I don’t have time. That’s the #1 excuse people give for not working out. And I totally get it… Life is hectic, and sometimes there are just too many things to juggle. BUT, that doesn’t have to be a reason for not exercising. Sure, we’re all busy, but that doesn’t mean we get a free pass to neglect our health!
The truth is, you don’t necessarily need a lot of time. There are loads of ways to incorporate exercise into your existing routine, without having to carve out 2 hours for a gym session. So to help remove the time barrier, here are 35 simple ways to make time for exercise…
- Star jumps as soon as you get out of bed – it’s a great way to get the heart racing in the morning, and burn some calories at the same time!
- Shower squats – do squats whilst you’re in the shower daily, and you’ll soon see your thighs and glutes start to tighten and tone.
- Standing leg raises whilst washing up – raising one leg out to the side works your abductor muscle, toning and strengthening your outer thigh. Repeat 10-12 reps on each side, and do it super-slow for a more intense burn.
- Tricep dips in front of the TV – most sofas are the perfect height for triceps dips. Sit in front of your sofa with your legs out and hands behind you on the seat. Use your arms to push your body off the ground, and then slowly lower it back down. Do 2 sets of 10-12 dips every other day to really target bingo wings.
- Do calf raises on the stairs – stand with your toes on the bottom step and then lift yourself up onto tip toes, and then down again. Do 10-12 before you go up to bed each night.
Develop Active Habits
- Create triggers – so that you’re reminded to exercise every time you do a daily activity. It might be doing 10 pushups every time you feed the dog, or high knees before breakfast.
- Run up the stairs – it’s a quick and easy way to raise your heart rate throughout the day and give those calf muscles a workout.
- Go for a walk at lunchtime – 20mins of fresh air will clear your head, get your body moving, and help you dose up on vitamin D too!
- Choose the basket over trolley – if you’re only shopping for a few groceries, then use a basket and get some strength training in at the same time.
- Get off the bus earlier – this is an oldie but a goodie… Get off one stop before usual, and walk the last 10mins. You could even build up to walking the entire way!
- Park in the spot furthest away – whether it’s at the supermarket, your office, or the gym, squeeze a few more steps into your day by parking far away.
- Walk faster – walking at a brisk pace will burn more calories and improve your health compared with casually wandering through your day. Plus, you’ll get to places faster, saving even more time in the process!
- Run in intervals – take it up a notch further, and run for 10-20 seconds during the walk home from work. It’s not going to make you hot and sweaty, but will improve your fitness over time.
- Swap coffee mornings for hiking – planning a catch up with the girls over coffee? Why not swap the seated environment for the great outdoors! Hiking will elevate your heart rate, burn calories, and allow you to recharge surrounded by nature.
- Get sweaty cleaning – did you know that 15mins of vacuuming torches almost 100 calories? And it’s a decent arm workout too! If you’re going to do some cleaning, then do it with gusto and get that heart racing…
16. Schedule it – block out time that’s dedicated to exercise. Sometimes you need to literally find time by scouring your calendar. Make it non-negotiable, so that other things must fit around it. Set an appointment in your phone and stick with it.
17. Have a plan – a goal without a plan is just a dream. So breakdown exactly what you need to do, and how you CAN fit it into your schedule.
18. Write it down – you’re more likely to find the time if you’ve written down your fitness goals.
19. Always keep a gym bag packed – it removes the barrier of not knowing where your gym stuff is, and saves vital time hunting around for everything.
20. Stick a checklist to the fridge – ticking off a checklist is sooo satisfying! It’ll help you breakdown larger goals into bite-size chunks that you can squeeze in between your other daily tasks.
Reclaim Time For Fitness
21. Delegate – what can you delegate to your partner or children? Are there jobs that they could do, which would allow you 30mins to work-out?
22. Ask for help – if you’re at a loss as to how to make time, then ask others for advice! Sometimes other people will come up with ideas you hadn’t thought of, or offer to take something off your plate to free up time.
23. Watch one less TV program – it’s easy to collapse in front of the TV at night, and binge watch 3 episodes of your favorite program back to back. But by cutting your TV by just 30mins, you’ll reclaim precious time to look after your body. And then watch an episode as a reward!
24. Say no – sometimes the only way to make time, is to stop taking on new projects. Politely explain that you’re super-busy right now, and reclaim that time for your own priorities.
25. Get up 10mins earlier – and use the time to do some stretching or gentle exercise. Do this for three days, and then set your alarm another 10mins earlier, so you’ve got an extra 20mins in total. Now you’ve reclaimed enough time for a HIIT workout!
Integrate Fitness With Family Time
26. Go for family bike rides – you get to explore new areas whilst exercising in the fresh air!
27. Take your kids swimming – children love swimming but it’s parents often sit on the side to ‘keep an eye on them’. Instead, swim alongside them by challenging your kids to races or teaching them new strokes.
28. Workout with your baby – the constant attention that babies require can make it really hard to find time for exercise. So why not do it with them in tow?! From lifting them up and down, to mother-baby yoga, there are loads of options to choose from.
29. Play tag – this kind of stop-start activity is great for your anaerobic fitness, and loads of fun for the whole family too!
30. Go hiking – we mentioned hiking with your friends, but why not do it with your kids as well? It’ll help them develop an appreciation for nature, whilst burning off some energy. Heck, invite the grandparents too!
Set Yourself Up For Success
31. Commit to a goal – unless you have a clear goal, everything else will feel more important, and exercise will remain a low priority. With a goal, exercise suddenly becomes more important, so you’ll prioritize your time accordingly.
32. Pick achievable goals – It’s better to do 10mins exercise every day of the week, than put off the gym because you don’t have an hour. If 10mins a day is all you can realistically do, but you can repeat it consistently, then take that as a win!
33. Exercise first thing – don’t give other things a chance to get in the way. Workout in the morning and then it’s ticked off your checklist. Plus it’ll raise your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories all day!
34. Focus on the quality of your workouts – you’ll achieve much more in a shorter amount of time, if you’re really giving it your all. Don’t just shuffle to the gym and got through the motions – give it everything you can!
35. Find an accountability partner – choose a friend, family member, or trainer who’ll hold you accountable. Someone who won’t accept the excuse of ‘not having any time’ and support you on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle. You’re far more likely to succeed with the support of others around you.
So there you have 35 tips and tricks to find time for exercise. Give them a try and let me know how you get on in the comments!
Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is to make the commitment, have a plan, and get support when you need it. That’s why I developed the Foxy Inside & Out! It will give you the structure, strategies, and support to make health a priority. Look, I know what it feels like to be a chronic starter in my fitness journey. You know what I’m talking about- we go strong for 2 weeks and then stop, start over again, fall off the wagon AGAIN, and the cycle can go on for years! What if I told you I could make you a FINISHER? Click here to learn how.