Finding time to exercise on a busy schedule

  • Committing to exercise schedules and routines

Often are times I have looked at myself in the mirror or found myself out of breath going up a flight of stairs and made a serious decision to find some time to exercise and get fit..

It goes something like this:

I download as many fitness apps and weight loss plans as possible and get to work.

Day One – All is pretty easy , I feel  I got this work out thing on lock. I convince myself that I can make time for it. I  workout and feel some sense of accomplishment feeling the burn in my muscles, heck I even set a reminder on my phone to help me adhere to my new training schedule.

Day  Two – I am at it again, I push myself even harder to squeeze in that extra set, the motivation to lose that extra calorie.

Day three – My muscles hurt, I try but honestly I half ass the whole thing because the pain is just too intense. I take a shower and go to bed telling myself that its only for a day and I would make up for it tomorrow, no harm done anyway, right?

Day Four – I am still in pain, my alarm goes off and that snooze button starts to look very pretty to me, I go for it.

Every other day that goes by I find a way to make up an excuse to either delay or not put as much effort as the previous day and soon enough I am over  the whole exercise phase.

I am simply too busy or too tired or it’s not really as important as I thought it would be.

I know I am not the only one who goes through this phases in my fitness journey.

It’s easy to feel motivated about the idea of exercising. Let’s all run marathons! And do a push-up challenge! But somehow, a lot of our plans never leave the “idea” stage. It’s so hard to find the time

Going up a flight of stairs is great cardio
  • You will never find time so make time instead

When an emergency or something similar comes up in our lives, we always manage to fit it into our schedules-whether its your boss calling you in over the weekend, or a family member falling ill etc.

Exercise on a daily basis may not exactly fall on the same zone as those  things, but we all have control over what goes on in our 24 hr days and we can always find time to exercise if we put our minds to it.

If you find it really difficult to plan a sweat session, then maybe get yourself a time planner like I did. I found this to be very helpful Focus Booster – “This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures”

Some types of exercise can be combined with other tasks you already need to do. For example, you can ride your bike to work or literally run your errands. I’ve met people who swear by a routine of biking any distance that would take them less than 10 mins driving.

  •  Keep a schedule

Once you find a good time to exercise, mark it on your calendar.Keep it like you would any appointment.

To stay consistent, carve that time out in your routine every day. Even if you only want to lift heavy three times a week, keep your workout on your schedule every day, and use the off-days for a different activity: maybe go for a walk, a run, swimming or even a hike. Make use of amazing products like BookFactory Fitness Journal / Workout Journal / Exercise Journal to help you keep to your schedule.

That kind of consistency keeps you from questioning whether or not today is a good day to work out.If 7 am is always workout time, then you have one less thing to think about, and can just let your routine guide you to do the right thing.

Even if it’s easy to find a 30-minute block of time, that’s not the same as fitting in a 30-minute workout. When I decided to make a habit of working out at work, I found myself spending more time away from my office than I would have liked.It required my going  to my locker, change into my gym clothes, rush through my work out and back through the same routine with a shower now in the mix.

I made it work by reducing the overhead of working out. I work in a military setting that requires me to be in my office by 8am, so I just start my day in workout clothes, drive into camp by 7am and rush into the gym. I workout for 40mins, take a shower, get dressed and I am on my desk by 8am fresh as a daisy with my workout hours all logged.

Think about how you spend your time before and after a workout, and see if there are similar ways you can reduce that time. Exercise outside during the cold weather seasons thus avoiding much sweat which means you can skip the post-workout shower.

Another way to avoid tiresome wardrobe changes is to work out in short bursts throughout the day. You don’t need a whole new outfit just to bang out a few push-ups and squats—but if you do those exercises several times a day, they can add up to a significant workout.

Have fun working out
Working out with friends can be fun
  • Have Fun

None of this will work out though if exercise is not really something you want to do. If you are horrified by your workout sessions, you will do anything to sabotage them. To keep those appointments with yourself, make sure you  have loads of fun.

Pat yourself on the back for any exercise you do, no matter how small. Twenty push-ups in your office is a lot better than zero.

Work out with a gym buddy, listen to your favorite radio station or best yet, avoid those machines you hate so much and play a sport you love instead.

Finally, because you make time for exercise, you’re only going to keep up with exercise that’s rewarding for you. Either it’s enjoyable, or you value the results you get out of it, or both. When a workout has a place in your schedule and a reason to keep coming back, then you’ve got a habit you love.

Do you struggle finding time to exercise? Tell us in the comments section below