Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Does this look familiar?  This post is lightly modified from a section of another post on my site ( Beginner Guide).

Do you have any tips or suggestions to help others make fitness part of a maxed-out schedule?  What works for you?  Please share in the comments below!

When the subject of working out comes up, there are certain phrases repeated so often that it’s like a script is being read each time.  One of these scripts includes the words, “I don’t have enough time to workout.”  I get it.  I’m busy, & I don’t even have kids.  Between work, cooking, cleaning, commuting 2 hours a day, studying, socializing, being a good wife/new mother/daughter/friend & trying to keep up with my favorite shows (Dexter!), it can be a challenge to carve out an hour a day to move.    
 I feel like I have enough experience with this particular obstacle to staying fit to share my solution(s) with you.  For the majority of the last 10 years, I’ve lived a hectic daily schedule.   I live in a large city with horrendous traffic.  I drive 2 hours a day in that traffic & work a 10-hour day.   Keeping healthy has always been a priority of mine, so I have found ways to make time to be active despite my circumstance.

Usually, there are little bits of time throughout the day that could be found to squeeze in activity:
  • After work/school, do a workout instead of going online or watching TV.
  • Workout while you watch TV.
  • Wake up early & go for a walk, run, or do a workout. 
  • Workout on your lunch break, or at least go for a walk.
  • Compress your workout.  Switch from long cardio/weight training routines to HIIT*/interval training to maximize your time ( has an enormous library of these types of workouts for free.) *High Intensity Interval Training
Over the years, the best solution I have found for myself is to exercise on my lunch break.  This may not be ideal for you, but consider that your lunch break might be the only part of your day that you are not accountable to anyone but yourself.

** Brief summary: Doing HIIT/interval training workouts from during my lunch break was the answer to not having enough time. **

Before doing HIIT workouts, I used to do the standard workout routine of long cardio workouts & long strength training sessions.  I would spend a minimum of 60 minutes (usually 90 min) at the gym.  Between my commute (1 hour each way) & my long work day (10 hr), it was difficult to get motivated to spend so much time working out, but I did it.  Then, I changed jobs.  I went from an active, on-my-feet-all-day job, to a sedentary one with the same schedule, same commute, & now I have to study.  I knew that if I didn't find a way to 1) make sure I exercise consistently each day & 2) suppress my appetite a bit, I would probably gain weight.  

Years ago, when I was a broke student with no time, I walked or went up & down stairs on my lunch break.  I fell back into that habit.  A park near my office provided the perfect location to workout during my 1 hour lunch break.   When the weather is bad, I use an empty room.  Initially, I used an app on the iphone, Nike training Camp.  I was very skeptical that their 15min - 45 min routines (including warm up/cool down) would be "enough."  They were challenging, but with about 6 routines to choose from, I started to get bored.  Around the same time, my friend Tara told me about  I was hooked from the first workout; now I do them 6-7 times a week.  2-3 of those days are done at work on my lunch break.  

Some people ask me about working out at lunch & are turned off to it for many reasons.  
1) Preparation time 
2) Getting sweaty at work is icky
3) How can you have a good workout & eat in an hour?

Like most things, once you have a set routine, it's easy.


At night I pack my workout clothes in a bag.  In that bag are toiletries.  I keep this at work: shoes, 2 sets of dumbbells, a yoga mat (in a bag), & a jump rope.  Since I will not have time to go buy lunch, I must pack my lunch.  I always have done this, so it's not any extra time.  I usually pack breakfast/snacks/lunch as I make dinner.  I pick my workouts ahead of time.  
I carry toiletries, workout clothes, & a change of some clothes with me in my bag.  I clean up within 7 min after my workout.  No one has said to me, "You stink."  I have asked...  Also, I feel more alert & energized for the rest of the day!
I pick a few workouts at a time for work.  I choose ones that have minimal equipment, or that can be modified with what I keep at work.  A 5 min warm up + 12 min workout + 6 min cool down = 23 min total.  I have extra time to add in jump rope or a longer workout.  If I add 20 min skipping rope, that’s 43 min total.  I can still clean up & eat fast.  The key is to prepare everything ahead of time.  I have coworkers who join me sometimes, & it's nice to have someone else to workout with.  

Since starting Bodyrock workouts, the longest period I've gone without working out is 4 days.   If I don't workout, I feel terrible.  I don’t feel guilty; I just feel much better if I move.   I say all the time that daily workouts keep me happy, healthy, & sane.  

Related Posts: 
Eating Healthy When You're Broke & Pressed for Time Beginner Guide

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