Do you often feel like you have no time to exercise? It’s not always easy to get the exercise in. You probably know many of the benefits of exercise, but do you still struggle to get it in?
Because of the physical and mental benefits of exercising, I used to never struggle with the motivation to exercise. I was a regular (if not obsessed) exerciser. It felt natural to have exercise a part of my daily routine. Before having children, I worked out 6-7 days per week.
Now with children at home, I find that it can be much harder. Some days it’s hard for me to find the motivation to fit in even a quick workout. I used to get frustrated about the decrease in motivation but then realized that I just need to get more creative about fitting the exercise into my day.
You may have to try hard to sneak in your workout. You may have to prepare a little so you cannot give into the excuse that you don’t have the time.
Here are over 30 ways to add fitness to your daily routine:
Schedule it in. If you don’t write exercise into your schedule, you may not get around to it. Add your workout to your calendar and stick to it!
Exercise in the morning. It’s a great feeling to complete your workout, shower, and be ready for your day by 7 AM. There are also typically fewer time commitments that can get in the way of working out in the morning than during the rest of the day.
Create goals that are realistic for your time of life. Do you have 3 children under 4? Maybe now isn’t the best time to set the goal of running a marathon. Be realistic about what you can accomplish at this time in your life.
Make a Health and Wellness plan. Sometimes just taking a step back and evaluating where you are with your health and wellness can be motivating. Use this Health & Wellness Planner to help you set goals and track your progress.
Pick an efficient workout. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is an efficient workout when you are short on time. When you don’t have a large window of time, focus on quality, not quantity. This list also includes links to videos and other workouts that are helpful if you have trouble setting aside a large amount of time to workout.
Find a workout partner. If you have a time and place set up to meet, it’s harder to skip. You won’t want to ditch your plans when you have someone waiting for you.
Find an accountability partner. Text a friend every morning after you complete your workout or find an app with an accountability feature.
Sign up for a class. Hopefully spending the money will motivate you to complete the class. A little skin in the game never hurts.
Limit screen time. I know. It’s much easier to browse Facebook, but you will feel much better after a 20-minute walk than 20 minutes on Facebook. Trust me.
Find a challenge or make up your own. There are so many online challenges to join. Search around Pinterest or check out The Balanced Life for free pilates challenges.
Set our your clothes the night before. If you are off to work in the morning, all you have to do is grab your gym bag as you head out the door. As you leave work, you won’t have the excuse that you don’t have your gym clothes along.
Find your exercise purpose. Do you want to be healthier for your children? Get rid of aches and pains? Complete your first 10K? Lose weight? Having a reason for your exercise may help you to enjoy it rather than just get through it. It may make it easier to form a new habit.
Track your progress. Write out the detail of your exercise each week or just check off that you did something. Many say a key component of achieving a goal is to write it down. It’s motivating to see the number of days you workout add up. It can also motivate you to improve week to week. Use this free Fitness Tracker printable to record your weekly workouts.
Track your steps. Use your FitBit or just find a cheap pedometer to track your activity throughout the day.
Break your goal down into smaller pieces. Is your health goal to lose 50 pounds? Focus on the first 10 and then worry about the next 10 later.
Reward yourself. I must admit that this isn’t the most motivating factor for me. I’m just too cheap to reward myself and am simply happy with how much better I feel when I workout. I do know that many people are motivated by new workout gear, a pedicure, or another splurge for keeping a consistent workout schedule. If it works for you, go with it!
Buy fun workout gear. While workout gear is not my most motivating factor, it is fun to get a new tank top or pair of leggings. There are so many options (both inexpensive and too expensive!) of great gear out there.
Add variety. If you worry about getting bored, don’t forget to vary up your exercise.
Have a list of workouts ready to go. If you workout at home, don’t spend the first 10 minutes of your workout finding the perfect online workout video. Have a list of your favorites, so you can use your workout time efficiently. Here is a list to get you started.
Do what you love! If you despise running, try another activity. If you are not fond of exercising, you may not absolutely LOVE whatever exercise you choose. If you really hate it, though, try to find something you can tolerate better. Find something that fits your lifestyle and desires.
Focus on a daily habit. Sometimes the best way to start a new habit is to force yourself to do it daily until it becomes your new routine.
Walk on your lunch break. Not only will you be efficiently fitting exercise into your day, but you will probably feel more alert in the afternoon.
Have a walking work meeting. If you spend much of your day sitting, a walking meeting will be great for your health. This is also another way to get rid of the afternoon slump.
Exercise date. My husband and I spent many of our first dates running or cycling together.
Catch up with a friend. It makes your workout go by much faster!
Include the family. Enjoy your evenings with a family walk or bike ride.
Walk or bike to work. Make your commute your workout.
Always be prepared. Keep an extra pair of tennis shoes in your car. You never know when you may have a few extra minutes to take a quick walk. If you have a few minutes while waiting for your child to get done with practice, walk around the block instead of scrolling through your phone.
Turn your chores into exercise. Yard work, shoveling, cleaning. Add a little vigor to it!
Add snippets of exercise into your day. Squats while you brush your teeth? OK…maybe only I am strange enough to do that. :)
Be flexible. Did you have a 5 mile run scheduled, but life got in the way? Find another day.
How do you fit your exercise into your day?
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