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4 Ways to Fit Exercise Into a Busy Schedule

ways to fit exercise into busy schedule 3

When it comes to working out, we all have the best intentions, don’t we? I personally could recite with my eyes closed the hottest fitness trends, precise number of reps needed to grow my guns, and the monthly membership fee of just about every gym within a 5-mile radius. But intentions only get you so far if they are constantly fighting against the grain of habits and lifestyle. If you lead a particularly busy life, it can be a real challenge to fit exercise into your daily routine when nothing else really has room to give. Here are four ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule — and turn those intentions into real, bonafide progress.

Squeeze It Into Your Lunch Break

I tried for years to work out before and after work. And I wasn’t lazy; I was just exhausted. I put everything into my workday, so in mornings my body begged for the extra hour of sleep, while in the evenings I was completely zapped of any remaining energy. Once I started using my lunch break, I found it was the perfect open hour already worked into my schedule for a workout– it was convenient, didn’t interrupt my evening plans, and actually sent me back to work more energized after the midday break. Most importantly, it actually got me to the gym and out of the cycle of hitting snooze.

Make It Social

When my friends and I make plans to see each other, more often than not it’s for dinner reservations or cocktails. Talk about a major distraction when trying to stick to a fitness plan and eat healthy. But there’s no need to give up on social outings, and no reason dining out has to be the main activity. Try switching your plans to activities. When my friends and I swapped dinner dates for yoga, paddle boarding and long walks, not only did it allow us to be active, but it actually ended up being more fun to try new things together and get out of the restaurant grind.

Break It Up Throughout the Day

On the busiest days, taking a lunch break might not be an option. But there’s no reason a work out has to be done all at once. Even the busiest person can spare an extra 10 minutes here and there. So try this 7-minute circuit after waking and before bed. Take the stairs for two minutes six times throughout the day instead of the elevator. Those little changes alone will put you at nearly 30 minutes of cardio, without having to step foot in the gym.


Fitting fitness into your life is all about making it a priority, but it’s understandable that there are times you just need to unwind. If you find yourself aching for a mindless television show at the end of the day, watch it on the treadmill. Or, if you just have to finish reading a report for work, bump up the incline on the stationery bike and read while you cycle. Sure, your workouts will be most effective if you’re putting all of your focus into them. But if what it takes for you to get moving is to be able to do other things you enjoy at the same time, find ways to add exercise in right alongside them.

How about you; do you have any tricks for making exercise a regular part of even your busiest days?

{Photo via Pop Sugar}

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Ashley Lauren January 28, 2015, 4:17 pm

    LOVE this. It is so needed in my life. Some weeks I get four days of working out in and others I only get one. I’m definitely going to put that 7-mintue circuit to use. Let me know when you need a yoga buddy xo

    • Jessica January 28, 2015, 5:58 pm

      Yay! I agree — I feel like it’s taken forever for this to *click* for me, and these are the ways I’ve finally gotten it to actually happen. Yoga anytime! And if we fail, Whole Foods… đŸ˜‰

  • Gina January 29, 2015, 11:10 am

    Yep. I quit my gym (’cause the gym sucks and is boring) and am doing yoga and dance classes instead. And walking the 23 minutes to work and back, and taking the stairs up and down my 5th-floor apartment instead of the elevator. And ONE 7-minute workout in the morning—that’s my only real effort; the other stuff is just seamless and fun.

    • Jessica January 29, 2015, 5:11 pm

      Haha yeah! Biggest aha for me was that it all adds up… doesn’t have to be this marathon effort slugging away at the gym if you fit it in throughout the day. HOORAH.

  • Vanessa January 29, 2015, 3:09 pm

    The lunch break is great! We do yoga at work on Tuesdays and it’s my highlight. Nothing I want to do more at 1 pm than move around.

    • Jessica January 29, 2015, 5:10 pm

      Exactly! It’s made such a difference even in my energy levels having something active to do at lunch.

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