Updated: Sep 10
It’s hard to make time to exercise when you’re super busy, especially if you have other responsibilities like working full-time or keeping up with your family and friends. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! It’s possible to stay fit on the busiest of schedules. With these tips, you can get the exercise you need without having to go through drastic measures or having to change your lifestyle completely.
Take Your Pre-Workout Routine Seriously
You know that feeling when you finally have time to work out, but you can’t find your shoes or your water bottle? Or when you get to the gym and realize you left your towel at home?
Taking a few minutes to prepare for your workout can save you time and hassle in the long run. Plus, it will help you get into the right mindset for a great workout.
Start by planning your workout routine.
Next, pack up any gear you need to bring with you—including clothes and food if you plan on going straight from the gym to breakfast.
If you want music while working out, make sure it’s loaded onto your phone so all you have to do is plug in your earbuds!
Finally, be sure not to forget things like sunscreen or any medications (if needed). By preparing ahead of time, we can reduce stress before heading out of the door and make fitness much more enjoyable!
Know Where To Look For Inspiration
It can be tough to find time to work out when you’re super busy. But there are plenty of people who have been in your shoes and have found a way to make it work.
Here are some of our favorite places to look for workout inspiration:
- The internet: A quick Google search will reveal tons of workout routines that you can do at home with minimal equipment.
- YouTube: There are tons of great fitness channels on YouTube, like POPSUGAR Fitness and BeFit, that offer workout videos for all levels.
- Instagram: Follow some fitness influencers or hashtags to get your daily dose of workout motivation.
Figure Out What You Can Skip
In order to make time for your workouts, you need to be honest about what you can skip. If you’re pressed for time, there are probably some things in your life that you can do without. Maybe it’s watching TV, browsing social media, or sleeping in.
Whatever it is, figure out what you can cut out of your day so that you can make time for a workout.
It’s not easy to fit a workout into an already busy schedule, but with the right tools and techniques, you can still get back on track with your fitness goals.
The key is figuring out what you can realistically live without in order to give yourself enough time for working out!
Make Exercise Part of Your Morning Routine
Start your day with a morning workout. Not only will you get your exercise in, but you'll also start your day with a boost of energy.
If you're not a morning person, try working out at lunchtime or after work.
Making exercise part of your daily routine will help you make time for it even when you're super busy.
Once you've committed to getting up earlier and making the time, it's so much easier to fit in a quick walk around the block or go for a jog before bed.
So how do you create more space on your calendar?
Put exercise on the top of your list by prioritizing it above other things that are non-negotiable.
Find time during the week that works best for you and then carve out some consistent blocks of time during those days.
It doesn't have to be hours long, just find 15 minutes every weekday to squeeze in a short yoga video or take your dog for a quick walk around the block.
Add Intervals And New Exercises To Your Routine
If you’re short on time, one of the best ways to make your workouts more effective is to add intervals. Intervals are periods of high-intensity followed by periods of low-intensity.
Not only do they help you get more out of your workout in less time, but they also help improve your cardiovascular fitness and increase your calorie burn.
For example, if you usually run for 20 minutes, break it up into two 10 minute intervals with a five minute walk in between each interval.
Set Goals For Yourself (And Measure Them!)
Before you can make time for anything, you need to know what your goals are. Without goals, it’s easy to get sidetracked and push workouts to the back burner.
Get specific about what you want to achieve—whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle, or improving your cardiovascular health.
Once you have your goals set, measure your progress along the way. This will help keep you motivated and on track.
It also helps keep from becoming overwhelmed when you don’t feel like working out. If a goal isn’t realistic for where you are in life right now, find a different one that is.
For example, if being healthy is your goal but you're having trouble making healthier choices with work and family obligations keeping you busy, try prioritizing fitness over nutrition by focusing on building strength at the gym.
Or maybe prioritize your mental well-being by starting small with meditating or going for a walk each day after work before tackling any of the other obligations in your life.
Don’t Let Stairs Stop You From Exercising At Home
If you live in an apartment or condo, chances are you have access to a flight of stairs. And while they may seem like more trouble than they’re worth, stairs are actually a great way to get in a quick workout when you don’t have time for anything else.
They're also really fun and satisfying if you do them right!
Grab your phone and listen to some music (or just sing) as you climb up and down the stairs for about 10 minutes.
Your heart rate will start going up quickly, and after 10 minutes of this routine, it'll be beating as fast as if you were doing high-intensity interval training on the treadmill.
The key is to make sure that your heart rate stays elevated by either continuing the climb or stepping back down one floor before starting again.
After 10 minutes of climbing, take a two-minute break then do another round.
Pay Attention To Rest Days
You might think that in order to make progress, you have to go all out, every day. But that’s not the case! Your body needs time to recover from workouts, and if you don’t give it that time, you’ll actually hinder your progress.
So make sure to take at least one or two days off per week.
And on those days off, don’t feel guilty about not working out.
Relax, enjoy your day, and know that you’re doing something good for your body.
Be Kind To Yourself!
You’re busy. You’re juggling a lot of balls and working hard. So, if you miss a workout or two (or three), it’s not the end of the world.
Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on track as soon as you can.
Set small, manageable goals. If you don’t have time to go to a gym or exercise, make a point of walking up and down your stairs more than once per day (or whenever you can) and keep a couple bottles of water with you at all times so that if you find yourself having an unexpected break during your day, you can just walk around for 5 minutes.
Regardless of the time given, even five minutes is better than nothing. Make sure it fits into your schedule: You may need to rearrange some things in order to fit exercising into your schedule.
If so, take a moment now and brainstorm what types of things you can change about your daily routine in order to make time for getting active.
Grab a Buddy (Or Some Training Equipment!)
Making time for a workout can be tough, especially when you’re super busy. But there are a few things you can do to make it happen.
First, try to find a workout buddy. Having someone to hold you accountable will help you stay on track.
And second, invest in some quality at-home workout equipment. That way, you can get a great workout in even when you don’t have time to make it to the gym.
Plus, investing in good gear is a worthwhile investment that'll last you a long time!
If you're not quite ready to commit to making room for workouts in your day-to-day life, consider adding it as an appointment with yourself or working out at home instead of going out with friends sometimes.