How to Fit in Fitness When You Have No Time

As a busy parent, finding time for fitness can seem like a daunting task. Between work, taking care of the kids, and managing household responsibilities, exercise often falls to the bottom of the priority list. However, incorporating fitness into your daily routine is essential for your physical health, mental well-being, and overall energy levels. Here are some practical tips to help you fit in fitness, even when you feel like you have no time.

1. Embrace Short Workouts

Long gone are the days when you needed to spend hours at the gym to see results. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit training can provide effective workouts in as little as 15-20 minutes. These workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief rest periods, maximizing your calorie burn and cardiovascular fitness in a short amount of time.

Example Workout:

  • 5 minutes: Warm-up (jumping jacks, high knees)
  • 10 minutes: Circuit (30 seconds each of push-ups, squats, burpees, plank; repeat 3 times)
  • 5 minutes: Cool down (stretching)

2. Incorporate Physical Activity into Daily Tasks

Turn everyday activities into opportunities for exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the store entrance, or do calf raises while brushing your teeth. These small changes can add up over time and help you stay active throughout the day.

Ideas:

  • Walk or bike to work or errands instead of driving.
  • Do lunges or squats while cooking or folding laundry.
  • Stretch or do simple exercises while watching TV.

3. Schedule Workouts Like Appointments

Treat your workouts as non-negotiable appointments. Schedule them in your calendar just like you would a meeting or a doctor’s visit. Having a set time for exercise can help you stay committed and ensure that it becomes a regular part of your routine.

Tips:

  • Set reminders on your phone or use a fitness app.
  • Block out time in your calendar, even if it’s just 10-20 minutes.
  • Let your family know your workout time is important to avoid interruptions.

4. Utilize Early Mornings or Late Evenings

If your days are packed, consider working out early in the morning or late in the evening when the house is quiet. Waking up just 20-30 minutes earlier can give you enough time for a quick workout and set a positive tone for the rest of your day. Alternatively, exercising after the kids are in bed can be a great way to unwind and de-stress.

Morning Routine:

  • 10 minutes: Yoga or stretching
  • 15 minutes: Bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, planks)
  • 5 minutes: Meditation or deep breathing

Evening Routine:

  • 5 minutes: Light cardio (jumping jacks, marching in place)
  • 10 minutes: Strength training (using dumbbells or resistance bands)
  • 5 minutes: Relaxation and stretching

5. Include the Family

Make fitness a family affair by involving your kids in your workouts. Not only will you get your exercise in, but you’ll also set a great example for your children and spend quality time together.

Family Activities:

  • Go for a walk or bike ride together.
  • Play active games like tag, soccer, or a dance-off.
  • Do a family-friendly workout video.

6. Use Technology

Fitness apps and online workouts are a convenient way to exercise at home or on the go. There are countless apps that offer guided workouts, ranging from yoga and Pilates to HIIT and strength training. Many of these workouts can be done with minimal or no equipment, making it easier to fit them into your busy schedule.

Recommended Apps:

  • Nike Training Club
  • 7 Minute Workout
  • FitOn
  • MyFitnessPal

7. Prioritize Movement Over Perfection

Remember, any movement is better than no movement. Don’t stress about having the perfect workout routine. Focus on being consistent and finding ways to move your body regularly. Even small amounts of physical activity can have significant benefits for your health.

Mindset Tips:

  • Aim for progress, not perfection.
  • Celebrate small victories and milestones.
  • Be kind to yourself and adjust your routine as needed.

Conclusion

Fitting in fitness when you have no time is all about being creative, flexible, and committed. By embracing short workouts, incorporating physical activity into daily tasks, scheduling exercise, utilizing early mornings or late evenings, involving the family, using technology, and prioritizing movement over perfection, you can make fitness a sustainable part of your busy lifestyle. Remember, taking care of your health is not just a luxury—it’s a necessity that will help you be your best self for your family and yourself.

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