Making time for exercise can be tough AF, especially if you have a busy work schedule. But even if your life is hella hectic, it’s uber-important to fit fitness into your daily routine. After all, you (and your body) deserve the best.
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Here are six simple ways you can make time for exercise, no matter how busy your life is.
6 ways to make time for exercise
Ready to get your sweat on? Here’s how you can make room for exercise in your busy routine.
1. Work out efficiently
Pick a workout that you can do almost anywhere. Ideally, this will be a form of exercise that doesn’t require much preparation (maybe save the windsurfing for the weekend).
To make the most of your limited time, it’s a good idea to opt for workouts that offer significant gains in a short time. Here are some top-notch options:
- Tabata training
- interval running
- quick ab routine
- weighted jump rope
- bodyweight workouts
- resistance band workouts
- high intensity interval training (HIIT)
If you’re looking for a good bang for your workout buck, HIIT might be your best bet.
In addition to increasing overall strength, interval training workouts like HIIT have been found to increase aerobic endurance and oxygen uptake. That basically means it helps increase your body’s ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to your tissues.
2. Do what you like
Flexing your self-discipline muscles is often necessary when it comes to exercise. But TBH, there’s no point in doing something you hate. If you can’t stand running, don’t run! You’re much more likely to stick to a workout routine if you actually like it.
Make things easier on yourself by choosing a form of exercise that fits your lifestyle, personality, and taste. Not sure what you love to do? Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of exercise until you find what works best for you.
Remember, you don’t have to do an activity you hate.
3. Keep it competitive
Gym class dodgeball was lit. Keep that spark alive by adding friendly competition to your workouts.
Research suggests that competition can be a major motivator. According to a 2022 study, competitions that provide rewards can make exercise more interesting and fun. There’s also a chance it can inspire you to stick to your workout routines.
Whether you’re elite, beginner, or somewhere in between, there’s something for everyone. You might want to try:
- fun runs
- cycling events
- CrossFit competitions
- powerlifting competitions
- long-distance running events
- 1:1 competition with a workout buddy
- competitions at your local gym or fitness studio
Sign up, set a goal, and go for it! It might be just the push you need to stay in the workout game.
Pro tip: If you want to compete a bit with your friends and fam, you can download a fitness app that lets you keep track of each other’s stats.
4. Add it to your calendar
You might be more keen on exercising if you prioritize it as much as the other things in your life. If you unexpectedly had to pick up your kiddo from school and had no backup plan, how would you deal with the situation? Cancel a meeting? Take some work home with you?
The truth is that when we really need to, we get out of the office at the time that is necessary. So, make a schedule and stick to it. You deserve some you time.
5. Keep track of your activity
There’s an old saying that goes, “If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” While it’s a slight exaggeration, this phrase does have some truth to it, especially when it comes to exercise.
So take notes in your calendar every time you work out. Then add up your workout sessions at the end of each week, month, and year so you can monitor your progress and identify areas for improvement.
Measuring your activity levels (and, ideally, keeping notes on your progress) can help you stay on track and realize when you’re slipping before you’ve completely lost the habit.
Pro tip: If you’re not a fan of old-school note-taking, download a fitness app!
6. Choose something over nothing
You don’t need an hour — or even 30 minutes — to get an effective workout.
Some exercise is virtually always better than none. When done frequently enough as part of an effective program, short and speedy workouts can do wonders for both your body and your mind. Heck, even 7 minutes can make a difference!
So squeeze in fitness wherever you are, no matter how much time you have. Here are some tips to sneak extra exercise into your day:
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
- Use your lunch break to go for a brisk walk.
- Park farther away from a building than you need to.
- Deskercise or move around at least once per hour at work.
- Do squats while your brush your teeth or while you wait for your morning coffee to brew.
- Wake up 15 minutes early to stretch. You can also do some crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, or lunges to get your blood pumping.
Finding time for exercise is one of the best investments you can make in your well-being. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Still, there are lots of easy ways you can fit fitness into your busy schedule.
Make the most of your workouts by opting for exercises that give you the most bang for your buck. Do your best to prioritize working out and focus on exercises you actually like. This will help you stick to your fitness routine.