You had plans to go the gym this week, but projects piled up at work, your child caught the flu, and the dog needed to go to the vet. Between work and family obligations, finding the time to exercise can be challenging for most people. Staying fit is not as difficult as you might think, however. Here are some tips for fitting exercise into your busy schedule.
Exercise Early in the Day
Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with a routine. That’s because finding motivation and energy to exercise after a long day at work can be daunting. It’s also easier to stay focused first thing in the morning before emails and texts distract you. Consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual to take a walk around your neighborhood or work out on a piece of home gym equipment.
Walk a Little More
Park in a spot that is a bit further from your office or store. If you use public transportation, get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. A few extra steps may not seem like much, but they add up over the course of a week.
Incorporate Exercise Into Your Lunch Break
Use a portion of your lunch break to take a brisk walk or do exercises in your office. Body-weight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups can be performed virtually anywhere. Consider keeping a resistance band or dumbbell at work for simple strength training exercises such as bicep curls.
Put It on Your Calendar
It’s easy to get bogged down at work, so mark time when you can exercise every day. Take a vigorous walk or do jumping jacks with a few friends during a morning or afternoon break. Or, schedule a “walking meeting” with colleagues so you can discuss work matters while you exercise.
Discover more ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule.
Turn Chores Into Exercise
While cleaning your house, try increasing your pace to up your heart rate. Mow the lawn with a push mower. Make several trips to carry in groceries or put away laundry so you take more steps. Wash your vehicle by hand instead of taking it to the car wash. Ride a bicycle for short errands around town.
Turn Screen Time Into Fitness Time
Try watching TV or browsing the Internet while using a treadmill, elliptical machine, stationary bike or other piece of gym equipment. Work out at home or at the gym, which may have televisions built into the equipment or have Wi-Fi capabilities.
Get Your Kids Involved
Exercise as a family in the evenings or on weekends. Take hikes together, go to the zoo, ride bikes, play catch or find another fun activity that gets everyone moving and active.
Finding the time to exercise can be difficult for busy adults, but a few simple changes to your schedule can help you incorporate the recommended amount of physical activity into your day.
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.