Exercise: Can’t Find Time? Let’s Bust That Myth!

woman running out of time to exercise. Looking at watch

“I’d love to exercise, but I just can’t find the time.” How often have we heard or even said this ourselves? When we live busy lives it’s easy to prioritize work, family, and all the other commitments we have. And that can end up with us neglecting our well-being.

But here are some quick tips that might help you to create extra time you didn’t know you had available…

For Regular Exercise, Shift Your Mindset

The first step in finding time for exercise is a shift in mindset.

Acknowledge that exercise is not just another thing to do on your busy schedule; it’s actually a way of taking care of yourself and your well-being. Exercise can help you feel better physically and mentally, boost your energy and mood, and manage or even prevent, various health problems.

That’s why you should treat it as a non-negotiable “me-time.” Think of it as an appointment with yourself that you mustn’t miss or cancel. It should be just as important as any other commitment on your calendar.

Diary with appointments including exercise

Schedule in your exercise

Start Small and Build Momentum

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of working out, the good news is that you don’t have to start big. Just do something for a few minutes every day. It could be anything that gets you moving, like a brisk walk, some push-ups, or a quick stretch. The important thing is to get into the habit of being more active. And then you can gradually increase how long and how hard you wish to exercise.

And when you notice that you’ll start to feel better, it will motivate you to keep going.

Make use of Time Blocks

Scan your daily schedule for short time blocks that often go underutilized. Could you wake up 15 minutes earlier for a morning stretch or yoga routine? Could you fit in a brisk walk during your lunch break or while waiting for dinner to cook? Identify these little pockets of time and use them for exercise.

Incorporate Movement into Daily Tasks

Exercise doesn’t always have to be a full-on daily dedicated workout session. There’s definitely no need to spend hours at the gym to stay fit and healthy. Find simple ways to move more throughout your day and you’ll soon see some benefits.

For example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, squat while you brush your teeth, or stretch your muscles during TV breaks. Or even go for a brisk walk during your lunch break. All these small activities can help you burn a few calories, improve your circulation, and boost your mood.

Go for a quick walk

Walking up steps can be a great workout

Prioritize Self-Care

Exercise is self-care. And taking care of yourself shouldn’t make you feel guilty – after all, self-care is not self-ish. It’s so important for maintaining your physical and mental health. Even if it’s just simple stuff like going for a walk, it can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing. It definitely pays off in the long run.

A short refreshing walk outdoors can help you feel more energized and cause you to feel more focused and productive. A bit of fresh air and oxygen is good for us!

Plus, you’ll feel less stressed. Gentle to moderate exercise is known to help reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It can also stimulate the production of endorphins. These are chemicals that help you feel happy and relaxed.

Therefore set aside time each day to recharge and don’t skip your self-care exercise routines.

Find Activities You Enjoy

If you utterly hate aerobics, don’t do them. Exercise should be something you genuinely enjoy. Explore all sorts of different activities until you find what sparks your interest. Whether it’s dancing, cycling, swimming, or hiking, when you love what you do, finding time for it won’t seem like a struggle.

Post it note on Fridge with 'Gone for a swim'

Post-it-note on the fridge to show you’ve taken some ‘Me-Time’

Treat Exercise like a Date with Yourself

Don’t let exercise be a bore that you dread. Instead, think of it as a special time to treat yourself and have some fun. Put it on your calendar like you would a date or a party, and don’t let anything get in the way of it. When you see it as something to look forward to, you’re more likely to stick to it.

Get Support and Accountability

You can boost your motivation by sharing your fitness goals with friends or relatives and asking them to join you for company and accountability. Or invite them to come along to some energising classes in your local gym. You’ll have a blast and by doing those with a friend it’s easier to make your routine more consistent.

Women in a gym

Exercising with friends can be more fun

Be Flexible and Adapt Your Exercise Routine

Don’t let life’s surprises ruin your fitness goals. When things don’t go as planned, you can improvise. And that’s okay. Be flexible and adapt. You’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve with a bit of creativity and determination.

Instead of skipping your workout altogether, do a quick one. It doesn’t matter how long or intense it is, as long as you keep doing something. The workouts don’t have to be text-book-perfect every time.

Don’t Forget To Snack

Fact: if you don’t eat well, you won’t have the energy to exercise. But it is a fine line between eating too much and then gaining weight, or eating ‘just right’ for energy and weight management.
Consider snack options: a pre-workout snack (usually some slow release high fibre carbs with some protein)
Or a post-workout recovery snack (usually a high-protein snack with only a few carbs)

Celebrate Your Progress

Lastly, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back every time you manage to do a workout. Squeezing in some exercise time into a busy schedule deserves some credit. And don’t forget to reward yourself.

But not with food…😉

Maybe book a facial at your local beautician or spend a little money on those new trainers that you’ve been eyeing for a while. Now that you’re exercising regularly, there’s a very good reason to invest in those.

Give yourself a bonus that makes you smile. You deserve it!

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