9 ways busy people find time to work out

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Do you ever get so busy that you feel like you can’t fit your workouts into your schedule? Has this happened for days or weeks on end? I hear people say all the time that they are too busy to work out. I can relate. Although I’m always at the gym, I am there to help others, so even I have to purposely plan to workout.

I put my work out time on my calendar and stick to it—no exceptions.

Treat exercise just like you treat the other things you do in life that you would never think of missing.  For example, you wouldn’t dare show up at work without having brushed your teeth would you? You wouldn’t head home after work, knowing you are supposed to stop and pick up your kids, and not actually pick them up, would you?

The same way that these are non-negotiable parts of your life, taking care of yourself by working out has to become the same. I know sometimes it can feel like a chore or just another thing to check off your to-do list, but there is a real “return on exercise” that is just as valuable as any financial investment you have.  When you get it done, it pays off in the form of greater energy, more focus, and higher stamina to press through the demands of life, including a crazy busy corporate job.

Instead of exercising when you “have time” or when you “feel like it,” bake it in to your lifestyle and you never have to worry about it anymore. Here are nine tips to make that happen:

Tip # 1
Work out first thing in the morning.  Get up an hour earlier.When you work out in the morning it clears your mind and it’s over so nothing else can get in the way. If you can find an amazing group of morning people to work out with, and you all motivate each other, that’s even better.

Tip # 2
If you have to be at work early and just can’t see exercising in the morning, keep a pair of sneakers and workout clothes in your office and, at the end of the day, run home. Do some push-ups in the park or other resistance exercises on the way. If you are not in New York City where something like this is feasible, run around the office park you work in, or around the parking lot of a nearby mall. You could also stop at a high school track or some other safe outdoor place, get out and run around the track four times, then get in the car and head on home where you were going anyway!

Tip # 3
For business meetings, instead of talking over lunch, dinner, or drinks, meet at a yoga or spin class. Or ask your business friends what kind of physical activity they like and plan to talk during the physical activity if that’s possible. If not, plan to chat while you cool down after it’s over.

Tip # 4
Find something that you really love that is quick and not location dependent. That’s jump roping for me. Sometimes, when I am pressed, I take out my jump rope and I jump for 10 minutes with no distractions. No texting, no talking, no focus on anything other than me, my rope and my music for at least 10 minutes. Find your easy go to exercise like this.

Tip # 5
Make it easy and convenient to do your workout by finding an exercise class that is close to your office or your apartment or house. When your work out is really simple to get to, you are more likely to fit it in and make it a part of life.

Tip # 6
Get a work out partner. This creates accountability, because you have to meet that person and not just rely on keeping your word to yourself. It’s even better if this person is your life partner—your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.

Tip # 7
If you are into fashion, find really nice looking workout clothes so you look good when you are working out—then you will look good when you are not working out!  If you love being stylish and you’re looking hot while working out that may inspire you to do it more.

Tip # 8
Work out with your family. Go bike riding, skating or play some kind of ball with your kids. If you have a baby, get a jogging stroller and run with your baby. You get your work out in and they get time with you along with some some fresh air. Physical activity with your kids is great, because they also learn at any early age the importance of physical activity.

Tip # 9
Schedule your workout in your calendar like you schedule everything else and protect it. The same way you show up for your business meetings, show up for your workout when your calendar says it’s time. This is the tip that that I rely on the most to get my workouts in—it is an important meeting with me that I always keep.