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How to Make Time for Exercise


By kimfitness on Nov 20, 2011 10:00 AM in Tips & Updates

In a world with business meetings, conference calls, school plays, family outings, and an inbox with never-ending e-mails, it’s no wonder people find it difficult to make time to exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week and two days of muscle-strengthening activity. That is equivalent to approximately 20 minutes per day. But according to the American College of Sports Medicine, less than two-thirds of adults in the United States get the recommended minimum amount of exercise. If you are  guilty of skimping on exercise, try some of these tips to incorporate fitness into your daily routine.

 

  1. Make Exercise Time Flexible: Split up your workout time to better fit your schedule. If you can only exercise 10 minutes per day during the week, that’s okay. Leave the longer workouts for the weekend to make up for lost time.

     
  2. Add Workouts To Your Calendar: You should plan your workout for the day just like you map out your work day with business or family events. This allows you to prepare mentally and physically to start and complete the workout of your choice.

     
  3. Have a Plan B: Prepare for unexpected circumstances by having exercise alternatives available just in case you can’t make your fitness class, the weather forces you to skip your run, the gym closes or whatever the case may be. A home workout that requires no equipment or jogging in place are some examples.  

     
  4. Change Your Way of Thinking: Exercise is no longer an extracurricular activity. With obesity rates continuously rising and chronic diseases at an all-time high, exercise is an investment likened to a retirement account. Think of it as a security blanket that enhances your life now and in the future. Just like you must eat, sleep, and breathe… you must exercise.

     
  5. Do What You Enjoy: Let’s face it, running or lifting weights for hours at a time is not fun for everyone. Don’t force yourself to do workouts that you hate. This almost guarantees that you won’t stick with the program. Instead, pick an activity that you love and find ways to make it physically  challenging. You can dance, play a group sport, walk the dog or even play with the kids if you’d like.  

It is so easy to go an entire day without giving much attention to exercise. With these small modifications on how you view exercise, staying active can be a breeze. Live a longer, healthier life and enjoy the benefits of all of your hard work. Whatever you do, keep it moving.

Let me know your thoughts @Kim_fitness



Comments


Good solid advice....I just do it, I plan everything in my life around my gym time and it works!



I think people just need to get their priorities straight. Many of my friends tell me they have no time,  but they have plenty of time for TV and beer. I'll get my time in, and if it means getting up at 3 in the morning.

 



Number 5 is the key for me. I hate running but love Walking.In fact I do my best thinking while walking. I hate the “Gym” but love yoga….so there ya go. I love getting up early but hated going to bed early but I love to read. I found that if I can do to bed early with a good book then I will go to sleep early and get plenty of sleep. Try not to be influenced so much by what others do but diligently search out what you like to do, and do it.



I consider working out, my lifeline. Everyone around me knows, DO NOT bother me at 11:00 a.m.- 12:00. I will NOT answer the phone or doorbell. I will NOT drive you anywhere. There is NOTHING short of my house being on fire, that I would skip my exercise. I'm getting up an hour eary thursday so I can get an extra long session in before I put the turkey in the oven. If I were a diabetic, I wouldn't skip testing my sugar or my meds. This is how vital working out is to me. I have lost 124 lbs. and I'm well aware of how I got here. Exercise works and will keep me here for the rest of my life.



This is where I faulter. I always think about starting a running program but never actually do it. It's becoming harder to lose the last 9 pounds and I know I have to get going on exercise or I will never reach my target weight. I did kettlebell early in my weight loss program but work got hectic and I was too tired to do it, so I have to really plan it in my calendar if I am going to make it happen.



Like Mrileejikey, I love walking. I get up at 5 a.m. while every one in the house is still asleep, and hop on the treadmill. It's a great way to start the day. I only go 20 minutes, but it's enough to gently get the blood moving and clear away the sleep. Later, if time permits, I do another 20 minutes when I get home from work, especially if it has been a day full of meetings.



I'm am glad you all are enjoying the article and dedicating your lives to fitness


Original Post by: hobbbs

This is where I faulter. I always think about starting a running program but never actually do it. It's becoming harder to lose the last 9 pounds and I know I have to get going on exercise or I will never reach my target weight. I did kettlebell early in my weight loss program but work got hectic and I was too tired to do it, so I have to really plan it in my calendar if I am going to make it happen.


Wow! Thanks for your very inspirational message. I like your attitude.



I try very hard, every day, to plan my day around workout time, but unfortunately the people I work with want to work all day, evenings and weekends and expect the same from others. Even though I work from home, it's very difficult to ignore the persistent and "urgent" emails and phone calls, but I am getting better at it, especially on weekends. The people I work with never exercise and in fact do very little of anything, other than work.

It's difficult (impossible?) for them to understand someone wanting to exercise.  And no they are not overweight... they are on the thin side and function on nervous energy!

