Too Busy to Exercise? How to Fit Fitness Into Your Busy Schedule


Yes it’s January and that means most of us start to think about exercise and what we can do to finally lose those last 10 pounds. In the past, I’ve actually had to get creative with my workout times because the facilities I went to were just too crowded with all the January newbies!

As busy women, we may be making the excuse that we are just too busy to exercise. While some days that may seem true, we still need to find ways to fit our workouts into our busy schedule.  Exercise can help with your general overall being by reducing stress and making you feel better overall. Then add in the bonus of weight loss and it makes exercise even better!

Exercise isn’t something you should just do in January, it is something that needs to be done consistenly over time to feel better overall. If you find you are too busy to exercise, here are six tips to fit exercise in your busy schedule:

1. Decide the best time to work out – Are you an early bird or a night owl? Knowing that can help you determine the best time for you to work out. If you get up early, this may be the best time for you to workout. If you are up later, you might find working out after work is better for you. There are pros and cons to both so you will probably have to test it out to see what works best for you. I’m generally a night owl but I was still able to train myself to get up for early (5:30 am!) workouts.

2. Location– Once you know the best time for you to work out, you can decide the location. If you are working out in the morning, you will probably want to choose a facility that is close to you. The last thing you will want to do is have to drive 20 or 30 minutes to workout early in the morning because this will take away from your workout time.If you are going to work out in the evening, you may pick a facility close to your work so you can avoid sitting in commuter traffic. You will get your workout out of the way and have a smooth ride home.

If you plan to work out at home, you will want to make sure you have an area in your home that can accomodate the type of workouts you plan to do.

3. Pick Your Workouts – The facility you choose is going to have different types of programs to choose from. You may be in favor of group exercise classes or you may prefer to use the free weights. What ever you decide your work out to be, make sure you have an idea of what you are planning to do ahead of time so you don’t waste time while you are there.

If you are working out at home, what will you be doing? You can borrow exercise dvd’s from the library or stream an online program like The Gym Box (free for 15 days then $10 a month) to mix up your routine.

4. Number of Weekly Workouts – How often do you plan to workout each week? It’s a good idea to shoot for 5-6 hours of some form of exercise each week. But don’t over do it! If you are just starting out, aim for 3 hours and work your way up.

5. Set Appointments with Yourself (& keep them!) – If you are planning to utilize group exercise classes, you can pick the classes you want to do and then enter them into your calendar like a regular appointment. I like to do this on Sunday when I’m planning my week. I pick the classes I’m going to do and fit them in around my schedule.

If you workout at home, you still need to set appointments with yourself to make sure you fit your exercise in! One of the downfalls of working out at home is its easy to say you will do it later. I don’t think 11 p.m. is an optimal time to workout for most people so when you set appointments you can ensure you fit your workout in.

6. Set 2 Extra Extra Appointments Each Week – This helps you to have “catch-up” classes in the event you are not able to make one of your scheduled appointments. It also gives you a backup plan so your week doesn’t get off track if you miss one of your workouts.

You may need to adjust your schedule weekly or monthly, depending on what your lifestyle is like. The trick is to find ways to work exercise in with what you are already doing. If you got up a few minutes earlier, what type of exercise could you do each day? Instead of watching tv after you get home from work, can you go for a walk with a friend or walk the neighbors dog? The lasting changes are made when we take small and steady steps instead of trying to make sweeping changes at once.

What is one small change you can make today to fit exercise into your schedule?

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a teacher, I walk around the classroom for 5 hours a day.  In addition, I stretch, 60-100 pushups nightly and lift weights 2-4 times a week.  On the weekend, I ride my bike for 90 minutes or use a treadmill for 35 minutes.  I add more days of bicycling on holidays and vacations.

  2. A few days ago I came up with the idea to walk down the street and back during my lunch break. I work in a small office and normally I’m the only one there consistently during the day. Many times I don’t take a break, I just eat at my desk and continue working.

    But, now I’ve decided to make the most of my time and actually take a 30 minute break. I can bring my running shoes and go for a quick walk.

  3. Great idea Carrie! Sounds like you work too hard so the break will be nice for you :)

  4. I make sure to work out immediately when I get home from work every weekday. I don’t let myself do anything else until I do, and it’s worked great the last 6 weeks for Insanity workouts.

  5. We are fortunate in that there is a little local gym just round the corner from us.  So we trot down there rather too infrequently but we do trot.   3 times a week is the target.  Yes we could in theory do it at home but since we are often working at home, it is a change.

  6. This is one of the best things to ensure you stay fit.  Get on a schedule and just do it.  no excuses

  7. Exactly! Don’t even let the excuse enter your mind.

  8. If time is the major issue I suggest looking into upping the intensity of your workouts.  You get WAY more long-term from 30 minutes of heart-pumping, pushing-it workouts, than a 1 hour walk or leisurely weight lifting session.  A cardio-heavy boxing class, or a tabatta workout is great for getting your resting metabolism up, burning an efficient amount of calories, and toning up various muscle groups.


  1. Best Money Tips: Fit Fitness Into Your Schedule | personal fincance says:

    […] Too Busy to Exercise? How to Fit Fitness Into Your Busy Schedule — Make sure you fit working out in your schedule by making fitness appointments with yourself. [The Jenny Pincher] […]

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