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Fitting Exercise into your Schedule

What’s the number 1 reason people say they don’t exercise?  They don’t have enough time.  Let’s face it, most of us would agree there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that we already have on our plates.  Whether it’s work, parenting, chores around the house, or just the daily to-do list that life creates for us, there are a lot of things pulling us in different directions every day.  So, if exercise or working out isn’t already a part of your schedule, how are you going to find more time to add in a new activity?

Here’s the thing.  For the most part, if something is important to us, we’ll find a way to fit it into our schedules.  We also tend to have time to watch TV or scroll through our social media feeds during the day.  The key is making exercise enough of a priority to look for ways to include it in our daily routine.  

Why should exercise be a priority?  Even if you’re not a health expert, the benefits of even moderate exercise are well-known.  Whether it’s maintaining a healthy weight, supporting your cardio health, building strength, improving flexibility, stress relief, mood improvement, or dozens of other positive impacts, the benefits of exercise are far-reaching.  The point is that exercise delivers so many great benefits, that it should be a priority for virtually everyone.  

Fitting Exercise into your Schedule

Here are 4 quick tips to help you fit exercise into your daily routine.

  1. Make it the first thing you do in the morning.  For me, this has been the ‘life hack’ that gets me to exercise every day.  I get up early virtually every morning and head to the gym, before work.  As the day gets busy, it can be easy for me to put off or de-prioritize a workout and once it gets toward evening, I may lose motivation to put on workout clothes and head to the gym.  So, the first thing in the morning workout helps me avoid all the factors that could lead me to skip exercising every day.
  2. Let’s talk TV. As much as I love the latest cool Netflix series, I also know that I use TV as a time filler, watching shows or movies that I really don’t care that much about. Studies have shown that average US households watch almost 9 hours of TV a day.  Even if you aren’t watching that much, chances are that if you actually had a timer going while you watched TV each day, you would find it’s more than you thought.  So, consider trimming down your TV time slowly and replacing it with exercise.  Start with just 30 minutes and see how that works for you.  Then, try to reduce your viewing time even more and focus on some physical activity instead.
  3. For parents with young kids, time for exercise may seem almost unattainable.  Consider ways you can include your kids in your own exercise routines.  While this may not be going to the gym and lifting weights or going to a kickboxing class, it could be bike riding, swimming, hiking, or just walking around the block.  Once the kids get a little older, they may start playing some sports themselves.  When you drop them off for soccer practice, that might be a great time to schedule your own exercise.
  4. People like routines.  On the one hand, we can all get bored with the same old, same old.  On the other, we thrive on some level of routine.  Exercise is one activity that can work best when it simply becomes a routine that you don’t need to think about.  Whether it’s first thing in the morning, like me, or any other regular time you can plan for every day or on a fairly set schedule, finding a consistent time for exercise can turn it into a habit.

Try out one or more of these tips and see if they can help make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle.