What's the number one reason people give for not exercising regularly? Lack of time, of course. We each have only 24 hours in a day, and most of us need every minute of it. However, exercise is too important for your health to skip. If you're aren't your healthiest, you won't have the stamina to do the things you need to do. Somehow, we have to fit exercise in the schedule. Here are some ways to get those workouts done despite a lack of time.


Exercise in the Morning


Exercising as soon as you wake up is excuse-proof. The day has just started, and it's too early to come up with reasons you can't do it. Keep your exercise clothes and shoes by the bed, so you're ready when the sun rises. Some people even sleep in them. If that works for you, do it. If you have to, set the alarm a little earlier than normal. Studies show that people who work out in the morning are more likely to stick with exercise. If you wait until later, too many things can get in the way. Do it before the sun comes up.


Don't Be Afraid of Short Workouts


It's reassuring that recent studies show short workouts, as little as 10 minutes, have health and fitness benefits too. The idea that you have to spend 30 or 60 minutes working out is a thing of the past as science shows all movement counts. In fact, research shows several 10-minute workouts throughout the day may be more beneficial than the same amount of exercise in one session. One study found that diabetics who walked briskly for 10 minutes after a meal had better blood sugar control than those who exercised for 30 minutes straight. If necessary, break your workouts up into smaller chunks. You can do one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening. It's only ten minutes.


Move Your Body at Home


You don't need a gym to get a workout. In fact, the trend is to exercise at home. When you work up a sweat behind the four walls you live in, you don't have to drive to a gym, find a parking spot, and dress a certain way. You can work out in an old pair of shorts and a ripped t-shirt if you wish. In fact, you might work harder if you're exercising in a private place where it doesn't matter how sweaty you get!


What about equipment? You don't need anything fancy; only a few pairs of resistance bands for strength training, a mat, and some space. Tune into YouTube and join in one of the many exercise videos. With so many options, you can do a high-intensity interval workout one day, a resistance training workout, and a yoga workout all in the same week without leaving home. If you're pressed for time, pick four or five exercises and do them rapidly in sequence. Then cycle back through a few times. It's hard to get bored when you constantly change exercises.


Look for Opportunities to Move


Again, a workout doesn't have to be structured. Keep a pair of exercise shoes in your car. When you have a chance, take a walk. How about taking a stroll during lunch hour? Climb a few flights of stairs several times per day if you work in a high-rise building. Opportunities to exercise are everywhere, and we see them if we stop thinking of exercise as something regimented and structured.


Make It a Family Affair or a Social Activity


It's easier to stick to an exercise routine if you have other people sweating along with you, so get your family involved. Can't get family members to cooperate? Take a four-legged friend for a brisk walk and include a few hills. Grab a group of friends and head to a shopping center for a fast-paced shopping trip. Wear fitness trackers to see how many steps you take. Fitness trackers add an additional level of competitiveness and motivation. Take up a sport with family or friends. Tennis, volleyball, running, and hiking are just some of the activities that combine exercise with fun.


The Bottom Line


Exercise is non-negotiable if you want to be your healthiest. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be a drudgery. The time you spend moving your body will pay off immediately by boosting your energy level as well as later in life when you're healthier than other people your age.






American Council on Exercise. "Do Mini Workouts Throughout the Day Provide the Same Benefit as One Continuous Workout?"

Men'sHealth.com. "New Study Pits a 10-Minute Interval Workout Against 50 Minutes Of Traditional Cardio"