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Exercise can be tough to fit in when you’re extremely busy. There are a million things to do every day, and the first thing to get lost in the shuffle seems to be exercise. That doesn’t have to be the case, though. There are ways to ensure you stay on top of your fitness goals even on the most hectic days. Learn how to fit exercise into a busy schedule with the tips and tricks below.

Liberate Your Workout From The Gym

Between work and the laundry list of modern demands, a trip to the gym can seem impossible to fit into your day. Changing into workout clothes and driving there can take an hour alone. And, that’s before you even get to work out.

young man mowing lawn | Unify HealthFortunately, you don’t need a gym or a personal trainer to get the recommended amount of exercise for a day. In fact, there are all sorts of easy ways to get your heart rate going, flex your muscles, and support that metabolism. Here are just a few of them:

  • Riding a bike
  • Rollerblading
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Playing tennis
  • Dancing1

Even going for a brisk walk in the morning may provide you with all the fitness you need for a day. In fact, some studies have shown that moderate activity (like walking) might burn more energy than weekly trips to the gym.2 Whichever type of activity you decide on, make sure to first get your doctor’s approval.

Reframe Your Concept Of Exercise

how to fit exercise into a busy schedule | Unify Health
Research suggests that you don’t necessarily need to huff and puff to get your required physical activity for the day. In fact, moderate amounts of exercise provide all the same health benefits as vigorous activity. The key, however, is that you do a moderately challenging activity for about 30 minutes a day.3

Keep in mind that this moderate activity doesn’t all need to happen at once. You can choose to break up your fitness routine into chunks of time during the day. All sorts of activities can burn calories and work out muscles.4

Tips And Tricks For Working Out On A Busy Schedule

Check out some of these ideas to help you achieve your fitness goals on a busy schedule. The information below might help guide your exercise into something more manageable when time is scarce. There are also some easy workouts that you can sneak into your everyday routine.

Make Exercise A Natural Part Of Your Day

how to fit exercise into a busy schedule | Unify Health

If it feels like you never have the time to go to the gym, maybe that’s true. Don’t beat yourself up over an unreasonable workout schedule. In the time it takes to get ready and drive to the gym, you can probably get your recommended activity for the day at home or at work.5

Here’s a tip: treat everyday activities as opportunities for fitness. Take advantage of that copier on the other end of the office for some extra steps. Or stand up and stretch while you’re on the phone. Take advantage of those little opportunities to move your body and get the blood flowing all day long.6

Not sure where to start? Try a few of these activities to help integrate some fitness into your daily routine.

Take The Stairs

If you have the option to take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for it. This is a great way to get some steps in and raise that heart rate. Stair climbing uses almost 8-10 times the amount of energy than your normal resting state does. In fact, regular stair climbing can support aerobic abilities and overall physical composition.7

Go For A Walk After Lunch

woman taking walk break | Unify HealthIf you have a few minutes left after lunch, then go for a quick walk. There is a whole slew of health benefits associated with regular walking. Namely, it helps support a good mood and may aid weight loss. And, if you bump up the pace a bit, brisk walking may provide all the cardio exercise necessary for most adults.8

Sneak In Some Squats

Standing at the gas pump? Do a few quick squats to fire up your quads. Squats help stimulate major muscles that you use on a daily basis for things like walking, standing up, or even taking the stairs.9 And, the best part is that you can do them just about anywhere.

No Frills At-Home Workouts

You can also maintain a more traditional workout routine from the comfort of your home. Try a quick ten-minute workout that doesn’t require any fancy equipment. You can easily find a series of cardio activities online, or you can invent your own.

High-Intensity Interval Training

high intensity interval training | Unify HealthA high-intensity workout is a vigorous series of exercises done for short periods of time. The main upside is that it takes less time to achieve the same results as more moderate exercise.10

Typically, high-intensity interval training involves activities done with a great deal of energy for 60-90 seconds. Burpees, jumping jacks, and push-ups are common examples. The point is to elevate the intensity of the aerobic effort to maximize the benefits.11

One study found that high-intensity training led to greater fat loss than other moderate forms of exercise.12

Be Good To Yourself

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be good to yourself. Try not to set unrealistic fitness goals that leave you feeling discouraged. Make your fitness manageable by making adjustments to your schedule to allow for more activities at home or throughout the day.

A walk after lunch, some lunges in the living room, and a little gardening in the evening can all add up to that recommended 30 minutes of daily activity. You don’t need to force it on yourself or create unnecessary constraints on how you workout. This may only discourage you.

Instead, make physical activity a fun and natural part of your day. You may find that the less it feels like exercise, the more exercise you’ll actually get.

Learn More:
7 Exercises To Balance Your Body
New Year Health Tips: Keep Your Resolutions Throughout The New Year
Different Types Of Yoga And Their Benefits

1 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/
2 https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/free-fitness-ideas/
3 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/how-much-exercise-do-you-need
4 https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9624661
6 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/burning-calories-without-exercise
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6359596/
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3282085
9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6050697/
10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27368057
11 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24552392
12 https://www.nature.com/articles/0803781