How To Make Time For Fitness When You Lead A Busy Lifestyle

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October 18, 2019

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How often has a lack of time prevented you from working out? You’re not alone.

A packed schedule and a raft of personal and professional commitments can make fitting in exercise a mammoth effort. 

It can also be hard to find the discipline to stick to your fitness goals when life is busy.

But it doesn’t have to be that way — we’ve rounded up some time-saving hacks to help you to reorganise your routine to help you to find time for exercise in your schedule and smash your fitness goals.

How to make time for exercise

Get ready — your diary is in for an overhaul.

Challenge yourself to apply as many of the below tips into your routine, but don’t be too hard on yourself. 

Even if you can only incorporate one into your routine, your health will thank you.

Make a plan for yourself

Simply put, planning ahead works.

Before you get started, it’s important to invest in a form of organisation that works for you. Perhaps it’s a paper diary, the calendar app on your phone, or your work diary.   

There’s no right or wrong type of planner, but it’s so important to find something that not only suits your routine, and is something that you will look to and follow. 

At the start of a week (or better yet, the Sunday night before your week kicks off), allocate time to sit down and look at the week to come. 

Is it a regular nine-to-five working week? Are there any events on? Birthdays to celebrate?

Note down every commitment: professional, family, social and any appointments. 

Are there any obvious gaps that exercise can easily fit into? If so, that was easy! 

If not, can you move some non-urgent commitments around to make time for fitness? 

Remember, working out is a priority and worthy of your time! 

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Schedule your workouts

Once you’ve planned when you can work out during the week, it’s time to schedule. 

If you’ve opted for an electronic diary, set reminders to ensure you get alerts in the lead up to the time you’ve assigned to work out.  

If it’s a paper diary for you, write your dedicated times for exercise in pen. Leave the pencils at home — you won’t be rubbing these times out.

You can also use the schedule of your workouts in the Sweat app, which is perfect for keeping all things fitness in one place!

Here’s the thing: once you’ve scheduled time to work out, it stays. Don’t move it unless you really, really have to. 

Prepare for your workouts ahead of time

Like planning, being prepared can pay off. 

If you’re a person who likes to work out first thing in the morning, always pull out your clothes and shoes before you go to sleep in the evening.

When you’ve accidentally hit snooze on your morning alarm, you’ll be grateful for your efforts the night before.

A tip for everyone, regardless of the time of day you work out: have a gym bag packed and ready at all times. 

This bag should contain all the necessities including clothes, shoes, headphones, a water bottle, a towel and any toiletries that you like to have on hand.

It might live next to your front door at home, or in your car — most importantly, it should be easy to grab and go. 

Having a gym bag packed and on stand-by is also great for when plans change at the last minute. Perhaps your evening plans have fallen through and you’ve found yourself with a few hours to spare? 

You already have everything you need and can get to the gym in very little time.

Diligently delegate 

It goes without saying, but you can’t delegate your workouts to anyone else, of course! There are some things you have to do for yourself! 

Delegating isn’t just for your work life. Are there tasks in your personal life you can outsource or assign to a partner or family member?

Perhaps you can prepare Monday’s dinner ahead of time on the weekend and your partner can cook it on the night? This will free up some time in your schedule to squeeze in a workout and will ensure you still come home to a delicious home-cooked dinner.

Instead of trekking to the supermarket and battling the crowds, can you organise for a grocery shop to be delivered? That’s an instant time-saver. 

Time is valuable, so don’t feel bad about asking for help or outsourcing if you need to.

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Maximise your time 

Maximising your time is all about working with the pockets of time you have throughout the day that aren't consumed by commitments — and getting creative with how you fit in your workouts.

Don’t write off your lunch break at work. That half-hour (lucky you if you get longer!) is the perfect window to workout. Try one of Kayla’s signature workouts that takes just 28 minutes to complete or smash out a HIIT workout.

Or what about after work? Do you have a window of time between finishing up in the office and an evening commitment? Perhaps there’s a park close to you, or a gym nearby you can get to? If you're lucky enough to have a bit of flexibility, another way you can maximise your time is to work out at the best time of day for the type of results you want.

Maximising your time isn’t a one size fits all thing. It will likely change week to week, which is totally fine. Just roll with it.

Find a workout buddy and get social with your workouts

Socialising is an important part of everyone’s lives — and not something you should cut from your schedule, no matter how busy you might be. 

There are plenty of ways to incorporate being social into your workout — why not pair up with a workout buddy and catch up while you break a steady sweat together? 

A low-intensity cardio workout is a great option for exercise with a workout buddy. It’s relatively low impact, while providing all the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, without over-taxing your body.

The best part? You should be able to hold a conversation while you do a low-intensity cardio workout. 

Grab a friend and spend an hour walking or lightly jogging — or you can even do a resistance workout together via video call — and you can tick off both a dose of fitness and a social catch-up at the same time. Win-win. 

Make exercise convenient 

Strive to make exercise as convenient as possible for you. Like with most things in life, the harder something is to achieve, the less chance there is of you actually doing it.

If you’re time-poor, visiting a gym a long way from you isn’t the best use of your time. Instead, look to train at a space closer to the areas you frequently find yourself in. Alternatively, you might like to work out at home.

If you’re the type of person who would prefer to get your workout over with first thing in the morning, set an alarm and do exactly that. Don’t put it off until later in the day if you know that tends to be more inconvenient — find out the best time of day to work out for you and try to stick to it. 

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

Work smarter, not harder to get make time for fitness

Take charge of your diary — if you can incorporate just one of these time-saving hacks into your lifestyle, it might help you find some time to work out. 

But don’t stop there if you’re on a roll! There are so many more workout tips you can use to get the most out of your fitness journey.

Do you have some time hacks that you swear by? We would love to hear them. Comment below!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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