Tips on Finding The Time to Exercise

Finding the time to exercise

How many times have you found yourself saying, “I sure wish I had the time to exercise?”. I know I’ve struggled with that. Having two kids under the age of five, working full-time and having a hubby who travels a lot has left me with very few exercise options and very little time to fit it in…Or so I originally thought. Lately I’ve found that my options are only limited by my own lack of motivation and creativity and that finding the time to exercise is far easier if you:

1) Value the time spent exercising
A wise person once told me that we make time for the things we value. It’s so true! I hate folding laundry and I don’t value it, so I don ‘t do it. I separate the clothes, put pants in pants drawers etc. but truthfully they aren’t really . I don’t value it, so I don’t make time for it. On the flip side, I value being healthy. To me, being healthy includes eating fruits and veggies and getting regular exercise. So I make time for it and make time to shop and buy fresh fruits and veggies to keep our fridge stocked. When I worked downtown Toronto, I observed a very successful older man try to get out of his chauffeured limo while he appeared to have a ton of wealth, he didn’t have his health. He required the help of someone to get out of his limo. He obviously had never valued exercise or eating healthy. To me it was sad that he had valued his time spent working and earning a very generous living but never made the time to take care of himself. What’s the point in having money if you don ‘t have your health? That image has stuck with me, and since then I’ve always taken the time to exercise, even if it ‘s just a walk.

2) Choose exercises you enjoy
This one ties in with what you value. Not only do you need to value exercise, but you also need to find something that you enjoy doing. I love running (though my ankles and feet aren’t fond of it as evidenced by the numerous lower body injuries I’ve encountered over the years from it). I make a lot of time for running because I enjoy it. I give up my lunch hours at work to run, and find time on the weekends to head out for a few km’s. What do you enjoy? Yoga? Pilates? Aerobics? Running? Tennis or other sports? Once you figure out what you enjoy doing, then you will be more likely to make time for it.

3) Schedule your exercise
As moms we ‘re all busy. We work, cook, clean, break up fights, wipe snotty noses and spend countless hours putting our families first. To fit exercise in with a busy family routine it ‘s best to schedule it in. For example, when you get up in the morning, change into your exercise gear and after dropping the kids off at school do your favourite exercise. Because you’ve scheduled it for right after the kids are dropped off you ‘ll be more likely to do it, rather than leaving it to“chance” or when you feel like it. I prefer to do a run over my lunch hour, I’ve blocked off my lunch hour in OutLook and at 11:45 a notice pops up to remind me to run. My hubby prefers Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes (MMA style wrestling), and has signed up to three classes a week. Because his classes are scheduled he’s been very successful in attending them on a regular basis.

4) Workout with a friend
Statistics tell us that people who exercise with a friend are more successful at exercising consistently. You can keep each other accountable. Knowing that someone is waiting for you to exercise with them can be great motivation to show up and get it done! For three weeks in April I did my “Learn-to-run” program with my neighbour BEFORE work! We had a great time walk/running together.


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  • Kelly
    July 2, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I agree with all 4 points! So important to schedule the time. Otherwise, I find a million other things to do. And I really stick to doing something I enjoy. I feel like that’s why my workouts change so regularly. I’m always focusing on what I’m enjoying at the time! Thanks for the encouraging post!

    • Kim@simplystarving
      August 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm

      Scheduling the time to work out is so key. I have to do that. Granted, things still do pop up, but I have to choose to put working out first before say watching the TV or sometimes cleaning my house. I’m insanely busy these days and if it comes down to having a freakishly clean house or getting in a work out, I choose the work out. 🙂

  • Darren
    November 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Great article Janice. I do find that I workout more when I schedule it. If I didn’t have a work schedule that was so complex I would probably be able to. It is tough getting a workout in with the kids but I find the earlier I workout the better.