5 Tips for Adding Exercise to Your Day When You’re Busy

Mother with a strollerThe last few weeks have been super-crazy for me. I’ve found myself rushing around, and trying to deal with personal and professional issues, and it’s been a bit difficult to find time to take care of my health. I’ve managed to eat (mostly) healthy, but it’s hard to carve out the time to exercise, even though I know it’s important.

So, I’ve been trying to keep some exercise in my day. Here are 5 of the things I’m doing to add exercise to my day, even though I’m a bit busy:

1. Exercise in Small Chunks

I’m disappointed that I haven’t had a two-hour chunk of time to head to the pool, since swimming is my favorite physical activity. Instead, I’ve had to be content with exercising in small chunks throughout the day, when I feel like I have a few minutes. When I’m taking a “work break,” I’ll spend 5 to 10 minutes with a quick workout. You can find mini-workouts online via YouTube or on sites like FitSugar. It’s an easy way to fit in a short workout, no matter what is happening in your life.

2. Do Something Else While Exercising

It’s probably not the most effective way to get something done, but I’ll sometimes ride the stationary bike while answering emails on my iPhone. I don’t need my hands to do this, so it makes sense. Or, if I’m reading a book that I need to review, I can do that while on the stationary bike, or on the treadmill. If you have audiobooks, listen while you run or engage in strength training. It’s one way to be productive while exercising.

3. Get Your Family Involved

I don’t like exercise to cut into family time, so when I’m busy, and still want quality time with my love ones, we do something active. I go for a bike ride with my son. It only has to take 10 to 20 minutes around the neighborhood, but we’ve had fun together, and been active. Sometimes the whole family goes outside to play catch. This is a good way to spend time together and exercise. When we plan a little active family time, I don’t have to worry as much about whether or not I got in a workout earlier in the day. I can take care of my other obligations and then exercise with my family.

4. Exercise First Thing

One thing I’ve found is that exercising first thing can help. Normally, I arrange my day so that I work first, and then exercise at mid-day. However, when I have meetings and obligations that take place during my normal workout time, I have to actually, you know, change out of my pajamas and do my hair. That’s not really conducive to exercising. On those days, I try to get some exercise in first thing, whether it’s five minutes of yoga just before I start work, or whether it’s 10 minutes on the stationary bike while I wait for my Crio Bru to steep. Getting something in every day is important, even if you aren’t going through an entire workout. It’s about keeping the habit of daily exercise, even if you feel like your routine is spiraling out of control.

5. Look for Ways to Be More Active

Another tactic is to look for ways to be more active throughout the day. Park farther away from the store. It can add a little extra time to your errand-running, but that can add up to a little more physical activity. Also, take the stairs instead of the elevator. It seems a little silly to do these things, but I find they can add up to a few extra minutes of physical activity during weeks that I feel like I’m running all over the place. Just getting in a little extra can help boost your mood, and keep you moving.

Whether it’s doing crunches in the evening while you watch TV, or whether it’s parking in the farthest space, or stretching during your work break, you can do a little bit extra to reduce the time you spend sedentary. It’s better for your health, and you have the chance to keep going with your exercise habit.


5 Tips for Adding Exercise to Your Day When You’re Busy — 8 Comments

  1. I have a set time that I exercise…it used to be right away in the morning, but now my scheduled just doesn’t allow for that. But I go at the same time every day. Even if I’m busy at work, or have other things going on…that’s MY time. It’s a “hard schedule.” Some people don’t understand how I can go every day….but if you make it a priority, you CAN make it happen.

  2. It’s easy to exercise during the day since I work from home. It’s also helpful sometimes since it tends to clear my mind or help me think.

  3. I definitely agree with exercising in small chunks, and I often do this myself. Randomly I’ll do some squats, sit ups, lunges or push ups when I have a few minutes and it definitely adds up if you do that a few times a day.

  4. To add to tip #5 – Sell Your Car! You mention parking farther away at the store… how about walking or biking to the store? How about literally ‘running’ your errands? I sold my car a year ago and it was the best thing I did for the environment and for optimum health, wealth and happiness. I get exercise every day and I don’t need to muster up the motivation. I save tons of money on gas and wear and tear. And, lastly, I don’t have road rage!

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