MuuvWell Blog

Health is Wealth: Making Time for Exercise

April 22, 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for exercise can feel extremely challenging. Between work commitments, family responsibilities, and social obligations, it’s easy for physical activity to take a back seat. However, prioritizing exercise is essential for maintaining both physical and mental well-being. The good news is that with a few strategic time management techniques, fitting in a workout can become more manageable than you think.

Prioritize Your Schedule

Just as you schedule important meetings and appointments, carve out dedicated time slots for exercise in your calendar. If you find that things keep getting in the way – adjust your strategy. For example, if you plan to workout after work, but are too fatigued at the end of most workdays, shift to the morning instead. Aim to set your alarm 10 minutes earlier in the morning and experiment with a quick workout before work a few times per week. 

Tell the people who matter what you are doing. This action will help you to stay accountable to your goal, but it will also help to reduce barriers. For example, if your family knows you plan to walk for 20 minutes when you get home from work, requests for your time can shift from “when you get home from work” to “when you get back from your walk”.

If you are struggling to find space to take care of your exercise or wellness goals, consider completing an “Eisenhower Matrix” breakdown of your daily tasks – this can help to shed light on how your time and energy are used. You can also meet with your Muuvwell coach to talk about realistic strategies to take steps forward in your fitness goals. 

Embrace Efficiency

Make the most of your workout time by choosing activities that deliver maximum results in minimal time. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, and short but intense cardio workouts are all excellent options for squeezing in a effective workout when time is limited. If you hoped for 30 minutes of exercise but time is short, just do as much as you can. Breaking up exercise into 10 minutes blocks can make it much easier to fit into a hectic schedule. 

Break up long periods of sitting by incorporating movement into your daily routine. Stand or walk during meetings or phone calls if possible, perform simple stretches at your desk, or do arm circles and calf raises while watching tv. These small bursts of activity do add up over the course of the day and contribute to your overall fitness. 

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results from your exercise efforts. The reality is, we don’t have the same schedule, energy, emotions, or stressors day to day. When it comes to exercise, consistency doesn’t mean doing the same exact routine every time. Consistency here means moving regularly, and staying dedicated to the habit of exercise to continue to promote your health. 

So, if time is short, or if you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to pivot your plan to better meet your needs. For example, if you were planning for an intense workout, but just don’t feel up for it, change course. Consider going for a walk in nature, doing some stretching, deep breathing, or something else that better honors your stress and emotional state. If you catch a thought like “I only have 10 minutes, I don’t have time”, reframe that to a more supportive thought, “I have a 10 minute opportunity to prioritize movement”. 

Aim to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Over time, these consistent habits will become ingrained, making it easier to maintain a regular exercise routine. Every minute counts! 

Celebrate Your Success

Finally, celebrate your accomplishments and milestones along the way. 

Whether it’s completing a challenging workout or sticking to your exercise plan for a full week, acknowledge and reward yourself for your efforts. Positive reinforcement can help keep you motivated and committed to your fitness goals. 

Remember that small bursts add up to big wins. If you add in 10 more minutes of movement 5 days per week, that’s an additional 50 minutes of exercise per week, 3.6 hours of movement per month, and more than 43 hours of exercise per year. What kind of impact would that have on your health goals? 

Managing time for exercise is all about making it a priority, and yet staying flexible. By setting realistic goals, scheduling dedicated workout time, and embracing creative solutions, you can make exercise a seamless part of your daily routine. Remember, every minute of movement counts towards a healthier, happier you.

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