Finding time to exercise can be tough. This is true whether you work full-time, take care of kids, or have other responsibilities. There are only so many hours in a day.
This is why only 23% of Americans get enough exercise. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the recommended amount of physical training at 150 minutes per week. That’s 30 minutes per weekday.
So if you’re among those who can’t find time to work out, don’t worry. There are things you can do to make time, no matter how busy you are. Here are a few you can try today:
1. Run to work (and other places)
In 2019, the average commute to work in the US was 27.6 minutes. That’s nearly an hour spent traveling to and from work every day!
If your work isn’t far from home, you can capitalize on your commute time by running instead of driving. You’ll avoid sitting in traffic and get your exercise in as you go to work.
The same goes for driving anywhere. For example, you can literally run your errands instead of using the car. Anything that’s within a reasonable distance can be run to.
2. Keep your workout clothes handy
It’s also a good idea to keep your workout clothes within close reach. For example, you could hang them on a door each night, so you don’t lose any time looking for them in the morning.
Or you can pack a gym bag to leave in your car. This can keep you from forgetting your clothes on the way to the gym and serve as a reminder to workout.
The point is to always have your workout clothes ready. That way, you have one less excuse to skip physical training.
Plus, if others see you carrying or wearing your workout clothes, it makes you more accountable. You don’t want to look like you’re hitting the gym and not make good on that impression.
3. Work out at home
You don’t need a gym to exercise. You can do a lot of bodyweight exercises right inside your home. Or you can even build your own home gym!
According to personal trainer Nathan Demetz at DeMetzOnlinePersonalTraining.com, exercising at home lets you be more flexible with when you work out and eliminates the need to drive to the gym.
It will also save you on gym membership fees. So it’s a good investment overall.
4. Schedule workouts like meetings
Make working out a priority by scheduling it into your calendar. When you block out time, you’re less likely to let other things get in the way.
5. Get up early
Sometimes the only way to make time for exercise is to get up early. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than normal and make working out the first priority of your day.
This forces you to take care of yourself before anything else and helps boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.
6. Sneak in mini-workouts
Sneak in mini-workouts during spare minutes. Even just a few push-ups here and there during work can have a big impact on your health.
You can also choose to walk while taking phone calls to kill two birds with one stone.
Or if you find yourself with 10 minutes to spare, try a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. These work out multiple muscle groups at once at your max capacity so you can be as efficient as possible with your time.
7. Set fitness goals
Without goals, it’s easy to slack off. So set goals for how much you want to exercise in the week and make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
Keep track of your progress in a journal. You can record times, steps, and even progress photos to help motivate you.
8. Fuel your body
It’s hard to stay fit when you don’t supply your body with enough fuel. So make sure you drink plenty of water (15.5 cups per day for men and 11.5 cups per day for women) and eat high-energy foods like granola bars, oatmeal, and trail mix. Proper nutrition goes a long way in helping your body perform better.
9. Get a workout partner
A workout partner keeps you accountable. It’s harder to slack off when you’ve committed to exercising with another person. So choose a workout buddy that has similar fitness goals as yours.
10. Pay for a personal trainer
Not everyone can afford a personal trainer, but if you can, they’re a good idea. They’ll keep you more accountable to your fitness goals and help ensure you physically train with proper form and intensity. Plus, you’re more motivated to stick to your goals when money is on the line.
11. Master your mindset
It’s easy to dread working out when you think of it as an obligation or duty. So instead, think of it as something you want to do. Make it fun so that you look forward to it.
For example, you could participate in a sport. This adds a competitive dimension that can make exercise more enjoyable. Join a local sports club or compete with family and friends.
The key is to think positively about working out. Then you won’t need to force yourself to do something you hate. You’ll want to do it.
At the end of the day, any exercise is better than none. So don’t beat yourself up about not getting in as much as you’d like at first. Start small and work your way up to more.
Eventually, working out becomes just another part of your day. And once it’s a natural habit, it’ll be much easier to fit in.
Then you can look forward to feeling healthier overall. Because you won’t be tied down by poor physical health, you’ll have the freedom to do what you want and live a longer, happier life.