5 Realistic Ways To Fit a Quick Workout

Into Your Busy Week


If I were to ask you to name the reason you haven’t exercised consistently in the past, it’s a safe bet that I can easily predict your answer: You don’t have time. But in today’s hyper-busy society, when communication and business operates at the speed of light, when we’re all hustling to get ahead and stay afloat, the truth is that no one has the time. We have to make the time, by viewing exercise as a nonnegotiable. That’s why the “I don’t have time” excuse is the “dog ate my homework” of excuses for not exercising. It simply isn’t good enough. You deserve to experience the endless list of benefits that regular exercise can provide. And in order to do that, you’re going to have to carve out time in your schedule.

1. Examine how you spend your time.

Are all the things you do really helping you toward your goals? How much TV do you watch? How much time do you spend talking on the phone? How much of your day is dictated by other people’s agendas? Do you really not have enough time, or are you just not spending it in the right places? Use your time while watching TV to stay fit. Every time there’s a break, challenge yourself with these 4 exercises:

2. Learn to discriminate.

Learn to make judgments about what’s important and what’s not. If my friend is having a real crisis, I can make a quick decision that my workout can wait until evening. At the same time, I’ll make a mental note about whatever else needs to be moved to accommodate the change of plans. Perhaps I’ll skip my run to the dry cleaners or forgo a bit of late-night reading.

3. Learn to say no.

This is tough for many of us. Often, though, an alternative is to take requests others make of you and creatively reframe them to fit your priorities. If a friend asks, “Can you take me to the airport?” you might say, “Actually, it’s a busy day for me. Why don’t you let me be your backup if you can’t get someone else to take you?” Saying it this way, you’re not abandoning your friend: You’re there for her if she’s really in need, but otherwise you’re making it clear you’ve got your own schedule to keep.

4. Don’t hide behind “emergencies.”

There are plenty of urgent demands on our time. Phone calls, bills to pay, household chores—you can easily fill your day with these matters. The problem is, living this way doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s just treading water. It’s not that you can, or should, ignore the pressing day-to-day matters. The point is to always be on the lookout for truly important things, things that will actually make your life better. If your whole day goes by without your doing at least one thing, however small, aimed at bettering your life, then something’s wrong.

5. Work out at work

If you’re sitting while working, beware that your sedentary position is causing your muscles to burn less fat and your blood to flow more sluggishly. To keep your metabolism burning and your blood circulating, learn a few new moves or stretches that you can turn into a desk-ercise! Start with the Hamstring Stretch in the video below, and then advance to my 5 No-Sweat Desk-Ercises To Do AT Work.

How To Do It:

Sit at the edge of your chair and extend your left leg forward. Feel the stretch in your hamstring as you lean forward. Place your hands on your right leg for support. Keep your abdomen tight and your chest up. Go as far as it is comfortable. Release and sit back up. Now, place your left leg across your right with your left foot resting on your right knee. Press down on your left knee to open the leg while leaning forward. Inhale and exhale releasing all tension.

So, let me ask you the same question I ask the audience at my seminars: “What’s your excuse?” No excuse? All right, then. Let’s get started!