Hands up if you’ve ever been guilty of going to bed with the absolute best intentions to make time for working out the next day, only to find yourself skipping it once again? It’s so easy to fall into a cycle of promising yourself that you’ll get to it only to find your busy life getting in the way. However, there are actionable steps that you can take to change your habits and mindset so that working out becomes second nature in your routine.
When you make time for working out with a busy schedule, make sure your exercise time works with you not against you. This means choosing a realistic time that best suits you and finding the most convenient and fun way to exercise, even if it means splitting your workout throughout the day.
Tips for making time for workouts
Choose a time that best suits you
A way to ensure that you make time for working out and can stick to your workout schedule is to ignore all the morning vs afternoon debate on the best hours to exercise. The best time to exercise is the time that you can actually stick to, so choose a realistic part of the day to increase the likelihood of you actually going through with it.
If this is the morning before the kids wake up and before work or school, then schedule that in. If it’s on your lunch break or later in the afternoon when all the errands are done, then so be it. Choose a time that best suits you and ensure you’re realistic about it.
Schedule your time
Once you’ve chosen a time that best suits you, you need to schedule your workout. No more “oh I think I might be able to fit a quick workout then…” remarks. Schedule in your workout time as if you’re making an appointment or meeting that you can’t miss. Eliminate the indecisive tone and instead be assured that it is something that’s set in your routine. By emphasizing its importance instead of viewing it as a ‘maybe if I have time’ task, you’ll be more inclined to actually make time for working out instead of just deciding to skip it when something else comes up.
Change your mindset
Viewing exercising as something you have to do, as opposed to wanting to do, is a step toward skipping your workouts even if they’re scheduled. By looking at a workout as something that is fun and enjoyable, you’ll be more inclined to make time for working out, even with your busy lifestyle. A way to do this is to choose something that you genuinely enjoy. Don’t force yourself to go running if you hate it or do a sport that you really would rather not be involved in.
Instead, try some different activities that get your heart rate and excitement up. This could be a fitness class, powerlifting, gymnastics or swimming. Exercising can and should be fun. It will seem less like a chore to tick off your to-do list and more like something you actually want to do.
Find the most convenient options
You may have enjoyed that free trial to the gym that’s a 45-min drive away, but realistically, do you see yourself making that drive on a regular basis to work out? If the answer is no, then it’s time to look at more convenient options. When you make time for working out, you want it to be something that is easy to fit into your schedule, not something that’s going to cause you more stress and take a lot of time and energy out of you.
Find a closer gym or facility to your home, work or school or consider local parks and even fitness apps where you can work out in the comfort of your own home. Finding the most convenient options means that you’ll spend less time traveling to and from the facility, which is especially important when you’re super busy, and ultimately, get more out of your workout.
Split your workout throughout the day
Most of us would like to get our workout done once so then we don’t have to think about it again for the rest of the day. However, this can be unrealistic for some people. When you make time for working out if scheduling a chunk of your time to dedicate to exercising is too much for you, then just split your workout throughout the day. This could mean during a portion of your exercise in the morning just before the kids wake up and then doing some during your lunch break and then the rest of your workout as you’re waiting for dinner to cook.
Splitting your workout throughout the day removes the pressure of having to take out a bigger portion of your time all at once while still enabling you to do your daily activity. Just remember, still schedule your workouts, even if it’s split into 2 or 3 parts.
Alternatively, why not take something that’s already in your routine and turn it into your workout, such as your commute? Park your car a little further away so you have to walk or run to work, or if it’s too far, cycle instead. And while you’re there, try taking the stairs instead of the lift. Breaking up your exercise and finding little opportunities to increase your movement, still means that you’ll get it done, just in segments.
Being busy doesn’t mean that you can’t make time for working out. It just means you need to find a time and type of workout and facility that works best for your routine and stick to it. Be realistic when doing so to increase the likelihood of adhering to it and create a consistent exercise regime, even with your busy schedule.