How to Fit in Exercise... when you LITERALLY have No Time!
Updated: May 31
We all know that we should be exercising, right? Study after study tells us that it's hugely beneficial to our health - it's been scientifically proven!
Yet still, only a fraction of us are actually into the daily exercise habit. Why is this the case?
Can’t seem to get in daily exercise? Here are the top excuses we’ve heard:
No energy/too tired
No time/can’t make time (I’m a full-time parent, I work full-time…)
Partner/family isn’t supportive
I’m injured/in pain
I’m too big to move well enough/it hurts to move
I’m too embarrassed/uncoordinated to exercise
I don’t like exercising alone
Can’t afford it, e.g. gyms are too expensive
Don’t have enough room in my house
I get bored easily/exercise isn’t fun
I never stick with a program/I always give up
I don’t like to sweat/having to shower after
And the excuses literally could go on! But the one we’re tackling today is the one we hear most often - "I just don't have the time!" But the question remains… do you really not have any time to exercise?
I bet we can change your mind about that AND motivate you to carve out just a few minutes in your day to make it happen!
How to carve out time for exercise when you least expect it!
The first thing is to make a plan and schedule it in as you would any other appointment in your calendar. Think of it as an appointment with your health!
Then, find the time. I know, easier said than done - but here are some great ideas:
Get up 15-30 minutes earlier
Split your lunch/midday break in half
Don’t have 30 minutes to spare? Take three 10-minute breaks during the day to squeeze in some physical activity, like:
A brisk walk, combined with walking lunges and/or sprints
Short HIIT workout or circuit training - see example!
Make your regular daily activities even more active
Bedside pushups perhaps? Single-leg squats while you brush your teeth?
Take the stairs whenever possible
Park further away from the entrance of a store
Get off the bus a stop or two early
Reduce screen time and replace it with activity
Do yoga/pilates/stretching while you’re watching TV
Dance while you make dinner
Really put some elbow grease into regular chores - or better yet, delegate them to other family members
Carry a basket while grocery shopping, rather than pushing a cart
Do high knees-up or jog on the spot at any point during your day!
Be socially active - walk & talk with a friend (instead of texting or phoning)
Family time = physically active time
And the key to keeping up with this daily exercise habit, even if all you have is 10 minutes per day?
Just. Get. Started.
Then keep it going by investing in an activity monitor, a pumpin’ playlist, and an accountability partner or support person that you can depend on when you’re ready to pitch and run.
Throw in trying a new activity, finding one that you actually enjoy doing, and mixing it up every now and then - and you’ve got yourself a regular exercise routine.
Again, even if it ends up being 10 minutes a day - it’s better than doing nothing at all!
FITNESS “RECIPE” (more like a prescription!)
Choose 12 exercises that use only body weight, a chair (or bench or step), and a wall - suggestions given below.
Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time to the next exercise. Total time for the entire circuit workout is ~7 minutes. The circuit can be repeated 2-3 times depending on your level of fitness and the time you’ve got to sweat it out!
If only doing the circuit one time through, you’ve gotta make it count and put some extra muscle into the strength-body weight moves to maximize that metabolism revving opportunity!
Wall sit with knees at 90 degrees
Push-ups, full/military or modified/knees down
Squats, all varieties
Triceps dip on a chair or bench
Plank - elbows or high plank (arms extended)
High knees, running in place
Alternating lunges/split squats/reverse lunges
Step-up onto a chair or bench
Push-ups with rotation or side plank, each side
Ab crunches or bicycles