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10 Strategies for Incorporating Exercise into a Hectic Schedule

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  • Post last modified:September 26, 2023

Sure, 24 hours a day sounds like a lot, but it’s nearly never enough time to fit in work or school, catching up with family and friends, pastimes, a restful night’s sleep…take a deep breath. Here’s how to find time to exercise even when your schedule is all over the place.

Set Your Alarm Early


Becoming a morning exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do list first thing. Don’t skip out on sleep to fit in a workout, but consider taking a simple step to reset your sleep routine and wake up earlier. For example, if you can’t quite get yourself out of bed that early, wear your athleisure instead of pajamas so it’s effortless to get your sweat on as soon as you wake up.

Turn Your Commute into a Workout


On days that Monica Vazquez, a master trainer for New York Sports Clubs in New York City, can’t do her usual run, she packs her essentials — keys, cash, credit card, phone, and ID — into a fanny pack and jogs home from work instead. “Running is a fantastic workout, but it’s also excellent transportation,” she says. “Sometimes I get home even earlier than I normally do taking the subway,” adds Vazquez.

Not into pounding the pavement? Instead, try cycling to work, getting off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or parking the car further away to extend your walk.

Make Your Office Your Home Gym

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Yes, it’s possible to get your daily dose of exercise without stepping foot outside of your office. “Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk,” suggests Gregory Florez, an ACSM-certified personal trainer and CEO of V2 Performace.

  • Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses, and stomach crunches; aim for two or three sets of each,” he includes.”

Fit in a Midday Workout

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Utilize your valuable 60 minutes by heading to the gym, engaging in a quick HIIT session, or going for a stroll. Not only will you experience an increase in energy, but research has also demonstrated that you’ll be more efficient throughout the day by logging off for an hour rather than having lunch at your desk.

Bring the Children Along

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Have a young group? Invest in a running stroller to complete your miles without spending a lot on a babysitter. Alternatively, secure your bundle of joy into a carrier and perform squats for additional resistance and a pleasant distraction.

Juggle Tasks on the Treadmill

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Save time at the gym with this 10-minute session that combines cardio and upper body exercises from Michael George, the author of Body Express Makeover: Trim and Sculpt Your Body in Less Than Six Weeks:

“Hop on a treadmill while holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and adjust the speed to a brisk walk. Perform a one-minute set of shoulder presses, alternating bicep curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals, and standing triceps kickbacks consecutively as you walk. It’s an incredible challenge for your upper body that also gets your heart pumping. Repeat this sequence two or three times per week. As you progress, strive to complete four-minute sets.”

Plan a Romantic Workout


Here’s one way you can perspire like an award-winning athlete: Enjoy a fitness outing like Olympic figure skating gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi

She and spouse, NHL player Bret Hedican, established exercise appointments to uphold their responsibility. Unattached? Encourage your companions to experience a novel fitness session rather than attending a pleasant hour.

Don’t Just Wait Around

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All the time spent waiting for the subway to arrive, the microwave to ding, or the checkout line to move really accumulates, so why not sneak in a bit of exercise while you’re standing there? The winner of the Biggest Loser, Ali Vincent, says one of her favorite solutions for how to find time to work out can be found in the aisles of her local store. Perform variations of lunges, toe lifts, and squats at the checkout line, suggests Vincent. “People might look at you like you’re foolish, but who cares?” she adds.

Get Moving While You Watch TV


Just because you’re catching up on Love Island doesn’t mean you can’t do push-ups, jumping jacks, and squats too. Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don’t miss any of the drama while breaking a sweat. Need an extra push? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness equipment near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.

Power Up Your Stair Climbs

“Instead of walking leisurely up a flight of stairs, gradually increase your speed and the number of stairs you take in one minute,” says Kari Anderson, an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and the owner of the Seattle Gym. “Take two steps at once — if you’re able to do it safely — and you’ll target your glutes even more,” she adds.

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