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Fitness Articles  ›  Pitfalls and Plateaus

10 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

Busting the #1 Exercise Excuse: Lack of Time

-- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
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What's the No. 1 excuse for not working out? Lack of time. Sure, we're all busy handling multiple priorities and rushing around from here and there every day. However, I promise that no matter how busy you are, someone even busier than you are is working out right now. If you look closer, you'll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself.
 
Squeezing in just a few minutes of physical exercise a day has huge benefits on your health, gives you energy and perks up your mood. In fact, a new study published by The Lancet found that if inactive people increased their physical activity by just 15 minutes per day, they could reduce their risk of premature death by 14% and increase their life expectancy by three years.  Also, remember that "working out" doesn't have to happen in the gym or last for an hour! Short 10-minute bursts of exercise, accumulated over the course of the day, can add up to big fitness and health gains, too.
 
Still not convinced that you have the time to exercise? Here's how to start fitting fitness into your busy life today!
 
10 Practical Tips to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Life
 
1. Wake up earlier. Sleep is definitely important for overall health and weight-loss, but could you hit the sheets just 30 minutes earlier, so that you could get up and work out before your day starts? Working out in the morning has numerous benefits including regulating appetite, boosting energy and—perhaps the biggest benefit of all—an A.M. sweat session ensures that your workout is checked off first thing each day! Because really, how many times have you had the best intentions to exercise in the evening, only to have to work late, help your kids with a project or generally just feel too exhausted to get off the couch? With morning workouts, the time problem is solved!
 
2. Cut down on media. For just a few days, record how much time you spend surfing the Internet, checking personal email, watching TV and playing video games whether it's on your computer or your phone. You just might be surprised at how much time you spend on Facebook or playing Angry Birds. Just a few minutes here and there can add up to an hour or more each day. Cut out just some of that screen time and, voila, you suddenly have time to squeeze in at least 10 or 15 minutes of exercise into even the busiest day.
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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • Good suggestions. Thanks
    - 7/22/2014 6:28:57 AM
  • I can actually use some of these suggestions. Thank you. - 7/21/2014 8:51:16 PM
  • RUTH571
    Good article. I've recently found that I have more time to exercise when I only watch the tv shows that I really really like. 1/2 hour of tv, or 1/2 hour of exercise? Which will benefit me more - exercise always wins, and I still have time to watch the tv shows I really enjoy. - 3/7/2014 8:08:31 AM
  • RACEWELLWON
    Great article - to train for this Tri in August I have had to cut back on Social Media at first I felt I was not being supportive but the reality is a Healthy Selfishness and better time management. - 1/20/2014 9:56:12 AM
  • Great article! January is difficult because of the work stress and I'm worn out from long, stressful hours. It would be easy to just go to bed or hit the recliner. This challenge is great to help me keep going.

    What I've been doing that's make a big difference in stress relief and an energy boost is right after work I let the dogs out and we go walking together (they need exercise too). I don't go back inside to get side tracked, instead I walk as fast I can stand it in order to get in at least 15 min before dark. Once I go in, I want to keep on going, and move on to routine exercise. I'll keep this habit up! - 1/15/2014 11:57:51 AM
  • HHPPMOMMY
    I LOVE this article. I have four children ages 5, 3, 14 months and 11 weeks! My youngest two are one year and two days apart. I used them as an excuse for too long. Granted I have to wait until evening to workout, I fit it in every day. Once the 14 month old goes down for bed the 5 year old loves to do Insanity with me. The three year old loves to stretch (she says it helps her in her ballet class lol) and the 11 week sits in the swing. Sometimes he cries and my husband and I take turns giving him a pacifier but he is fine to wait until we are done. It has become a family activity that everyone looks forward to. It works for us. We may have to alter times a few times a week for birthday parties, dance recitals, ball games, parent-teacher conferences, etc. but the kids actually keep us accountable. No more excuses for us. :) - 11/10/2013 10:59:33 PM
  • Love this article!! - 11/2/2013 1:55:36 PM
  • Great article. I feel like you should have the time to exercise because you can find time for everything else. - 8/9/2013 4:55:38 PM
  • I have a mini stepper I can use while watching an episode of my favorite show on Netflix:))) Very achievable!! - 8/9/2013 1:55:29 PM
  • I get some exercise in pretty much every day....it's a rare day when I don't get something in, and most days it is 30 - 60 minutes. Some days it might end up being just a 15 minute walk...but I do get it in. But number 9 about treating it like a hobby because we always find ways to fit in our hobbies....that made me laugh. I have quite a few hobbies, and frankly, I don't do ANY of them any more, at least not much, because I NEVER have time. If I treated exercise like a hobby, I wouldn't do it either. Work and my commute take up the majority of my time and I am trying to find ways to alleviate that situation, but right now I don't have a good solution. - 8/9/2013 6:16:53 AM
  • I treat working out like a job and refuse to be late or miss a day unless it's truly an unavoidable situation. I have even worked out at 11 pm when my normal time was slashed due to an ill child but I always make the time to work out because I love myself and my children and want to be around for many years to come:) - 7/4/2013 7:21:03 PM
  • SUMTHINGSPECIAL
    I save my tv watching time for workout time. I watch it only when I go down to workout. I work out on the treadmill - the bike or other things while watching. It distracts me from the "is it time to stop" question I usually get - and I usually workout longer because I want to wait until the program is over.

    I don't do this every day - because other days I want to focus on my workout (step aerobics). However, if I intend to spend time doing something I don't like - treadmill - it is a good way to keep at it!

    Sumay - 4/19/2013 3:23:57 PM
  • RUNNINGINOR
    This was a great article.

    I have all the excuses in the world to not exercise: three kids with school/sports activities every night, a job, volunteer engagements. I schedule 4 days a week for running. They are an appointment. If it's raining, or I'm feeling tired, etc when I am ready to head out the door, I still head out the door. That is my allotted time to exercise, and I don't feel bad about making my exercise a priority! It always makes me a better wife, mother, and friend.

    I have a good friend in the same situation. We are running partners, but we are also good friends. While we prefer to run together, we also trade off watching each other's kids so we can get the run in for the day. It's all about priorities when you play the "excuses" game. - 1/26/2013 6:16:44 PM
  • Some of these suggestions are good for me to remember - especially stepping away from the media.

    I am interested if there are suggestions for people who are caretakers for family members in their home. That's kind of my situation. I can wake up earlier, but not go anywhere because it would wake up my son, who needs me at home and has trouble sleeping enough. We have a loss of income because I can't work anymore - so I am looking for more common sense, low-cost ways to help make exercise part of my routine. - 1/21/2013 11:57:47 AM
  • ALIDOSHA
    A great article. I can pick up some very helpful ideas and try them on my own. - 1/20/2013 4:25:05 PM
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