How To Fit In Exercise When You Don’t Have Any Time

In an ever increasing time-poor society, created by long working hours and family commitments, it can be difficult to fit in time to exercise. Below are five tips to help you stay active when you have little time to spare.

1. Work out what you’re doing with your time.

You know that your busy, but what exactly are you doing with your time? Most people use time inefficiently (e.g working with distractions) and perceive time inaccurately, all to often thinking tasks take longer or shorter to complete then they do in reality. A time diary is an effective tool to work out where you really spend your time.

Try keeping a time diary for a week to see how you spend your time e.g wake up at 7am, get ready for work 7-8am, commute 8-8.45am etc. By being detailed in your diary, it is likely that you will find a couple of hours a week spare or that are being used ineffectively, which you could allocate to exercise.

2. You can’t create time, so prioritise it.

Once you have your weekly time diary, look at it honestly and critically. Work out what is and isn’t negotiable. Often finding time for exercise means you have to re-evaluate your priorities. Plan and diarise when you will exercise. It is important to schedule it in, otherwise it probably won’t happen. However, be realistic. We all need down time, so don’t over commit yourself.

3. Don’t take the ‘all or nothing’ approach.

You don’t need to commit 1-2 hours a day, 4-5 days a week to exercise. In my post Top Tips For Keeping Up Your Exercise Regime I made the same point, however it is worth stressing again.

If you look at exercise as requiring a large time commitment, it is highly likely you will put it in the ‘too hard basket’ and in-effect commit no time to it at all.

A little bit of exercise is always better than none, and in some cases it is actually better than a lot. Sometimes the more time people spend on exercise, the more inefficient they are. E.g. a 20 minute steady state workout on the elliptical trainer is not as effective (for calorie expenditure or fitness) as a 10 minute interval workout (with short bursts of really hard effort) on the same piece of equipment.

4. Keep it short but sweet.

The key to exercise when you have limited spare time, is about being effective in the exercise you can do. A moderate to high intensity 10-15min workout a few times a week, will still help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals. And as mentioned above, can sometimes be more effective than longer workouts.

Try to allocate 15 minutes,  2-3 times a week to exercise. Do a mixture of running drills, skipping and body weight exercises at home for a muscle working and heart pumping workout!

5. Get active on the weekends.

Most people will have more spare time on the weekends. If this is the case, make sure you allocate your most time-heavy workout for the weekend.

Up coming blog posts – Workouts For The Time Poor:
I will post some time efficient workouts over the next couple of weeks, but to get you started, try my Workout For The Holidays.

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