How to make time for exercise with a busy schedule

Howdy there, weary internet wanderer! It’s Mr Brightside here again. 

I’ve been keeping busy, you’ve been keeping busy, we’ve all been busy.

But do you know what I’ve also been doing? Working out - keeping the ol’ heart rate pumping and those muscles burning. I’m sure you noticed.

So, I thought it might be time to share some of my tips. My tips on how to make time for exercise even with the kind of busy schedule that means you’re running from one thing to the next without actually running anywhere, ever.

For most people, being too busy is one of the biggest hurdles they can’t jump (pun absolutely intended) when it comes to exercise. An Active NZ survey found that more than half (59%) of Kiwi adults say that it’s their biggest barrier and other commitments take priority.

But mark my words – exercise is important. Not just to have a figure like mine, but to put your physical health first and give your mental health a leg up higher than a box jump.

Here we go. 

How to make more time for exercise

Here are my four best tips that I use to make time for exercise.

1. Exercise is your boss now

Start acting like exercise is your boss, and you can’t miss your meetings or it’ll be your head on the chopping block.

Treat those sweat sessions like they’re just as important as any business meeting, because when it comes to your health, they really are.

This mentality shift should help you to get your head in the game and remind yourself that exercise and health is a priority.

2. The early bird gets the burpees

A sleep in is one of the best feelings on this planet, but there’s no denying that early mornings do have a certain zest to them.

Get up a bit earlier – even just 30 minutes – slam out a workout and start your day knowing the hardest thing you could do is already over with.

This is a favourite strategy for The Hits Drive Show host Stacey Morrison, who’s at the gym at 6am a couple of times a week.

You might even get to skip the morning traffic rush and watch the sun come up, which aren’t too shabby as far as perks go either.

3. Bring another mate on board

Got a friend who wants to start being accountable for their workouts? Or even just a friend who you know is already a bit of a machine and would never miss a workout?

Bring them on board so you can work out together and hold each other accountable.

Whether it’s an online workout, a regular run in the park together, or daily fitness sessions in the gym, knowing that someone else is waiting for you can help you to ensure you never miss a set.

Especially when you’re shouting the protein shakes if you’re late.

4. Try a time diary

Not sure where all your time is going? Start a time diary.

For one week, live your life as you normally would, but note down exactly what you’re doing every minute of the day.

At the end of the week, add up how much time you’re spending watching TV, scrolling your phone, hitting the snooze button, falling down YouTube video rabbit holes, and generally doing anything that’s not actively ‘productive time’.

You may well find that you can cut down on that down time and replace some of it with exercise time.

Just so you know, more than 67% of the population watch telly each week from anywhere between 1.5 hours to more than 3 hours on average per day. Now that’s a lot of screen time! 

Ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday routine

And what happens if your everyday routine doesn’t have much or any down time, and you’re already getting up as early as humanly possible?

Here are my go-tos:

Make your commute a workout

How do you get to work? Does it make you puff? If not, you can make all or part of your commute a workout.

Try biking the route on a weekend to get a feel for how long it takes. You might be surprised at how quick it can be.

If you take public transport, get off a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way to fit in a little more exercise, even if your commute is a long one.

And if you work from home, run around the block before you start your day or spend 15 minutes with a skipping rope outside before and after your day. It’ll wake you up and get you puffing!

Choose a local gym

So, your preferred gym is across town, or at least a decent drive away.

And how often do you use that as an excuse not to go?

If going to the local gym down the road is what makes it possible for you to squeeze a quick sweat sesh into your day, then so be it. The kettlebells will be just as heavy, the treadmill timer just as slow, and the mirrors just as inspiring.

Exercise with your kids (or household objects)

Parents are almost certainly all in the too-busy-for-exercise club, but you do have the perfect exercise machine at home. Just because it cries on occasion and gets grumpy when dinner is late doesn’t mean you can’t work out with it (this applies for both adult and children).

From simple games of chase to picking them up, you’ve got cardio and weight lifting in the bag (just don’t try that second one with a jug or anything with sharp edges – you don’t want any spills or injuries happening).

And if you don’t have any of these in your home? Now’ could be the time to introduce an adorable pup to your life and give yourself a reason to get outside for W-A-L-K-I-E-S every day of the week.

We might not be able to get you onto a cross trainer, but we can help when you are considering a life insurance policy, which can help look after you and your loved ones should the unexpected happen.

You can even procrastinate your workout by requesting a quote! You’re welcome.