5 Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

We've all said it before: "I don't have the time to work out." But the question is: Is that really true?

Between long workdays and personal obligations, it's hard to squeeze in everything during a hectic week, Sure. However, if you've made the commitment to train for a race, whether it be a 5K or a marathon, then you've made a commitment to carve out the necessary time it takes to do so without injury.

In Triathlon Training In 4 Hours a Week, author Eric Harr poses the question: To what extent is your busy schedule the result of simply filling your days with more to-do items?

According to Harr, the goal is to make things as simple as possible. "Few, if any, daily schedules are so demanding that there isn’t room for four hours a week," he says.

Trying to find some free time? Check out Harr's five tips to free up some time and squeeze in that sweat sesh.

1. Turn off the TV.
Of all the time and energy-saving strategies I know, I believe this one has the most potential to instantly liberate your time and improve your mental well-being and quality of life. The average American watches 27 hours of television each week. This says nothing of the cost in mental currency: The relentless barrage of negative TV images can exhaust you. The first TV-free week will bring on withdrawal-like symptoms, and you may wander the house wondering what to do with your newly liberated time. After a couple of weeks, however, you’ll begin to enjoy the quiet and the quality time with your family, yourself, and your training.

Related - 8 Benefits Of Working Out In The Morning

2. Put exercise first.
Get up an hour earlier and exercise first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that people are four times more likely to exercise in the morning than in the evening. This is probably because putting off a workout until later in the day makes it too easy to skip in favor of accomplishing other things. As a bonus, the solitude and peace of a morning exercise session nourishes your soul, making you more productive all day.
3. Simplify your workout. 
Streamline your fitness approach by reducing the “friction” in your training program. If you drive 30 minutes to the gym, change clothes, wait for machines, lift weights, chitchat with complete strangers, shower, get dressed, and drive home, you’re only spending a fraction of your time actually working out.

Related - 6 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight At The Gym

4. Do more running.
Running requires the least amount of preparation. Just strap on your shoes and head out the front door. At work, use your lunch break to fit in a nice, steady 30- to 45-minute run. Do this once or twice a week and you’ll go a long way. Plus, running is one of the most effective sports for building aerobic fitness.

5. Double up.
You can double your fitness benefits by doing workouts that give you both strength and aerobic benefits concurrently. For example, run in the hills, cycle with extra weight on your bike, or swim with paddles. Get fit with your family. One of the more daunting challenges triathletes face is fitting training around family responsibilities. When you find yourself skipping exercise because of family obligations, it may be time to integrate your children and partner into your exercise life.

Adapted from Triathlon Training in 4 Hours a Week.
Photo By Thinkstock

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