I don’t have time to work out.
I wake up way too early so I can have just barely enough time to roll out of bed and head to work. By the time I’m home at the end of the day, I’m too exhausted to even think, let alone to run or lift weights.
This might sound familiar. Maybe it’s your life.
So what do you do? If you don’t have time to work out, how can you be expected to accomplish your fitness goals? Do you just give up and say that working out isn’t for you?
You could. Or you can reassess, get creative, and figure out a way make time to fit fitness into your life, and make working out work for you.
I don’t have time to work out.
I make time to work out.
So here it is, I’m going to let you into a little secret.
No one has time to exercise.
Everyone’s days are packed with responsibilities for work, school, friends, family, and life. Cooking, cleaning, and relaxing are just as important as the other weekly duties, and if you’re anything like me, you need your downtime to rest, relax, and unwind.
While rest is important, I know that I can sometimes go too deep with my decompression time and end up spending too much time being unproductive. While the day still seems packed, this is time that I can shift over into workout time.
I made the decision to make fitness a priority. I took a big hard look at my life, and decided on a consistent plan to work exercise into my life.
You can do the same, and do it in a way that will ensure that you will feel that you have enough time and energy to keep going.
1. Schedule It
Making a schedule is the best way to make sure that fitness becomes a lasting habit rather than a fleeting dream. Unfortunately, too many times we resolve to exercise more, only to stop after a couple of days.
The key is taking to time to figure out when a workout session practically and realistically fits into a week of your life. Take a day, take a week if you have to, and sit down with your calendar and really examine your routines. Think about when you wake up, get ready, cook, eat, travel, work, and anything else you do throughout the day.
This an incredibly important first step and will help you form lasting habits for exercise and for healthy eating later on. By looking at all of your responsibilities and hobbies and writing out a full schedule, you can start to work to discover the best time to exercise for your life. Take note of any gaps you have in your schedule or times you can squeeze in some fitness.
By scheduling your workout sessions, and deciding exactly when and how you’ll exercise, you’ll increase your chances of sticking to it and make some amazing progress.
Unless your life is incredibly flexible, you might have to make some changes to your schedule. Whether it’s making the hard choice to wake up a little bit earlier to get to the gym before work, deciding to watch Game of Thrones online instead of when it airs so you can go to sleep earlier, or hopping out for a run on your lunch break from work, something might have to change.
2. Plan for the Details
With exercise, there are a lot of little things to think about. Working out isn’t just the act of lifting weights or running. Just like cooking, there is prep and clean up time involved. You need to pick out and put on your workout clothes, travel to and back from your fitness space, and shower and change clothes afterward.
This all can add more barriers to making time for your fitness, both mental and physical. You need to make sure you have enough time to get to the gym and back, showers and change, in order to really get the fullest picture of your time commitments. Depending on what time of day you schedule your workouts, you’ll have a few things to plan for.
Bake all of this into your schedule, so you don’t have to stress and worry about having enough time during your workout. By accounting for all of the details, you’ll be sure to have a smooth transition in and out of your workouts so you can focus on a great session and getting back your life.
If you’re going to workout in the morning, you can save an extra shower and change of clothes by hopping right out of bed into your fitness gear and into the gym. An earlier wake up call can be a challenge, but it can definitely be worth the benefits of getting in some exercise.
For a mid-day workout set up a dedicated gym bag with clothes and toiletries, that you can bring in, stash at work, and bring home to clean after. With enough time to shower at the gym or at home, you won’t be the smelly one in the office.
With a nighttime workout, the gym bag again comes in handy, and a workout space along your commute home smooths out your night after work. While you may be a bit more tired at that point in the day, you’ll get an extra energy boost from a night time fitness session.
3. Find the Fun
Scheduling and planning for your fitness lifestyle are great first steps, but getting out there and doing it is a lot harder. If it feels like work and just another thing you have to do, you’ll never workout. You have enough things you have to do in your calendar already, fitness should be fun. You’re looking to exercise for the benefits it gives, but it’s not beneficial if you dread that part of your day.
Play around and find what you like. There are enough movements that give you the same results, that you should never do an exercise that you hate. If you hate the treadmill, don’t use the treadmill. Get creative with your workouts, and feel free to step outside of the traditional gym workouts if that’s what you need to stick to it. Group Exercise classes offer a huge variety of workout styles, or just get outside to run and play around in the grass. That totally counts as a workout.
Stick to It
Consistency is the most important thing here. Stick to your new habits and make the time for them, even if you’re busy and things get crazy. Some people find that they need some accountability and working with a fitness trainer or a habit coach can be super helpful. Once you get started, your new routine will be so ingrained that you won’t even have think about it. So make that schedule, set out your gym clothes, and enjoy the fitness life!