When I joined my gym a couple of years ago, I really struggled to find time to exercise. My husband works 12+ hour days and travels a lot, and I work while my daughter is at school, so I always seemed to have an excuse to skip my workouts.
‘I’m working on a deadline.’
‘I was going to go to a spin class, but you got home too late.’
‘If I go to the gym now, I’ll be wired all night.’
‘I’m just too tired.’
As time wore on, and that membership continued to collect dust, I started to realize that I was my own worst enemy, and that the only one who was suffering as a result of my excuses and laziness was me. So I started brainstorming different ways I could find time to exercise, and I now workout 5+ days a week and feel better about myself than I have in my entire life.
Of course, I still have days where I feel overwhelmed and tired and start trading my workouts in for a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, but for the most part, I find ways to stick with my workout routine. It takes a lot of discipline on my part, but it’s worth it, and today I’m sharing 10 tips to help YOU find time to exercise, too.
1. GET UP 30 MINUTES EARLIER
I’ve been working out at 5:30 am for 2+ years now, and while I sometimes feel like crying when my alarm clock goes off before the sun comes up, I always feel like a million bucks after my morning run. It took a little bit of getting used to, but now I actually feel horrible on the days I skip my morning session on the treadmill as I find those 30+ minutes go a long way in helping me destress and gear up for the day ahead.
2. MIX BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE
When I asked a few of my working mom friends how they manage to squeeze in a workout when they’re in back-to-back meetings with no ability to come up for air, they told me they sometimes schedules meetings at the gym. I would personally find it challenging to discuss business while enduring a spin class, but I could certainly engage in a little shop talk while working on my strength training exercises.
If you’re struggling to keep up with everything that’s on your plate, and the mere thought of trying to find an extra 30 minutes to workout makes you break out into a sweat, start your day by making a list of all of the things you need to accomplish, and then highlight which items are a high priority, and which items can wait. You may surprise yourself with how many unimportant tasks you’re wasting your precious time on, and by making your workouts a priority each day, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workout plans.
I recently decided to add 30 minutes of strength training to my workout routine, but wasn’t prepared to wake up any earlier than I already am, or trade my evenings with my husband, so I started lifting weights and working my abs while watching TV. It’s not ideal, but allows me to catch up on my favorite shows with my main squeeze without sacrificing my goals for a leaner body.
5. TAKE THE STAIRS
I’m sure you’ve heard this idea a million times already, but it really does make a difference, so I had to mention it. I also find parking my car on the opposite side of the parking lot, and opting to walk places instead of driving makes a difference in keeping me active on days I struggle to find time to workout.
6. SKIP THE GYM
I’m fortunate that I live within walking distance to a gym, but on days when I am really pressed for time, or when my husband is traveling, I load up YouTube and do a couple of my favorite Jillian Michael’s workouts. She really makes me sweat, and her workouts don’t cost me a dime!
7. FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY
I’m not really one who likes to exercise with other people, but a little accountability can go a long way, especially if you’re the type who easily falls off track when it comes to sticking with workout routines. Just make sure you partner with someone who is more committed to their weight loss goals than you are!
8. UP THE INTENSITY
If you can’t afford a full workout, give one of these HIIT workouts a try. HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, involves intense periods of exercise followed by short recovery periods so you burn more fat in less time, and they really do make a difference!
9. SET A TIMER
Whenever I’m working under tight timelines and need to squeeze a lot of different things into a short time period, I make a list of all of the things I need to accomplish, assign a reasonable amount of time to each, and then set a timer. It seems silly, but I find I am much more focused when I know I have a time limit, and by making myself more productive, I am much more likely to find the time to squeeze in a workout.
10. STOP MAKING EXCUSES
One of the most important things to remember when it comes to losing weight and sticking to a workout routine is that YOU are in the driver’s seat. If you give 50%, you’ll get 50% in return, so do yourself a favor and give 100% of yourself 100% of the time. It’ll be worth it!
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