Exercising when you’re super busy

8 helpful tips on how to fit in more exercise

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S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
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28 July 2020

How do you stay active on a busy schedule?

Ideally, we should be aiming for two and a half hours of exercise a week; however, this can be difficult to factor in if your calendar is bursting with events. So, here are my top tips for staying active on a busy schedule:

  1. Exercise at home
  2. Multi-task
  3. Work exercise around your routine
  4. Keep your workouts short
  5. Get up earlier
  6. Make a plan
  7. Choose active transport
  8. Prioritise your fitness

Read on to find out more about these points and to see my video with tips I personally use to stay active when life gets busy.

1. Exercise at home

If you are limited on time, it is a really good idea to do a home workout. This saves travel time and also makes it easier to balance other demands, such as being around for children.

Recently, there has been a huge surge in people searching for home workouts so I put together ten options in my blog Easy ways to exercise at home. Check it out to find an option that appeals to you.

2. Multi-task

Most of us are used to juggling more than one thing at once, so why not apply that to exercise as well?

You could stretch or walk on the spot during your favourite soap, for example, or speed walk whilst the baby naps in his/her pram. If your calendar is bursting with social engagements, why not make them active too? You could cycle or walk with friends or play games in the garden with your family.

Looking for something different? Have a game of swingball (which is surprisingly energetic!) or hold a skipping contest.

As you can see, exercise can be incorporated into many activities that you would be doing anyway and, as you don't have to set aside extra time to go to the gym or a class, it hardly even feels like exercise!

3. Seize the moment

If your routine is prone to changing – perhaps you work shifts, for example - then aim to be flexible when it comes to exercising. Avoid making a schedule and use whatever opportunities you can do be active. If you finish work earlier than planned, for example, use this time to exercise in a way that you enjoy.

However, if your routine is more predictable – perhaps you work from 9 to 5 - then you can afford to set aside a more regular time slot to exercise in.

Also, be open to a variety of activities. This way you can seize the right-sized option whenever the opportunity arises.

So, seize the moment and see if it helps you get more active!

My Self-Care Tip: How to stay active when you have a busy schedule

Below I have put together a video with some tips that help me to stay active whenever my schedule is busy.

4. Keep your workouts short

When time is limited, aim for a short workout. This makes exercising more achievable, plus it is easy to fit around whatever else is going on. You could do a 30-minute jog or an online workout video.

If this still seems like a lot, note that 10 minutes of jumping around can be just as impactful as a 30-minute medium impact activity. At least this gets you moving and is less intimidating than a long workout.

5. Get up 30 minutes earlier

Not enough hours in the day? Solve this particular problem by getting up as little earlier than usual. A short Pilates workout can be done in your pyjamas if you are feeling tired!

6. Make a plan

Yes, it can help to plan exercise into your calendar, however, you may also find it helpful to follow the likes of a 30-day yoga plan or a 5-day HIIT workout to keep you on track with your exercise goals. Both of these options can be found on YouTube so, provided you have access to internet, you can do them anywhere!

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7. Choose active transport

Now, this one may be a bit obvious so, if you've heard it before, take this as a gentle reminder.

Choosing to walk, cycle or scooter to work or school adds in extra active minutes to your day, without having to set aside a specific time to exercise in. This is also much healthier for the environment and our bank balances!

8. Prioritise your fitness

Finally, set yourself some fitness goals – even if it's a simple aim to walk somewhere every day for a month. Once you have your goal it should take priority over other things in your life like scrolling through social media or watching television...

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