 



I was starting to find it hard to go running after work due to family life.  So early summer at lunch time I started running at my lunch time, weather permitting. I get a 6 mile run in every Monday thru Friday instead of sitting on my butt surfing the internet.  Also I am fortunate at my work, I am maintenanace so I can walk alot I can get an easy 4 miles of walking done in a day and I take stairs throught the buildings.  I can even get a few sets of push ups and situps in if I desire.  I do understand not everyone is as fortunate as this.



This was a tough one for me - I finally found the only time I could exercise and not be interrupted or feel I had too many other things to do was. . . . . 4 am.  It's now my favorite part of the day.  My husband installed a full-spectrum light in our basement workout room (we picked up an unwanted bike and treadmill and then bought an elliptical on sale).  I watch old episodes of favorite shows on my laptop (he also put in a special shelf to hold it) that are available on hulu.  50 minutes later, I'm in the shower and then getting everyone up for breakfast.  I feel great all day and rellay hate it when I have to miss - so I rarely do, even if I got to bed late the night before.  I get lazy on weekends, but I'm certain to get 250 minutes a week at least.



I really do try to follow this advice. I have to work out in the mornings before breakfast or I know it's just not going to happen. What I really lack is the willpower and discipline. I've found exercise activities that I enjoy doing, but I'll never enjoy them more than getting an extra hour of sleep or taking some down time to relax when I get it. I just think I'll never enjoy exercise the way I need to in order to stay committed.



Tony Horton's 10-Minute Trainer



Got off my routine as my life started coming unglued.  Not surprisingly, I have gained weight and become frustrated with myself (such a happy cycle).  I am in transit today (literally, traveling from one city to another) so tomorrow morning I will get my arse out of bed and get back on that horse.  Needed some inspiration and some statements of the obvious - time to get back to it.  Thanks.



There was a story, i will retell it and make it brief.  A lecturer held a jar and filled it with rocks, and asked the audience if it was full, they said, yes.  He then added gravel, and again asked if it was full, they said yes.  He then added sand and asked again, this time one said, probably not.  He then added water and asked, what is the point of this? One said that you can always add more to your day, the lecturer said no,  the point is if you don't get the Rocks in first, you never will be able to. 

The same with exercise.



Original Post by: dianemar

There was a story, i will retell it and make it brief.  A lecturer held a jar and filled it with rocks, and asked the audience if it was full, they said, yes.  He then added gravel, and again asked if it was full, they said yes.  He then added sand and asked again, this time one said, probably not.  He then added water and asked, what is the point of this? One said that you can always add more to your day, the lecturer said no,  the point is if you don't get the Rocks in first, you never will be able to. 

The same with exercise.


Ha! I like that


I'm not sure I totally agree with point 1. Maybe it works from a loosing weight point of view, I don't know, but from a musculoskeletal point of view regular workouts with not too much time between them are important for building muscles and stamina.  Therefore cramming more than half a weeks worth of workouts into two days does not seem like a very good idea to me. 

@dianemar - I love your story and so very true, get it in there straight off the bat really is the best way.



Original Post by: ldlindsay

I really do try to follow this advice. I have to work out in the mornings before breakfast or I know it's just not going to happen. What I really lack is the willpower and discipline. I've found exercise activities that I enjoy doing, but I'll never enjoy them more than getting an extra hour of sleep or taking some down time to relax when I get it. I just think I'll never enjoy exercise the way I need to in order to stay committed.


Actually not liking exercise is more normal than you think! Set small goals and reward yourself for reaching them ! Instead of saying I'm going to lose 50 lbs say I'm going to jog in place for 5 minutes every day this week! Then next week pump it up....


Original Post by: maky

I'm not sure I totally agree with point 1. Maybe it works from a loosing weight point of view, I don't know, but from a musculoskeletal point of view regular workouts with not too much time between them are important for building muscles and stamina.  Therefore cramming more than half a weeks worth of workouts into two days does not seem like a very good idea to me. 

@dianemar - I love your story and so very true, get it in there straight off the bat really is the best way.


You might be right ! This post isn't for any specific goal! A person trying to win a bodybuilding contest will have to do things completely different from a person trying to gain weight who has to do something totally different from an overweight person trying to slim down...

This post covers the basics ! The point is ! Everybody must exercise even the sexiest person! :)


I'm in nursing school and my schedule is very busy. Last quarter I never exercised because I was "too busy" and I gained 15 pounds, felt stressed out, overwhelmed, had trouble sleeping, and my grades were only average even though I studied frequently.

This quarter I decided that I HAD to make time for exercise. I've been going to the gym and doing lots of cardio at least 4x a week and it's really paid off. I've lost 20 pounds this quarter, I have more energy, I'm happier, I sleep better, my stress level is much lower, and my grades are better! Losing weight has given me confidence in my ability to be successful in other areas of life. The stress relief has also made everything seem much more manageable. It's completely worth sacrificing 4-5 hours of TV a week!



