How to fit workouts into a busy schedule

Okay, this is probably not groundbreaking news, but training for a marathon is time consuming! Often a really long run will wipe out a whole day – the run itself and the hours spent recovering. But even if you’re not training for a marathon, fitting in regular workouts when you lead a generally busy lifestyle (and there’s not many people who don’t) can be a massive struggle.

If you are finding it difficult to fit in workouts into your lifestyle or would really like to do a marathon but don’t feel you have the time to train, over the years I’ve found that these tips work for me, so they might help you as well.

Make your health a priority

For me my health is one of my main priorities, which means my workouts are high on my list of things to do. Being healthy not only makes me feel good, but will hopefully mean that as I get older I will be able to be active and mobile for as long as possible. Of course there are lots of illnesses and diseases that even the healthiest lifestyle won’t prevent me from getting, but research has shown that those who are healthy and are at a healthy weight are less likely to suffer from a wide range of illnesses. I also don’t think making your health a priority is selfish, as I believe that taking care of yourself and your health is something that will not only benefit you, but also your family and friends; as well as helping you to lead a happier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

Schedule in your workouts

It can be easy to skip a workout when something else pops up instead. Work commitments, meeting up with friends, even hair appointments – I’ve missed workouts for all these reasons! But while missing the odd workout once in a while isn’t going to make a massive difference to your fitness and health if you regularly skip workouts it starts to become a problem. If this sounds like you, then simply scheduling in workouts into your routine will help. I will often plan my week in advance – noting down everything into a diary (I’m a traditionalist when it comes to stationery) so that I can see everything that I’ve got to do for the week, from my job to writing this blog, I then add my workouts so that they fit around the stuff I need to get done. This means that if I am planning to meet up with a friend for lunch at the weekend, I know to change my workout to a morning session instead of a lunchtime one.

Choose a gym close to home or work

Running is easy for me as I can do it from home, but I’ve always made sure the gyms I go to are within a short distance of my home or workplace. In the past this has meant that I could fit in workouts during my lunch break at work, or head to the gym on my way home. Now it means that I don’t have too far to travel when I go to the gym, which means that I’m not spending a long time travelling to and from the gym. Also if I have a gap between classes I often use this time to catch up on work or reply to emails, so that I not sitting around wasting time.

Make better use of time

Often it’s not until you sit down and really look at how you use the time available to you that you realise that so much time is wasted doing unimportant things. We tend to live in a culture where it’s seen as productive to say that you’re busy all the time, however if you’re not using the time wisely it’s not productive at all. Small changes can help to free up time easily, for example since I’ve started meal prepping for a couple of hours on Sunday it’s saved me a minimum of 30 minutes every weekday preparing the next day’s lunches or dinners; this has saved me lots of time during the week where I’m able to get other stuff done instead.

Sacrifices sometimes have to be made

Going back to my first point, if you make your health a priority it means you will be willing to make sacrifices if needed to fit in a workout. This could be missing your favourite TV programme or going to lunch with work colleagues during the week. If it isn’t a bigger priority than your health (basically family, close friends or how you pay your rent), then is it really worth missing a workout that will help you to be fitter and healthier?  

These are some ways I manage to fit in workouts into a busy week, but if you have any more tips I’d love to know…

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