How to Find Time to Work Out in a Busy, Busy World
by Mary Lambkin
If you struggle to find time in your day to work out, you're definitely not alone. While your family, schoolwork and career should always be top priorities, it's equally important to maintain your health and well-being. Thankfully, it's possible to fit a little bit of fitness into even the busiest of schedules.
Wondering how to find time to work out while also juggling a busy calendar? Here are five tips to help you find time for the gym.
1. Work Out in the Morning
One of the best ways to find time for exercise is to schedule workouts in the morning before the demands of the day start to pile up. While the rest of the world sleeps, you can enjoy a stress-free workout in a quiet setting.
According to Fitbit data, gyms are less busy between 5-6 and 7-8 a.m. Once you fit in that morning workout, you'll feel accomplished and ready to tackle the day. You won't have a workout hanging over your head or have to wonder how to find time to work out — or have it kicked to the curb when something pops up. Additionally, one study shows that those who exercise in the morning benefit from lower blood pressure and better sleep than those who wait until later in the day.
2. Remember: Something Is Better Than Nothing
You don't need a full hour to fit in a good workout — even a ten-minute workout is better than ten minutes on the couch. Whenever I'm short on time (or just feeling lazy), I remind myself that something is better than nothing. If you've only got 20 extra minutes to spare, don't use that as an excuse to skip your workout altogether. Make your way to the gym and pack in a high-intensity speed session to get the most "bang for your buck."
Fifteen minutes of full-body exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, and squat jumps will leave you feeling like you worked out for an hour — in only a quarter of the time. And, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, these high-intensity exercises can help you burn up to 15 percent more calories than low-intensity workouts!
3. Prepare in Advance
Schedule some time-saving tricks into your day to make getting out the door easy. For example, pack your gym bag the night before your morning workout so you can roll out of bed and get ready in minutes. Wear a sports bra under your work clothes to save a bit of extra time changing! Prepare a batch of pre- and post-workout snacks on a Sunday so that you can grab them on the go. Make sure to have at least five different exercise outfits ready at the start of the week so that dirty laundry doesn't delay your workout.
4. Choose a Convenient Gym
Transit time and short gym hours can add unnecessary time to your routine. Find a gym that's close to your home and a good fit for your schedule. As a Planet Fitness member, you'll have extended access to the facilities (some locations are even open 24/7!), which makes fitting in a workout that much easier. Find a location near you and save a few minutes in transit.
5. Know Your Routine
Just like they say that you should never head to the grocery store without a list, you should never head to the gym without a workout ready! Write down your workout before you set foot into the gym so that you can get started right away. Be strategic about the type and order of exercises you choose in order to save time rounding up equipment or walking to multiple sections of the gym. For example, schedule a workout that uses all free weights one day. Later in the week, design a workout that focuses on machines.