Original Post by: rachelwert

I'm in nursing school and my schedule is very busy. Last quarter I never exercised because I was "too busy" and I gained 15 pounds, felt stressed out, overwhelmed, had trouble sleeping, and my grades were only average even though I studied frequently.

This quarter I decided that I HAD to make time for exercise. I've been going to the gym and doing lots of cardio at least 4x a week and it's really paid off. I've lost 20 pounds this quarter, I have more energy, I'm happier, I sleep better, my stress level is much lower, and my grades are better! Losing weight has given me confidence in my ability to be successful in other areas of life. The stress relief has also made everything seem much more manageable. It's completely worth sacrificing 4-5 hours of TV a week!


I thought you may have been my daughter writing in!!  She is in her second year of nursing school, a very boot camp type two year curriculum.  So she will gratuate in may, recently she confessed she is feeling very stressed, almost panicy.  She was all into exercising last spring and felt great but fell out of it this semester. She is dealing with feeling tired , and the same deal as you as far as studying but making no progress.  I bought her a tread mill at a rumage sale this summer because I felt in our northern winters she wouldn't be able to run like she likes to.  But she also is trying to figure out when she can do it, everything else seems such a high priority(with two children) she is having a hard time justifying  exercising.  I believe it would help her emmensely, i am going to share this  blog with her.



Original Post by: dianemar

Original Post by: rachelwert

I'm in nursing school and my schedule is very busy. Last quarter I never exercised because I was "too busy" and I gained 15 pounds, felt stressed out, overwhelmed, had trouble sleeping, and my grades were only average even though I studied frequently.

This quarter I decided that I HAD to make time for exercise. I've been going to the gym and doing lots of cardio at least 4x a week and it's really paid off. I've lost 20 pounds this quarter, I have more energy, I'm happier, I sleep better, my stress level is much lower, and my grades are better! Losing weight has given me confidence in my ability to be successful in other areas of life. The stress relief has also made everything seem much more manageable. It's completely worth sacrificing 4-5 hours of TV a week!


I thought you may have been my daughter writing in!!  She is in her second year of nursing school, a very boot camp type two year curriculum.  So she will gratuate in may, recently she confessed she is feeling very stressed, almost panicy.  She was all into exercising last spring and felt great but fell out of it this semester. She is dealing with feeling tired , and the same deal as you as far as studying but making no progress.  I bought her a tread mill at a rumage sale this summer because I felt in our northern winters she wouldn't be able to run like she likes to.  But she also is trying to figure out when she can do it, everything else seems such a high priority(with two children) she is having a hard time justifying  exercising.  I believe it would help her emmensely, i am going to share this  blog with her.


I can imagine that the combination of being a mom and being in nursing school must make it very difficult for your daughter to find time to exercise, but like rachelwert says, its essential as it really does makes everything else more manageable makes you feel happier, less stressy and overall more satisfied. And I think that should be how your daughter should justify taking this time for herself: it'll make her a better and happier person, which will only benefit her kids.


I have to say, that picture annoys me so much... of course the little blonde woman is "exercising" by doing some curls with a tiny weight while she works on the laptop and chats on the phone. Sigh. Hooray stereotypes. 1 and 4 seem contradictory, too.

I got up at 6 AM today so I could go to the gym before work. I set a personal best on barbell deadlift, I'm only 5 kg off deadlifting my bodyweight, should manage it next week. Tomorrow I'll sleep in until 6:30, because instead of the gym I go running in the park near me on Tuesdays - the park has an extinct volcano in it. 

When I'm working out I don't have the breath or free hands to chat on the phone and I'd be dripping sweat all over the electronics. I have a 9-5 job, I'm starting up a large scale community service project, and I help run a local gaming convention. I still make time for 3-4 hours of exercise a week, because yes, this isn't an extracurricular. 10 minutes a day is better than nothing but it isn't going to help anyone much (especially if it's pure cardio) and I'm not sure encouraging people to do just that is a good idea. :/



I must admit, this is a biiiig issue.

2 young children (under 3), work (mon-friday, salary (countless overtime hours)). Out of 7 days 4-5/7 I fall asleep on the couch around 8-9. Up at 6, exhausted at 9-10. The weekends are honestly the only time that it's even possible to slide in. I can't trade the little sleep I'm getting in for a workout. That's a no go. The joys of parenting...



