Lack of time, or a lack of priority?
Let's face it, we all have the same number of hours in the day. When you struggle to find the time to exercise, it's because the other activities are made a priority.
Managing your time and priorities is becoming more important in today's busy world. It’s not about squeezing more tasks and activities into your day, but rather a way of helping to focus on getting the important things done, and using your time more effectively.
After accounting for your work, family demands, and personal preferences, the key is to find a few simple strategies that can save you precious minutes, and ensure those workouts get done.
Here’s my 5 tips to help you find the time to exercise.
1. Multitask your workout
Doing two things at once can save a lot of time. Think creatively about other things you do in life that can be combined with exercise. You could:
- Go for a brisk walk with a friend instead of catching up over coffee
- Perform your housework and gardening vigorously, moving quickly between tasks, or intersperse body weight exercises throughout, such as squats, lunges and push ups
- Spend time with your children doing active pursuits, such as bushwalking, bike riding or Frisbee throwing
- Use your television viewing time wisely by exercising, or at least doing some stretches
- Bike ride or walk some or all the way to your work
2. Increase the intensity
Countless studies have shown that you can achieve great results in limited time through interval training.
Including short bursts of high intensity effort
during your workouts can induce improvements in both cardiovascular fitness and fat burning, but requires less total training time than traditional, steady state workouts.
Aim for 2-3 interval training workouts each week, making sure to build up the intensity slowly over several weeks if you are new to these types of workouts.
3. Exercise in the morning
Fitness training is import for health and wellness, but because it's not urgent, any pressing issues can often jump to the top of your priority list.
Choosing to train first thing in the morning
makes exercise more likely to happen, because there’s less chance of other tasks getting in the way. By doing first things first, you can build more consistency around your training, and get the day off to a great start.
4. Make an appointment with exercise
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Get organised with your time and plan ahead for important tasks.
Why not schedule future workouts in your diary and make an exercise appointment with yourself (or your workout buddy)?
Writing it down is an added commitment, and makes a priority out of working out instead of a mere intention to exercise. If you don’t keep a diary, identify where and when you intend to train, and set reminders on your smart phone.
5. Do less of something
Identify “time sponges” in your life, and look for ways to reduce the time you spend on these activities. Some ways you could make extra time is to:
How will you make more time to exercise? Tell us in the comments section below.
- Watch less television
- Cut back on social media or screen time
- Outsource tasks such as cleaning, car washing and house maintenance
- Try to do your grocery shopping online
- Reduce cooking time by making large batches of suitable recipes and freezing portions for quick and easy meals in the future
- Learn to say no sometimes