STRONG Idea: Think You're Too Busy? The Top 10 Ways to Make Exercise Happen

By Emily Stapleton on February 18, 2013 from Strong Ideas


So, you think you don’t have time to exercise? Join the club. Lack of time is one of the most popular excuses. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making priorities.
I am a mom of three kids: Joseph (8), Anna (4) and George (3).  I’m primarily a stay-at-home mom, but I also run my own fitness business. I try to do my work with minimal childcare (Read: I usually have at least one kid with me while I’m working). I’m also an active member of my church and the Junior Women’s Club.  My husband works a demanding 50 plus hours-per-week job. To top it off, my nearest relative lives four hours away. I work out a minimum of four times per week – every week. I am busier than some - and not as busy as others.  My point: I’m right there with you. In today’s world, we’re all busy.
I have a friend who says exercise is like brushing her teeth. If she doesn’t do it, she can feel that something is missing. I love that analogy!  We should all strive to feel that way about exercise. 
Still not sure how to fit exercise into your busy schedule? 
The top 10 ways to make exercise happen:
10.  Perform short bouts of exercise throughout the day. 
Don’t have a block of 30 plus minutes? Do three 10-minute sessions of exercise. Current research says you can get the same results.

9. Make exercise your ME time. 
What do you like to do for yourself? Get a manicure, take a long bath, buy a coffee?  Forget it. Make exercise the thing you do when you have time for yourself.

8. Make it social. 
Kill two birds with one stone. Invite a friend to join you for a walk or jog. Join a gym with your spouse. Take a class with your sister. You get the idea.

7. Make it a family affair. 
Take your kids to the park or the pool. But you can’t sit on the sidelines and chat. You have to get moving too.

6. Find your time. 
I know you’re busy, but everybody has some free time.Is it your lunch break? During your child’s nap? While you wait to pick up your child from piano lessons? Find your time, and use it.

5. Sign-up for an event. 
Sign-up for a 5K, a triathalon or a tennis tournament. Once you make the commitment and pick a training plan, you are much more likely to stick to your workout schedule.

4. Put it on your calendar. 
Treat your workout like an appointment - and don’t cancel it!  Put it in your phone or physically write it on your calendar. When you are scheduling a doctor’s appointment or a visit from a repairman, you can’t do it during your scheduled workout. You’re already booked.

3. Make it fun.
Find your sport or activity. Exercise doesn’t have to be drag.  Are you the athletic type?  Try a new sport or revisit one you played in the past. Like to dance? Try a Latin-style group fitness class.  Find fun in your workout, and you’re much more likely to stick with it!

2.  Be efficient. 
A workout doesn’t have to take hours. Adopt a workout that incorporates cardiovascular, strength and flexibility work. Take minimal breaks and you should be dripping and feeling it during a 20- or 30-minute workout. The higher the intensity; the more efficient your workout.

1. Get up earlier. 
The No. 1 way to make your workout happen is to do it first thing in the morning. For most people, that means getting up a bit earlier. I know, you’re not a morning person. I’ve heard it all before. Give it a try, you may find your body adjusts well to the earlier alarm and your energy level will be soaring all day long!
So, staying with our theme of keeping it simple sweetheart (KISS), just make it happen.  If you don’t have time for exercise, make the time.  It really is that simple.

Until next week,


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