Finding Time To Work Out In Your Busy Everyday Life
- I just don’t have time to exercise with my new baby.
- I’m in college and don’t have time to exercise.
- I’ve got all these kids I have to carpool—I don’t have time to exercise.
- My time-management skills suck and I never find the time to get to the gym.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. Not having time to exercise is the number one excuse people give for not working out.
However, there’s nothing better than exercise to improve your health, mood, stress level, brain fitness, memory, learning skills, attention and concentration, weight management, sleep, energy, productivity, self-esteem, relationships, and even your sex life. Want some motivation? When inactive people increase physical activity just 15 minutes a day, they reduce the risk of premature death by 14% and increase life expectancy by three years. Fifteen minute bursts of exercise every day for three years of life is not a bad trade off!
Optimizing your life to be balanced and healthy requires that you make time for exercise and physical activity. Motivation often starts for an external reason and quickly moves into something deeply internal — “I want to fit into that dress for our daughter’s wedding” turns into “I want to see my grandchildren someday.” So, another way to have more time is to reconsider how you think about your time, and what you consider to be exercise.
Find Time For Exercise While in College
You walk to class, right? That’s exercise. Oh, you bike to class? Uhm, that’s exercise too. You know that long stretch of time—from about 10:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon you call your “study break” when you are just hanging out in your dorm room or at the student center?
It may take a bit of self-discipline, but jog over to your multi-million dollar rec or fitness center and do 30 minutes on a treadmill, a Total Gym, or do some resistance training. Put on headphones and get some reading done for a class to avoid the excuse of “having to do some homework.” You can even take an exercise or sport class with a friend and find some fun, socialization and pump up not only your GPA but your muscle tone, as well.
Find Time to Workout If You’re a New Mom
Having a newborn is tough. There’s constant stress and sleepless nights that can wreck your health. Finding time to workout as a new parent is important and your newborn is a perfect walking partner. Many gyms offer postpartum exercise classes or low-impact group exercise classes for new moms. Consider joining a mom-and-baby-stroller exercise program for activities you can do with your infant, such as Fit4Mom, Stroller Strides, or Fit4Baby.
Make Time To Exercise At Work
Office workouts and stretching in the privacy of your own office, lunch break walks up and down the stairs in your building, parking at a distance from your office, leaving a pair of dumbbells at your desk (or at the bottom of the stairs in your home) to lift throughout the day, doing some calf-raises while you wait in line at the local grocery story or coffee shop, get in some bicep curls carrying your grocery bags, and even doing a dozen squats when you use the bathroom, all build exercise into your day without needing extra time.
Use Apps To Find Workout Time
With a multitude of apps out there to choose from, you can improve your exercise productivity and see how much more time you actually have for working out. Consider these top-rated apps:
- RunKeeper (http://runkeeper.com)
- StrongLifts 5X5 Workout (http://stronglifts.com/5×5/)
- Tabata Timer (Tabata Timer in the App Store)
- Argus (http://www.azumio.com/s/argus/index.html)
- Endomondo Sports Tracker (https://www.endomondo.com)
- FitBit, (http://www.fitbit.com)
- Fitocracy, (https://www.fitocracy.com)
- Google shared calendar (http://www.google.com/calendar/about/) where you and your gang can keep track of each other’s workouts
Bottom line is that we have nearly twice as much downtime as we estimate. Sure it’s not in a nice open block of time and it may be in little chunks but remember that you only need short 10-15 minute bursts of activity to create the optimal health you are looking for. Keep track of those hidden time slots for a couple of days and you’ll be surprised by how much “free time” you do have. It may not be as perfect as you think it “should” be, but there is no such thing as perfect and that dreaded “should on yourself” disease can be deadly!