How to Fit Exercise into Your Schedule: 7 Ways to Stay Moving
We’ve all been there: we have every intention of getting up early to go to the gym, but a late night gets in the way. Those lunchtime plans to hit the gym are swallowed up by a conference call that goes too long. And after work? Forget it. You’re exhausted: a workout sounds nearly impossible.
So, how do you fit a workout into your day?
From maintaining a healthy weight, to supporting restful sleep and smooth digestion, exercise is key to feeling great. While it may feel impossible to fit working out into a busy schedule, movement comes in many forms you may not expect. In fact, you can get exercise from making small daily choices like taking a walk on your lunch break, choosing the stairs over the elevator, or investing in a standing desk.
If you’re wondering how to fit exercise into your schedule or get in a full gym session, we’re here to help you find creative ways to maintain a healthy body and mind, no matter what your day looks like.
1. Get Up and Move Every Hour
Whether you work from home or in an office, it can be tough to fit exercise into your day when you’re stuck at the computer. Standing up and walking around your office may not equate a full workout, but simply moving your body on an hourly basis may help improve blood circulation and give your body a well-deserved stretch.
Aim to stand up and move around at least once an hour, particularly if you spend much of the day sitting. Walk around your office, take a walk around the block, do some gentle stretching or even move through a few yoga sequences. Just a few minutes of movement to interrupt stillness can make a big difference over a day, helping to keep your focus and energy on point.
To help you remember, set an alarm on your phone or set a time in advance to meet up with a coworker to take a short walk. Having someone to walk with will help you stay accountable and help you feel socially connected.
2. Take a HIIT Break
Don’t underestimate the power of a quick burst of energy! A minute or two of high-intensity movement a few times each day may help keep your metabolism active and improve heart health.
How do you fit a HIIT workout into your day? Try doing a set of jumping jacks, squats, or even push-ups for an easy HIIT training at home. You could also do a few laps up and down the stairs at a quick pace, if your environment permits.
3. Park Further Away
We all love snagging that parking spot right up front, but simply parking a few rows back will add steps into your day without taking up too much of your time.
If you take public transportation,: hop off a stop early and walk a few extra blocks to fit a workout into your day. While they may seem small, those steps can make a big difference. Walking may help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your mood, and strengthen your bones and muscles.
4. Ride Your Bike
When you’re trying to figure out how to fit exercise into your schedule, incorporating a bike into your routine can be both beneficial to your health and fun. Riding a bike isn’t just good for your body, it’s a great activity to enjoy with friends or family as well. If you live close to your workplace, commuting by bike is a great way to change up your routine, avoid rush hour traffic, and improve your health at the same time.
Cycling may offer benefits such as:
- Improved lung capacity
- Better cardiovascular health
- Lower resting heart rate
- Reduced blood fat levels
Many cities now have bike share programs, so you don't even need your own wheels. Simply pick up a bike at a dock or on the curbside; ride to your destination; and dock the bike in the same way you picked it up. Using a public bike share program is a budget-friendly way to get into riding, without having to invest in your own bike.
5. Change Up Your Chores
You've just finished work and arrive home only to find… house chores. We're all familiar with the omnipresent need to vacuum, clean the bathroom, and do laundry. But making housework more active and fun is a great solution for fitting exercise into your schedule. Changing up your chore routine to include the whole family can also help you stay active while getting tasks done. Here are some examples of chores that keep your body moving:
Tend to your garden: If you have a yard or small outdoor space, take time to nurture it by planting vegetables, adding pollinator flowers to attract bees, or pulling weeds.
Wash your car: It’s easy to drive through the car wash, but when the weather is nice, why not do it in your driveway? Just remember to practice water conservation by turning off the hose when you’re not using it.
Take the dog for a walk: If you have a dog, they'll appreciate you taking them for daily or twice daily walks – and you can get in your steps for the day. This is also a great way to break up the workday if you work from home.
Paint a room: Painting is a great way to work your arms while giving your home a colorful facelift. Start small with an accent wall!
6. Wake Up a Bit Earlier
Not everyone is a morning person, but it doesn’t take much time to fit a quick workout in. Just waking up 20 to 30 minutes earlier can give you time to stretch, do a few rounds of HIIT training, or take a brisk walk.
Not only will your body feel more awake, but committing to an early wake-up call may help you stay productive throughout the workday. It can also help manage weight, boost energy, and if practiced over time, exercising early may help shift your circadian rhythm to get up earlier naturally.
7. Join a Group
No matter what your favorite exercise is, there’s probably a group for it. A quick search online can help you find meetup groups based on your hobbies, which is a great solution for how to fit a workout into your day and make some new friends.
Participating in a group that meets regularly is also a great way to stay accountable. You know there’s always a set time and place to meet, offering you consistency and motivation to stay active.
It may take time to adjust your schedule, but learning how to fit a workout into your day can bring numerous benefits. When combined with a clean eating meal plan from PlateJoy, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a healthy body and mind.