How to Squeeze Workouts into Your Hectic Schedule

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Often I hear people complain that they just don’t have time to exercise. It’s no surprise, with all of the demands on our time these days—work, family, friends, etc.  Being busy is a standard way of life for most of us. But honestly, I’ve never met someone who’s really too busy to exercise. You might not have a daily hour of uninterrupted time for working out, but you probably have more time than you think.  It all comes down to priorities and a little creativity.
The first thing I’d recommend is taking some time to think about everything you do throughout the course of the day. Add up the amount of time you spend checking personal email, scrolling through Facebook, surfing the web, talking on the phone or watching TV. It’s good to have activities in your day to help you unwind. But could exercise be one of those activities instead? Could you cut back on the TV time, or watch your favorite show while on the treadmill at home or elliptical at the gym? 
The second thing to keep in mind is that not every workout has to be done all at one time. You can break your workout up into shorter segments throughout the day (as few as 10 minutes at once) and still get most of the same benefits as doing it continuously. Consider doing 10 minutes when you get up in the morning, 10 on your lunch break and another 10 before dinner. That ends up becoming a 30-minute workout that will help you burn calories and improve your fitness level.
When you’re short on time, think quality over quantity. Unless you’re training for some kind of endurance event, you don’t need to do hours of cardio each day. You’re better off making the workout shorter, but more intense. Circuit training is a great way to combine cardio and strength into one session. Remember that doing something is always better than doing nothing.
Make your daily life more active overall. Even though there will be days (we all have them) when you just can’t make time to exercise, you can always make choices throughout the day that get you moving a little more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away in the store parking lot and walk the golf course instead of taking a cart. Make the choice to incorporate extra activity into your day whenever possible.
I know what it’s like to be busy. I have three small children, a job and a lot of responsibility on my plate. But no matter what, I always make time to exercise because it’s good for my body and mind. On the days when I don’t have much energy for a workout or don’t think I’ll be able to make the time, I’ve learned to adjust. Even if I can’t do the 30-minute workout I planned, I can play for 10 minutes with the kids or walk around the gym during basketball practice instead of checking email on my phone. It all comes down to choices. What’s yours going to be?