Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Most people fall into one of two groups; those that have a daily and/or weekly routine and do their best to follow it, and those who plan their day as it unfolds, finding time for work, family, and themselves when the opportunity arises. One group isn’t necessarily better than the other, but from past experience we’ve found the best way to ensure you’re exercising regularly is to do your best to fall into the first group – make a plan and stick with it.

Creating a consistent and doable plan isn’t always easy, though, so we’ve laid out a few tips and tricks to help you stay on track.

Plan Ahead

Start by scheduling your week with priorities such as work, family and social events, and then add in other tasks like errands and grocery shopping, laundry, etc. Once you have these in your calendar look for time gaps throughout the week when you can exercise. Try to stick with the same time each day as consistency helps create the habit for long-term success. Including your workouts in your schedule ahead of time will encourage you to follow through and avoid making plans during your set exercise times.

Find a Set Time – Get the Worm or be a Night Owl

If you’re an early riser, start your day by getting your blood flowing. To get in the habit of exercising in the morning, be diligent about waking up at a specific time each day and going to bed the same time each night. If you need an obnoxious alarm or double shot of espresso to make it happen, go for it! After a week you might feel exhausted, but stick with it! You will never regret time spent taking care of yourself, and pretty soon you’ll love the peace that morning brings.

Not enough time in the morning? Try later in the afternoon or evening. Cooking a large dinner with leftovers for several days will keep your family fed while you’re out moving those legs. During the summer, evening runs or rides are the perfect way to unwind after a busy day. When the days are shorter, hit the gym. Most are open until 9 pm and going later means you won’t have a problem finding a treadmill or room to lift.

Mix it up

If your scheduled bike ride or trail run is canceled due to nasty weather, visit the gym and throw some weight around. Or, if you’re just losing interest and motivation for your normal schedule, try something new. Not only will that yoga or TRX class work new muscles, it’ll keep your brain and body engaged and get you refreshed to get back to the grind.

A Little Here and There Goes a Long Way

Don’t have a full hour to commit to exercising? Try blocking out smaller increments of time where you can do things like run stairs, perform sprints from one end of the block to the next, or practice pilates moves. Or, even engage in some body-resistant exercises like push-ups, planks, burpees, jackknifes, and jumping jacks. These don’t require much space, equipment or time, and you can do them in a circuit to increase benefit. Even twenty minutes of elevating your heart rate will well worth your time, and you’ll feel great that you put in the effort.

Keep Your Gear on Hand ­

Say your child’s football practice is running late, or someone cancels your coffee date – take advantage of this time by keeping a duffle bag with your workout attire and gym shoes so you’re always prepared you suddenly have the chance to be active.

Don’t Let Costs Hold You Back

If you don’t have a gym membership, access to trails or other facilities, playground equipment can be a great place to exercise. Use benches for dips and box jumps, monkey bars for pull-ups and reverse hanging crunches, or run sprints from one end of the park to the other. Within 30 minutes you can get a killer workout while still being outside.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Don’t stress if your routine/plan is thrown off track because of something unexpected. Missing one day of exercise won’t kill you; it’s a reality that comes with a full and happy life. If you miss a day – or even a whole week – don’t let it get you down on yourself. Instead, let your body and mind enjoy the rest, and stay motivated to get back out there once things go back to normal.

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There are many benefits to making fitness an integral part of your life—from increased energy levels to weight management, greater strength, flexibility, endurance, and more.