We all want to look great and healthy at the same time. Most people take on too many tasks each day, life seems to pull our attention in a hundred different directions—family, work, social media, chores, errands. Among it all, exercise can easily get lost in the shuffle. Starting an exercise program means rearranging your schedule to allow time for it, but it doesn’t require that much time. People who exercise don’t necessarily have more time than you, they’ve just determined that what they’re getting out of exercise is worth more than whatever else they could be doing during that time. Time is our most valuable commodity. No matter what, we’re all on a level playing field when it comes to how many hours, we get each week.
Here are some ways to make time for exercise — even when you don’t have time. Try one or two this week and identify others that fit your schedule.
Subdivide Your to-do list.
“It is not enough to get things done, you need to get the right things done” advises Lisa Druxman, MA, exercise counselor and founder of the Stroller Strides. It is better to divide your list into two or three categories – For family (grocery, laundry, cooking), For work (emails, office and paper works), and for yourself (you can allocate few minutes to include exercise, nurturing, attend some fitness class). Not only should you plan when and where you’re going to exercise, but also how you’re going to be exercising. Taking regular exercise classes and/or following a concrete training program can be a helpful way to get your “how” without having to think too hard about it.
Do it Early
This is why working out first thing in the morning can be a valuable tool for many people. There’s something special about knowing you’ve worked out before most people have even gotten out of bed. If you can shift your sleep schedule around to accommodate a morning workout, you have a great opportunity to make exercise a consistent part of your life. Make things even easier by laying out your workout clothes the night before. Remember, nothing will work unless you do!
Find five minutes.
A simple act of self-care can potentially change your lifestyle. Even if you are too busy with other commitments. A five-minute walk now can easily turn into daily 30-minute walks a few weeks from now. You just have to get up and start somewhere.
Be an active watcher.
You can be an active watcher by keeping your fitness equipment such as resistance bands, kettle bells, or jump rope near the TV. What about a brief cardio interval while commercial breaks or do yoga poses, lunges, squats while you are watching?
It is a great feeling when you actively editing negative self-talk patterns into a healthier lifestyle thought. Instead of saying, “I am too busy to work out”, why not say “I do have time to be healthy”, in this way all positive thought patterns will elbow out the negative ones and will eventually help you to see your available choices more clearly. “Think of working out as something enjoyable,” says running coach Patrick Hammond. “Never think of it as something you have to do, but instead as something you want to do.
Analyze your lifestyle and personality for you to find a routine that suits you. Don’t assume that you are a runner just because your friend loves to run. Once you understand your fitness personality, you’ll be able to identify activities you love or enjoy, and it will not be hard to squeeze them into your schedule.
Change is constant, but progress is not. What can you do each day, no matter how small, to make progress? Something is always better than nothing. Always strive to do something, and you’ll be surprised at just how far that can take you. When you start looking for them, you’ll see lots of opportunities to be more active every day and get a few more steps in during everyday activities. Remember, every step counts!