating these tips into your routine isn’t about strict regimens or unattainable goals—it’s about carving out moments for yourself, celebrating the little victories, and, most importantly, having a blast while doing it. So, lace up those sneakers (or dancing shoes), explore the myriad ways you can stay active, and remember: the best workout is the one you complete. Here’s to making time for exercise, making every step count, and enjoying your fitness journey!

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