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Tips For Finding The Time To Exercise

Updated on January 10, 2011

These days it seems everyone is busy. Usually we are all too busy to work out or exercise. This is not good for our health or our waistlines. Unfortunately I have realized that I have to do something every single day if I want to continue to eat without gaining weight. I have been forced to get creative with my time. As a work at home mom of four kids, time is at a premium for me. The last thing I have time for is an hour long work out session or a trip to the gym. Do you feel the same way? Here are some tips that help me stay fit.

  1. Park at the end of the parking lot. Yep, you have heard it before but in the time you spend circling and looking for a close spot you could have parked at the back and walked. Walk fast for more exercise.
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I did this all the time when I worked and it definitely kept my legs in good shape.
  3. Look for opportunities to get up and get moving. Don't call your coworker or your neighbor, get up and go see them. You might not think those twenty steps matter, but every little bit helps. Working from home I have to force myself to get up every hour or so. Rather than putting things off I just get up and go take care of it. The more times I can go up and down my stairs the better for my health I figure.
  4. Think about all the time you spend waiting each day. When you are waiting for the tea kettle to boil do squats or counter push-ups. You don't need workout clothes on to do this either. Just do it. I do lunges across my living room when I am on the phone, even when I am wearing jeans. It might not be ideal but it is better than sitting there. During commercial breaks on TV I do sit-ups and push-ups. Doesn't take much time and it really helps. Waiting in line at the bank? Practice balancing on one foot. This will help your core muscles. Sitting at a stop light? Work your way through your body by squeezing one muscle at a time and holding it for 10-15 seconds. These contractions will help build muscle.
  5. Keep exercise equipment close at hand. If you constantly walk past that exercise ball you are always reminded of it and are more likely to use it. I keep hand weights by my washing machine and whenever I do laundry I do some quick arm exercises. It takes all of two or three minutes but I can tell that it makes a difference.
  6. Figure out ways to exercise with your kids - but shh, don't tell them they are exercising. Play with them while getting a workout. Tag, chase, follow the leader, etc are all fun for kids and good exercise for adults. My daughter likes to play superman and horse. These games are physically demanding for me, but she thinks it is all play. When your kids are jumping rope or playing with a hula hoop - join them.  They will love it and you will get a workout.
  7. Get a dog. Dogs need exercise daily. Having a dog forces me outside to walk. My dog hurt his leg this fall and needed surgery. Our daily walks came to a screeching halt and I noticed a difference in how my clothing fit within a week. I have had to adapt and do more of other exercises.
  8. Take advantage of time outdoors to get better exercise. If you are watching a child's sports event walk the perimeter. If you are supervising outdoor play, do lunges or squats while you wait. Body weight exercises like this are very good for you. You don't need fancy equipment or a gym membership at all.
  9. If you are looking for a workout that will burn a lot of calories quickly, try running. You can go a lot farther than walking in the same amount of time.
  10. Get a video. I have numerous workout videos that have several 10-minute exercise sets. I can get a great ab workout in just 10 minutes. It takes a little more thought than doing lunges while on the phone but seriously, it is only 10 minutes you can find the time.

Still don't think you can fit in exercise to your already busy day? Take a week and look for opportunities that are otherwise wasted. I am sure that not every minute of every day is full of something else. You just have to force yourself to do those little things. For me it is much easier to find a few minutes here and there than an hour or two in a chunk. But even though it isn't all together in one session your body will still benefit from whatever exercise you can give it.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      These tips are really great and valuable

    • lyjo profile image

      lyjo 7 years ago

      Great hub, great we get older, we get lazier, I have my exercise ball on a chair in the family room, just bouncing on it gets me in the mood!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 7 years ago from Ireland

      You've lots of good ideas here and I will certainly add some of them to increase my 'little' list. Thanks for the hub.

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 7 years ago

      The number 4 is a very useful idea! I will do it! Thank you...

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 7 years ago

      So true. I always believed that exercise is a high priority. But even so for some reason, I always run out of time, and exercise seems to be the task that gets cut out of my schedule.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Okay, I'll try!