The most common complaint I hear as a personal trainer is “I don’t have time to workout.” Exercise should be like brushing your teeth. It’s something you should do everyday. Here are some tips to help you fit physical activity into your day:

1. Keep a time log for a few days to see if you have some hidden free time somewhere. Once you have everything laid out, determine if you can combine things to create more time in your day. Laying it all out there might open up some surprise time you didn’t think you had. If you really don’t have any free time in your schedule, see if a friend or family member can help you out with something on your list (cleaning, errands, help with a project, etc.). Don’t be afraid to ask. Most people will be proud of you for taking steps to improve your health/life!
2. Pick a time of day to workout and stick to it. Treat it like an important appointment you cannot miss. For most people, early morning exercise sessions work the best. That way nothing can sabotage your plans later in the day. By doing this you’ll have already accomplished something and you’ll have more energy as your reward! If you have more time on the weekends, make them mandatory workout days.
3. If you’re a non-morning person and you watch television, this might be your perfect time to exercise. Why not “kill 2 birds with one stone”. Watch your favorite show and burn calories at the same time! If you’re doing cardio, make sure that you check in with yourself every couple of minutes to ensure you are working hard enough. In other words, don’t get too engrossed in your show making your workout time ineffective. When crunched for time, I do my cardio at the gym (where I can really focus) and do my strength training at home during a TV show. If you have trouble focusing, exercise during commercials.
4. Exercise at work. Eat at your desk and workout during your lunch hour. Involve your co-workers. You could even start a Biggest Loser type of contest. Bands and tubing (for resistance training) are portable and easy to store in a desk drawer. A new trend is to have walking meetings or conduct your meetings at the gym.
5. Involve the family. Play a sport that includes the whole family. Take an after dinner walk, or bike ride. Go to the gym together, swim, train and complete a 5K or mini-triathlon. Create your own backyard boot camp or field day.
6. Put more steps into your daily activities. Take the stairs, park further away, bring groceries in one bag at a time, walk your dog, fidget, pace around or do squats, plies, or standing leg lifts while you talk on the phone. If you travel a lot, walk the airport during layover times. When shopping, pick up your pace and take a few extra laps around the store without stopping. Put more gusto into everyday activities like housecleaning and yard work.
7. Do multi-muscle exercises to save time. Squats with bicep curls. Plies with tricep extensions. Traveling side steps with lateral raises, squats with sidekicks, push-ups, crunches with a hip lifts (pelvic tilts). There are hundreds of multi-muscle moves you can do to save time and get more out of your workout.
8. Maximize your cardio time. Practice H.I.I.T training (high intensity interval training). Perform 1-minute of hard work then 1-minute of light work repeating the cycle until your cardio time is over (i.e.; run on the treadmill like someone is chasing you for 1-minute, then reduce your pace to a light walk for 1-minute). Push yourself with high intensity moves like plyometrics, sprints, jump rope, mountain climbers, running stairs, etc.
9. Take a class. Sometimes just knowing you’ve paid for something helps you to commit to it. Have your spouse, friend, or coworker take the class with you and become accountable to each other.
10. Learn to say “no”. Most of us fill our day with so many things we do for other people. It’s O.K. to make time for yourself. All you need is 1- hour a day just for you. Think back to a time when you had a full schedule but a great opportunity came along (like concert tickets or an unexpected getaway) and you suddenly were able to change your plans. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to achieve it. By making your health a priority, you’ll more than likely be around longer to enjoy the things you love to do in life.

You will reap so many rewards by making time for exercise! Besides the numerous health benefits, you’ll not only feel better, you’ll have an improved zest for life. The best thing you can do for yourself is find that 1-hour a day. I know it’s there!

Author's Bio: 

Wendy Stoll is a certified personal trainer with over 19 years of experience specializing in exercise program design for women. She travels to your home/office to make exercise as convenient as possible. Wendy can be reached at (517) 327-1992,,