I have shared custody of my daughter with her father, so I used to only be able to go to the gym on the evenings that she was visiting her dad, which was only a couple of days a week. That worked for a while until my social life/home responsibilities started getting in the way and I would make excuses to not go after work (plus I am just drained from the work day anyway). So I've totally flipped my schedule and now I wake up at 4:45am and either go to the gym or do a home workout video in my living room. (I live with my sister, so don't worry I'm not leaving my daughter home alone! ;] ) I make sure I'm done working out and home by 6am so I have time to get myself and my daughter ready for the day. I've found that I have so much more energy after my morning workout and I have my evenings free now. 



Here's a tip that can help some...find something that becomes a part of your social life and you'll be less tempted to miss it. I go to aikido classes about 4 times a week, and it is now where a good number of my friends are. Also my husband does aikdio so it's becomes something we enjoy together, Admittedly we are at the lcuky stage with a child who isnæt reallya child anymore. it wouldsn't have worked when he was little. But for us it's a way to get out and meet people.



every minute of excercise you do is a minute more than you did before!

(and the same goes for whether its 10 mins or 100 mins)

 



Original Post by: gfyf554517040

I have to say, that picture annoys me so much... of course the little blonde woman is "exercising" by doing some curls with a tiny weight while she works on the laptop and chats on the phone. Sigh. Hooray stereotypes. 1 and 4 seem contradictory, too.

I got up at 6 AM today so I could go to the gym before work. I set a personal best on barbell deadlift, I'm only 5 kg off deadlifting my bodyweight, should manage it next week. Tomorrow I'll sleep in until 6:30, because instead of the gym I go running in the park near me on Tuesdays - the park has an extinct volcano in it. 

When I'm working out I don't have the breath or free hands to chat on the phone and I'd be dripping sweat all over the electronics. I have a 9-5 job, I'm starting up a large scale community service project, and I help run a local gaming convention. I still make time for 3-4 hours of exercise a week, because yes, this isn't an extracurricular. 10 minutes a day is better than nothing but it isn't going to help anyone much (especially if it's pure cardio) and I'm not sure encouraging people to do just that is a good idea. :/


I think it was meant as humor, trying to do everything at all times. Anyways that is how I took it!:)



One of the most crucial things I've found for myself, anyway, is to get my family involved. It pays off in ways you won't imagine.

I've taken up running (er, jogging, really) and between a busy family life and work, some days it comes down to running, or dinner.

Since I got my family to "buy in" to my exercise regime, they say "No problem, Mom, go run, we'll make dinner! Uhhh, what do we do?" But letting go of that responsibility just for that day is so good for my family (and myself) in several ways:

They are helping towards a common goal of keeping the whole family happy. Sacrificing their time so I can go run...okay, so I sit down to the dinner table to something, er, mysterious at times, I know they tried hard and have my best interest in their hearts.

Since running has started paying off for me, mentally and physically, my family has also started to be more serious about their physical health...so not only do I benefit, but my family does as well!

Having the support of family (and friends) is crucial for your well being! DO IT! It will pay off in spades! 



Hi! As a a mom of 4 kids I know what it means to be busy and tired. I fit in my workouts by running 20-30mins in the morning, every other day. And do wieghts while I watch my favorite show at night on the other day. I keep track of this in a journal. I am down 45 punds since January. My profile picture is me "before"

Just do what you can and own it :)



I workout M W F lifting weights, doing cardio exercises, etc. with a personal trainer.  First, I pay in advance ... I find that if I do this I don't want to lose the $$ and I show up.  Second, I leave work and go right to my workout time.  I plan just about everything appointment-wise around those 3 hours.  Third, if I have to skip a workout session, within a day I make a make-up appointment with my trainer.  Some people cannot afford a personal trainer ... I find that I can afford it by budgeting my money and being aware of my purchases.  And, at 62 years of age, I have no signs of osteoporosis ... my money goes for fitness, not prescriptions.



Like most busy moms, I get up early to workout. I have found that if I wait till evening, I will make too many reasons not to workout or life just gets in the way. My husband is great about making sure I get out of the bed in the morning instead of going back to sleep. And my son has started to get up with me to work out, which is fun and I look forward to it more. One night a week my daughter and I go to Zumba together and it is really fun girl time! Getting my family involved has really helped me.



I worked with people like that.. makes you sick doesn't it? I'm wondering if maybe you can break your workout up into 10 minute intervals if you have to.. or would it be so bad if someone had to wait a half an hour for a returned email??

Keep your head up.. you'll figure something out! If someone calls and you don't answer, tell them you were in the rest room (meanwhile you can be on the floor doing crunches!)

Good luck!!



I started getting up an hour earlier in the AM. This way I have no excuse for not hitting the treadmill. So when my day gets crazy, my workout is already done for the day. Honestly it's not as hard as I thought it would be.


I started getting up an hour earlier in the AM. This way I have no excuse for not hitting the treadmill. So when my day gets crazy, my workout is already done for the day. Honestly it's not as hard as I thought it would be.


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