11 Ways to Make Time for Fitness
Too busy to work out? Doubtful. The truth: Finding moments to move is entirely within your grasp.
1. Make a Plan.
The best way to make time for exercise is to have a written plan, “Decide on the best time for exercise in your schedule and actually enter it into your computer or cell-phone calendar as a repeat event. This way it shows up daily and there’s less chance of you scheduling something during that time. Also, when you check your schedule in the morning, you’ll see it there and form a mental picture of when and how you’ll be exercising that day, which helps you stay motivated.”
2. Subdivide Your to-do list.
Rather than making one long to-do list you’ll never complete, divide your list into three categories, It’s not enough to get things done,You need to get the right things done. It’s OK to have dirty clothes in your hamper. It’s OK if you don’t read every email the moment you receive it. It’s not OK to cheat your health.
- Take out a sheet of paper and create three boxes that represent the most important parts of your life (e.g., family, work, yourself).
- List the top three to-dos that would make the most difference in each category. For family, it might be cooking or helping with homework. For work, it might be returning phone calls or completing a presentation. For yourself, include exercise, plus something else nurturing, like calling a friend or having a healthy lunch.
- Finally, block out times on your calendar for those specific to-dos, and honor those very specific commitments.
3. Find five minutes.
Even if your day is packed with meetings and other commitments, you absolutely can eke out five minutes for yourself. And that simple act of self-care has the potential to change your life.
4. Be an active watcher.
When you do watch TV, make the most of it. Do some ball-crunches, planks, yoga poses, squats, lunges or pushups while you’re watching. Keep fitness equipment, such as a kettlebell, resistance bands and a jump rope, near the TV. Or use the commercial breaks to mix in brief cardio intervals. Run in place or up and down the stairs; do some burpees or jumping jacks.
5. Delegate like crazy.
Can the kids do laundry? Can your spouse cook dinner? What professional tasks can you hand off so you can get out for a walk at lunch or stop by the gym on the way home? Don’t think you’re the only one who can do all of the things you’re currently doing. Look, too, for things that could be done less often — or that might not need to get done at all.
6. Be motivated by money.
Putting some money on the line may provide you with the motivation you need to show up for activity. Sign up for a yoga workshop, book some sessions with a personal trainer, or plunk down some cash for a race or other athletic event you’ll have to train for. Schedule a babysitter to watch the kids while you go for a run. Or take a few salsa lessons.
7. Think positive.
Psychologists suggest that actively editing your negative self-talk patterns is a powerful way to support healthier lifestyle choices. For example, anytime you catch yourself thinking, “I am too busy to work out,” rephrase the thought in more positive, empowering terms, such as, “I choose to make myself a priority.” Or, “I do have time to be healthy.” Or, “I am willing to do something active today.” Over time, those positive thought patterns will elbow out the negative ones, helping you to see your available choices more clearly.
8. Do brisk business.
Chances are, many of your coworkers are in the same boat as you: They want to exercise, but have trouble finding the time. So, what if you move the weekly progress update or brainstorm session to the sidewalk, or stand during meetings? Can your group hike to the coffee shop rather than order in? Can you woo a new client over a tennis match instead of dinner? The fresh air and endorphins will spark more creative ideas, Hammer says.
9. Socialize on the move.
Next time a friend suggests meeting for lunch, dinner or drinks, counter with an active invitation. How about joining you for a yoga class or a quick walk around the lake? Instead of spending time on the phone or emailing back and forth, suggest that you catch up on the latest news over a leisurely bike ride, or bond by trying an athletic pursuit, like indoor climbing, that neither of you has ever tried.
10. Find a cheerleader.
What looks like lack of time is often lack of motivation, so consider recruiting emotional support. “Because, when you’re excited about something, you find time to do it.” Nominate a friend, family member, life coach or personal trainer to be your cheerleader and encourage you (positive messages only; no nagging) on a daily basis.
11. Be yourself.
Part of the reason you can’t make time for exercise may be because you’re not focusing on the right workout for your personality,don’t assume you’re a runner just because your best friend loves to run. Instead, analyze your lifestyle and personality to find a routine that suits you.” Once you understand your fitness personality, you’ll be able to identify activities you actually enjoy, and squeezing them into your schedule won’t be nearly as hard.