There’s Always Time to Sweat: How To Fit Your Workout Into a Busy Schedule

It’s not that you don’t want to workout… it’s that you struggle to fit it in.

When you have to work late…

When you have to get up for an early meeting…

When you’re so tired because your schedule is so full that you just want to relax (and the thought of doing a workout is the last thing you want to do). Or so you think…

I know it’s not easy to stay motivated when you’re faced with these road blocks. So what does it take to stay committed? What’s the difference between the people who fit training into their busy schedule, and those who don’t?  There’s a few things I’ve noticed about what these people do to stay on their game. Would you like to know?

How To Fit Your Workout Into a Busy Schedule

Decide you’re going to workout

The first step is to decide. Set your goal.  Are you training for an event, or aiming for a certain level?  Decide what type of training you need to do to accomplish this, how many days you can realistically commit to training, and then enter these days on your calendar at a scheduled time.  Each week, adjust based on surprises in life.  Look ahead at the week and considering all other commitments, decide how you can make it happen.

Do a workout that feels good

If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it with ease.  We do things that feel good.  Period.  If you’ve ever had trouble sticking with a plan, you’re probably not that jazzed about it in the first place.  Why are you doing it? Why does it matter? Go beyond the physical benefits of the workout itself.  What does it remind you about who you are and what you’re capable of?  Think back to what you enjoyed doing as a child, and you might find some insights there. Ask yourself – what makes me feel strong?  Empowered?  More flexible?  Do that.

Schedule your training

When you have an important appointment you don’t want to miss, what do you do?  Write it on your calendar, or set a reminder in your phone, right?  Mental notes of “I need to do that workout tomorrow” don’t work when life is busy and something else can take it’s place.

What do you do if something comes up?  Reschedule it and adjust. I’m not suggesting to make a habit of always cancelling and rescheduling, but sometimes life happens, you get sick or injured, your work schedule changes, and adjusting is better than missing the workout altogether. Life requires strategy, and so does getting your sweat on. Fitting your workouts into a busy schedule can be easy to do, and easy not to do.  Be flexible and adaptable.

Start with small steps

When you’re struggling to lace up your shoes and head out the door for a run, or head to the yoga class every week, try this:  Just take the first step.  If you’re headed for a run – get dressed, put your shoes in, and commit to just 20 minutes of running. That’s it. Not the 50 minutes you had planned – just relax and go for 20 minutes.  Then, see how you feel. Almost every time I do this, I realize I’m not as tired as I thought and I have enough adrenaline flowing to keep going. You can do anything for 20 minutes. Just get moving.

Make movement a habit

Do you have any rituals?  I do yoga every morning when I wake up and before I go to bed.  Sometimes it’s 10 minutes, and other times I might spend 30 minutes.  I do what I can that day, or what feels good.  Studies show it takes 21 days to develop a habit, so decide what you can commit to for at least 21 days. Maybe it’s yoga in the morning, running at your lunch hour, setting your alarm to get up 30 minutes earlier this month, getting up from your desk every 30 minutes to do lunges or push-ups.  Habits are made from small steps, and they come with big changes and results.

Decide

Do something that feels good

Schedule it

Start with small steps 

Make it a habit

It’s pretty easy to get going, but the journey is to keep going. Which one of these strategies would change the way you workout? Tell me in the comments below! I’d also love to hear if you have any to add to the list.

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