How to Exercise When You Have No Time

Exercise With No Time

When schedules get busy and days get long, it can be hard to keep up with everything on your to-do list. Unfortunately, for many, exercise is one of the first things to go. However, there are several ways to get in movement in those seasons when you feel like you "literally have no time"

As some people return to school or work, and there is some semblance of structure, it may feel like all you can do to get back into a routine. But believe it or not, keeping up with a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. Here are some tips for squeezing in physical activity even when you are busy.

1. Make It Quick

You don't have to set aside an hour of your day to get in movement. Even just 15 minutes at a time throughout the day can help you meet your activity goals. Research has found that even if you exercise regularly, sitting for long periods of time can be damaging to your health and can increase your risk for chronic illness, like heart disease.

Additionally, moving your body can help you get out of an afternoon slump and can boost your energy for the rest of the day. Try waking up 15 minutes early and going for a short jog or walk with your dog before starting your day or do it at lunchtime when you have a break in the day. Bike somewhere you would usually drive. And don't underestimate a few minutes of body weight exercises in your home, like sit-ups, push-ups or planks, which are nice when you're really in a pinch.

2. Schedule It

Taking the brainpower out of finding time to workout can help you stick to it and make it feel easier. Treat bouts of exercise like a meeting or an appointment—set a time and stick to it. Plan ahead for what you will do, for how long and when during the day. Especially as many of us are still working from home, this has helped me find some much-needed structure in my days. Plus, having to make fewer decisions when you are feeling stressed or tired can make a workout seem more like a break and less like a chore. Getting into a routine will lower the mental strain of "finding the time" and will help you stay accountable.

3. Multitask—When It Makes Sense

Work movement into your day where it makes sense to multitask. Schedule a walking phone call or meeting, so you can move while you chat. Do ten squats or push-ups after sending an email if you're working from home. Stand at your desk or even set a reminder to stand every few hours. This may not seem like much, but over the course of a week (or a year), it adds up. Plus, moving around frequently during the day can help you keep your energy up, which can make you feel more motivated for more structured exercise at the end of the day.

4. Go Virtual

Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, especially if you live in a place that has long winters. However, times are different and your local yoga studio or gym may not be an option right now. A great, efficient way to get a nice sweat or stretch in is through virtual classes or YouTube videos. One app I love is called Down Dog. You can customize the length of time, difficulty level and even focus for the practice, like core, back or legs. Finding virtual workouts allows you to exercise in the comfort of your own home for just the amount of time that you have.

This article was written by Jessica Ball, MS, RD from EatingWell and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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