We all know that exercise is important, but it can be really hard to find time to work out – especially during the busyness of a hectic school year.
However, we cannot allow this to be an excuse. I know it seems like we are just too tired to exercise, but working out will actually give you more energy. It will also increase your stamina and leave you in a better mood. Not to mention the most important benefit – making you healthier so that you can be more effective and, yes, maybe even live longer.
If you currently don’t exercise very often, I challenge you to start now during the summer. You should have a little more time available, so it should be a little easier to develop the habit now. Then, you’ll have some momentum to continue into the school year.
Still thinking it’s impossible? It doesn’t have to be. Here’s some tips for how to fit exercise into a busy schedule.
How to Fit Exercise into a Busy Schedule
- Stop making excuses. Yes, you are busy. No, this doesn’t mean you don’t have time to work out. The truth is that we have time for what we believe is important. If you decide to make exercise a priority, you will find the time to do it.
- Find a time that will work for you. For many, this means getting up earlier. But for us teachers who already get up at the crack of dawn, that might not be the best option. We do, however, often get out of work earlier than others, so exercising right after work (before dinner) might work for many of you. That’s what I always did, and it was a great routine. The point, though, is to decide on a time that works for you.
- Commit to exercise at least 2 – 3 days a week. Okay, this is important. You may be thinking that there’s no way you can come home and work out every day. The good news is that you don’t have to. Yes, of course it’s great to exercise 5-6 days a week. But the most important thing is that you exercise at all. So if you can commit to always getting at least 2-3 days in, you’re way ahead of where you were when you didn’t do anything at all. And 2-3 days is very doable. Even on the busiest weeks you should be able to find time to work out once during the week and once on the weekend.
- Work out at home. If you love the gym and actually go consistently, then that’s great. But otherwise, just skip it. Unless you have a mini gym at your work, it adds way too much time to have to drive to the gym, get changed, exercise, and drive home. Instead, working out at home means all you have to do is change your clothes, pop in a DVD or jump on the treadmill, and get started.
- Do something you enjoy. I know you’re probably thinking there’s no way you can enjoy exercising, but that’s actually not true. There are so many options out there – from walking to running to yoga, cardio to weight-lifting, kickboxing to dance programs. There’s bound to be something you’ll enjoy – or at least not dread. If you’re not sure, just start trying things and switch it up every couple weeks until you find something that you connect with.
- Find a program that’s 30 minutes or less. Somehow I used to work out for 45 minutes to an hour. Then I had kids. And I discovered Focus T25, a fantastic 25-minute workout program. And I absolutely love being able to get a great workout done in less time. So if you’re pressed for time, find something short. T25 is fantastic for those who want something pretty intense (you can check out reviews here). If you’re wanting something a little easier, check out 10 Minute Solutions, which consist of – you guessed it – 10 minute workouts that you can do individually or put together for a 20 or 30 minute program.
- Put it on your schedule. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “what gets scheduled gets done.” So put your workouts on your schedule. Then when someone asks you to do something during that time, tell them that you have a prior commitment.
- Get started. All the best intentions in the world won’t do you a bit of good until you actually get started. So don’t even wait for your new workout program to arrive. Get out and go for a walk today. Just get started. You’ll be glad you did.
How do you find time to exercise? What do you think is the biggest benefit of exercising?
Photo by Rance Costa