I Don’t Have Time to Workout!

No time to exercise? There’s always a way to work in a workout.

As busy as life is, even the most dedicated fitness fans will sometimes come up against such a full day that there just really aren’t enough hours in to include working out. Exercise shouldn’t be all-or-nothing so when those days hit, it’s useful to already have a Plan B in place and a mindset that is flexible enough to accommodate alternative ways to get exercise. When you realize that your scheduled workout simply isn’t going to happen, there are small adjustments you can make throughout the day and even a few easy tricks you can use to get your move on, so to speak, so you don’t lose out on the benefits of exercising. 

Multitasking Sneaks Exercise Into Your Day

Waiting in line? Don’t just stand there–get those legs movin’!

Everyone has heard the advice to take the stairs instead of the elevator as a way to get more exercise, so we won’t even go there. Instead, let’s look at how your talent for multitasking can be used to incorporate a workout into your already over-scheduled schedule. Cosmopolitan recommends the genius idea of using your handbag (or briefcase or backpack) as a dumbbell to do biceps curls while you walk or even while you’re waiting in line. And speaking of waiting in line, use that time to march in place, do calf raises, or glute tensing and flexing exercises. Who cares what that would look like? No one is paying attention to anything other than their mobile phones, anyway. Also, you can work your abs anytime, anywhere by concentrating on pulling your bellybutton toward your backbone. Try it. Do it now. Do it right now.  

Fitness pros advocate multitasking workout ideas such as doing wall pushups whenever you get a phone call and standing instead of sitting during your workday. According to LIVESTRONG, standing can burn up to 50 calories more per hour than sitting, and that can add up over an 8 hour day. It might be worth it to switch over to a standing-height desk to boost your calorie burn anytime, rather than only standing to work when you know you aren’t going to be able to exercise. 

Do You Have a Few Minutes?

Since time is the issue, it might stress you out more than help to do things like park your car a distance from your office or taking the long way around the park on the way to work. If you can manage to do things that require extra walking, though, you can count it all as exercise, even if it’s speed-walking to the bathroom at the other end of the building.  

Mountain climbers, jumping jacks, lunges, and pushups are great exercises for a quick and effective AMRAP workout. Image via Evolve Fitness & Health/YouTube

If you do have 10 minutes or more, however, you really do have time for an actual workout. Choose four or five bodyweight exercises and perform an AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) workout. For example, if you pick squats, lunges, pushups, and jumping jacks, set a timer for 2 minutes and do as many reps as you can of each exercise for 30 seconds each, then take a 20-second break before doing another 2 minutes. Going through that progression three to four times will give you an intense 10-minute workout.  

The Huffington Post recommends a similar workout, but the 20-second intervals are supposed to be spent going all-out, working your hardest, and the 2-minute intervals are spent still moving, though at a slower pace. That type of workout is more geared toward cardio equipment like treadmills, bikes, or ellipticals and won’t offer many resistance benefits, but it’s still an effective cardio workout that is easier to fit into a hectic day than a 45-minute aerobics class.


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