What if You Don’t Have Time for Exercise?

Stop fooling yourself — it's time to wrap your brain around the notion of getting and staying well for the rest of your life

by HealthZette Staff | Updated 17 Oct 2017 at 7:45 AM

Most of us never feel we have enough time. We’re too consumed with our children, our spouses, our jobs and our commutes that we never seem to have any leftover hours or even minutes for ourselves.

We may start each day, in fact, thinking we’ll have plenty of time to exercise — yet before we know it, the sun is setting and the day is over.

But it’s important to realize nothing is as vital as taking care of ourselves. Even if it is a few precious moments in the day, exercise is critical to our overall health and well-being.

And we can’t even begin to take care of others or be focused and efficient at our jobs if we don’t take care of ourselves first.

So knowing this, how do we find time in our busy days to exercise?

First, make it a priority. Put in on the calendar if necessary; treat it like everything else in a busy life. We need to pick a time when we have a lot of energy and are less distracted.

For some of us, this may be early in the morning or late in the day after everyone is taken care of and the household is relatively calm.

Related: The Secrets of a Flu-Free Kid This Fall

Maybe it's when the kids have done their homework and everyone has been fed. Whatever the time, we need to make this a priority for ourselves.

Second, make it as easy as possible. This means choosing a gym that is close to our work or our homes. Pack a gym bag the night before to be better prepared.

And let's not pick a gym or studio that takes a long time to get to — or we'll be tempted not to go.

Related: The Best Snack Foods to Eat Before You Hit the Gym

Third, make the exercise fun to do. Whatever we choose to do, it should be something we enjoy. What's our preference: hiking, swimming, tennis, walking or running? Is it an exercise class or a yoga session? We need to choose the activities that we have a natural inclination for because it will motivate us to do it and stay with it. Let's have fun — and get the benefit of good health at the same time!

Fourth, our exercise needs to be efficient. Maybe hiring a trainer can help us maximize time. And if we don't have a full hour to exercise each day, that's fine. We can exercise for 30 minutes when we can — and then try for another 30 minutes later. It still equals one hour in total, and that is a good thing.

Fifth and finally, we need to hold ourselves accountable to make it happen. Only we can make this happen. Knowing we're doing it for ourselves, for our own body and soul, is vital.

Related: Success at the Gym: Five Top Tips for Exercise Newbies

We'll reap the benefits of even one hour of exercise a day. We'll feel better and we'll be more mentally centered and alert. It will give us more energy, and our families and loved ones will thank us for that.

At first it may seem a chore — but once we implement exercise into our daily schedules, we'll begin to look forward to our "me time" more and more. Remember, "me time" is vital to our health and happiness. We deserve nothing less.

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