How to Make Time for Fun and Health When You're Busy

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Hello, dailySpark readers! Anne here from the food and fitness blog fANNEtastic food. After 6 years of working, I changed careers and headed back to school last fall to become a Registered Dietitian. Between being in graduate school full time and blogging as my part time job, I keep myself very busy. Here's how I manage to squeeze in fun and stay healthy amidst all the chaos.

  1. Multitask! I love combining fun and health by planning social workouts with friends. That way I kill two birds with one stone-- I get in my workout for the day AND I get some social time, too! I love to meet friends for runs, walks, yoga classes, tennis, bike rides-- anything active.

  2. If you feel guilty working out when you need to be studying or working, then combine the two! Bring flash cards, work-related reading or notes, or books with you to the gym. Especially right before exams, I'll study on the elliptical or bike.

  3. …But remember that you don't ALWAYS have to be productive. Sometimes when I get really busy I start to feel guilty taking breaks, but one thing that my yoga classes have taught me is that taking time for yourself is JUST as important as being productive. Give yourself a mental break at least once or twice a day, whether it's an outing with friends or family, reading a good book, going to a yoga class, or simply taking a quick walk outside. In addition to relieving stress, taking breaks will also allow you to return to work clearer and more focused. Win/win! In fact, before writing this guest post (and after knocking out a few blog-related projects this afternoon), I treated myself to my favorite yoga class.

  4. If you're still having trouble fitting in exercise and fun-- write it into your planner or calendar! At the beginning of the week, I'll look at my calendar, figure out where I can fit in exercise, and write it in (in ink!). The more specific, the better-- for example, don't just write "work out," but something like "40 minute run" or "yoga-- 1 hour." Be sure to write it in a specific time slot, nmtoo, not just on that day in general. Treat exercise like any other concrete appointment that you can't skip-- this will really help to make sure you don't blow it off! You can also use this strategy to schedule yourself mental breaks.

For more tips for making time for health when you're busy, check out my recent blog post on the topic and Nicole's blog series "Habits of Fit People"!

I'd love to hear some of your tips, too-- I'm always looking for new ones! How do you make time for fun and health when you're really busy?

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I walk for 20-30 minutes at lunch while working, do calisthenics on short breaks from work and do a bit of yoga incorporated into the work day. I have regular exercise planned before work and in the evenings so I stay loose and active! I don't feel guilty for keeping my body active~ Report
PATRICIAANN46 9/22/2019
Thank You...………. Report
After my vacation I'm going to sign up for a month of spin class to get out, try a new workout & mingle with liked minded individuals. Report
Great info! Thanks! Report
Great tips. Report
I love the tip to schedule fun active times with my friends. I have been struggling with this for some time. Part of me is so not interested in the party scene anymore, or even meeting in a cafe. I just want to move when I get the chance. Today I am confined at home with 6yo who has gastro but I have spent time on and off: vacuuming, cutting back ivy from a wall and throwing the ball to the dog - anything to move my body energetically! Report
Good luck with your studies, Anne!

A few weeks ago, I did a short run on the track at our Y before a class. There was a young woman walking around the track, studying some notes. I was back two days later for another run, and she was still there, still with notes in hand! I almost asked her if she'd been there for 2 days straight, but decided she might misinterpret my comment as unfriendly so I didn't say anything...

I write exercises classes into my schedule, but not other workout times - I should start doing that. Report
Great tips! I've been walking/jogging in place when watching t.v. Report
Great ideas!! I don't have a set schedule at work (I tend to get the "off shifts") so I tend to have a hard time fitting in my exercise. I just recently started exercising with my son and this helps a lot in keeping myself motivated and getting him into the habit of working out himself. Report
i like these tips. Sometimes i feel like i have so much to do that i can't even think about working out. but i like the writing in workouts on the calendar idea. maybe that will help me get back on track. Report
Thanks for the info. I have no trouble fitting exercise in. I'm retired, and I either go to the pool in the morning, or try some yoga or biking in the afternoon, before my husband gets home, from work. Report
I QuickFire my day at work & they are fun workouts. Report
I jog in place or do push ups while waiting for scans or copies. My co-workers have gotten used to it. One always knows it's me since I wear a necklace that jingles. Report
The school I'm applying too has a gym in the basement and almost every occupied treadmill (walking), bike and elliptical has a student studying on it. Report
Learning to be organized is the smartest thing you can do to save time and effort. I raised five children by having a "Planner" and a box of 3x5 cards with everything written down. I kept my house organized so I knew where things were and it saved me a LOT of money. Exercise is just another thing to put on the schedule. Report
I love the idea of scheduling exercise. being able to check it off would help me just do it. Report
i do some of what you said...thinking of things to include social and use it as part of my break when its time to get away from my work. Watching tv and doing cardio is a win. My favorite show and me continuing to move. gotta love it! Report
Good info. Congrats on working so hard on so many levels. Report