At a glance
• With a hectic work and home life, it’s easy to feel as if we don’t have the time or energy to exercise.
• In fact, exercise can improve a busy life – it raises your energy levels, relieves stress, lifts your mood and helps keep you healthy.
• It’s much easier to fit exercise into a busy day than you might think – pick something you enjoy and start with just a few minutes a day.
How to Getting Fit When You Don’t Have Time
When you’re juggling a hectic work life with your responsibilities at home, it’s easy to feel as if you don’t have the time or energy to keep fit.
However, regular exercise can help transform how you look and feel.
This fact sheet explains why fitness is so important, and gives you ten simple tips to help you fit exercise into your busy day.
Why exercise can help improve a busy life
Between work, family and home, most of us have little spare time – or energy – most days.
And more often than not, the last thing we feel like doing if we do have a few spare minutes is exercise!
But rather than wear you out even more, exercise can actually raise your energy levels.
It can also help to relieve stress, lift your mood and reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
And the good news is that you don’t need to run marathons to enjoy the benefits of fitness.
With very little effort, you can fit exercise in around your everyday responsibilities.
Ideally, you’ll build up to at least 30 minutes of exercise most days (or two and half hours a week).
But it’s fine to start slowly with short bursts of activities that you enjoy.
If you haven’t been physically active for some time, check with your doctor before you start to exercise.
Here are some simple tips for fitting in fitness:
• Wake up a little earlier
Start by setting your alarm clock just five minutes earlier.
Do stretches and star jumps before getting in the shower, or follow a short exercise DVD.
• Get fit with a friend
Exercising with a friend is more fun and a good motivator.
Ask a colleague if they’d like to go for walks during your lunch breaks, or see if any of your friends
fancy joining a local exercise class in the evenings.
You’re more likely to stick to plans if you know someone is depending on you.
• Change into exercise clothes before leaving work
You’ll be ready for a brisk walk or bike ride as soon as you get home, or feel more motivated to stop at the gym if you are already dressed for it.
• Schedule your fitness activities
If you book exercise into your diary like other appointments, you’re more likely to do it.
•Acknowledge your successes
Keep a record of all the times you make a healthy choice to be more active.
E.g. taking the stairs instead of the lift.
At the end of each month, look back at your achievements and reward yourself with a new pair of trainers or a water bottle etc.
•Create a home (or desk) gym
If you have equipment handy, it will be easy to use when you have a spare 10 minutes.
A skipping rope, stability ball, exercise bands and dumbbells don’t cost much or take up too much room.
•Move while you watch TV
Don’t sit idly – or worse, eat mindlessly – during the adverts. Do sit-ups or jog on the spot instead.
•Play games with your kids
Next time you see your children playing outside, join in the fun.
Play “it”, football or catch.
If your kids love video games, choose some that require you to move around.
Get your whole family to compete at games such as dancing, boxing, tennis, golf or bowling.
•Exercise while you work
Raise your activity level and productivity with neck rolls or arm raises.
Push your hands out to the side and then up towards the ceiling.
Go for a brisk walk during your lunch break and take the stairs instead of the lift.
If you don’t like the activities you choose, you’ll find excuses to put off doing them.
So choose things that you enjoy.
There’s such a wide array of activities that you can do to keep fit, so you should be able to find the perfect activity for you.
Building up your new exercise regime
Once you’ve built short periods of activity into your day, start lengthening each burst by a few minutes.
The key is to start small and build up gradually.
Even if you’re worn out from a busy day, try to make time for fitness.
Not only does it help you to lose and maintain your weight, but it boosts your energy levels and relieves stress.
Keeping fit can help you to feel good, look better and live longer.
So next time you tell yourself you’re too busy or tired to exercise, remind yourself of all the benefits.
And follow our simple tips to help you fit fitness into your busy day, and enjoy reaping the rewards.