Employee Wellness Blog

5 Simple Life Hacks to Make Time for Exercise

Posted by Jamie Bell on Thu, May 11, 2017

“I don’t have time” is the go-to excuse for skipping the gym. Work, family, and social commitments make it difficult to incorporate a workout routine into your everyday life, but it's definitely not impossible! The thing about exercise is that it doesn't have to be an hour of cardio at the gym or completing a triathlon. Exercise can be any activity that increases your heart rate and gets you to sit less and move moresport-nature-female-healthy-stretch_1301-3129.jpg

When time is of the essence, the easiest strategy is to break down daily exercise into short, frequent stints throughout the day. Even 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day, can be enough to achieve the significant health benefits of physical activity. Once you’ve broken down your daily workout into easy, achievable time slots, you’ve opened up a world of exercise that doesn’t include an hour of cardio.

Here are 5 simple life hacks to help you make time for exercise on a hectic day:

Move whenever you can. Take the stairs, park your car at the farthest end of the parking lot, or take laps while you’re talking on the phone. If you watch the news or a specific show daily, plan a workout that fits precisely into that time slot. It doesn’t need to be intense, but reduce the amount of idle time you spend sitting in front of the television. Sit-ups, jumping jacks, push-ups, and lunges are all easy exercises to start with that don’t require equipment.
 
Deskercise while you work. While working out in your cubicle/office may sound silly, you can actually get decent exercise with just a desk and a chair. We have a list of discreet moves (with video tutorials!) for you to start with, just in case you’re self-conscious about your coworkers. Check it out here
 
DIY home gym.  A home gym doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. In fact, you can make a home gym out of everyday household materials. Use milk jugs filled with water or sand or even soup cans for hand weights, buy a cheap medicine ball, and use a fold out chair for exercise moves that require a bench. If you have some extra money to spend, it’s not a bad idea to invest in some quality equipment for an at-home gym. You’ll workout more if it’s easier for you to do so at home rather than driving to the gym.  
 
Multitask. You’d be surprised at the amount of physical activity you can add to your day by just being conscious of the opportunities. Try doing a few lunges while you cook, or pacing the house while rocking the baby to sleep. Bring the groceries in one bag at a time. Get off the subway one stop earlier and walk home, or wash your car yourself instead of driving it to the gas station. All of the little things really do add up!
 
Utilize your work breaks. Use your work breaks to your advantage! Walk up and down the stairs, take laps around the parking lot, or walk to lunch. If you're lucky enough to have a company gym, go for a quick workout and eat your lunch at your desk after. Do whatever you can to refrain from sitting and get some steps in over your breaks.

Making time for exercise doesn't have to be difficult. As long as you are moving more and making an effort to reach your 150 minutes of exercise per week, you are doing your body a huge favor! Always remember this quote when you feel like you don't have enough time for exercise:

“Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.” – Charles Caleb Colton


How do you incorporate exercise in your busy schedule? Tell us below! 
 
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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Image created by Nensuria - Freepik.com

Topics: Healthy Workplaces

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