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How to: Exercise When You Don’t Have Time for the Gym

Megan Dumas

Feeling like you don’t have the time or energy to get to the gym for a full workout session? There are tons of other options to help you stay focused on your fitness goals and incorporate exercise into your busy schedule (without overworking yourself)!

1. Workout in your living room

One of the quickest ways to incorporate a workout is to do it right from home. Instead of driving to the gym, getting dressed for a workout there, and then jumping into your exercise routine, you can get yourself set up for a workout right in your living room (or any other room you’d feel comfortable trying a workout in)! And there are tons of options for bodyweight exercises that don’t require any equipment, such as these.

Tip: Try it first thing in the morning or right after coming home from work so that it becomes part of your normal routine.

2. Change the way you commute

Speaking of work, long work commutes and busy work schedules are two of the barriers that typically make us feel too busy or too tired to workout. If you have a work commute that you can combine with exercise by walking or biking to work, give one of those a try! Or if you have a longer commute that is not walkable or bike-able, try parking your car farther away from your building or getting off at a bus or train stop that gives you a chance to do some extra walking. (These ideas also apply if you’re headed to the grocery store, park, or anywhere else!)

3. Take a walk at lunchtime

Another idea for combining exercise with your workday is to stand up from your desk at lunchtime and take a walk around. Taking a walk in the middle of the day is a great way to incorporate some exercise, but also to get blood flowing to your brain and help you stay productive with your work afterward!

4. Incorporate short exercises throughout your day

If spending 30 or more minutes on a walk or workout feels like too much for you to do at once, try breaking that up into smaller segments. Instead of taking one long walk at lunchtime, you could try walking a few minutes during a few breaks throughout the day. And if you’re looking for an activity outside of walking, you could try breaking up a circuit workout like this one by doing each of the circuits at different times throughout the day or find some floor space and try out a few of these crunch-free core strengthening exercises for a few minutes at a time!

Tip: You could also use these shortened activities as ways to break up things you are already planning to do, like working on your computer in the evening or watching a TV show.

What this all boils down to is that staying active and being healthy can be done without forcing yourself to go to the gym during a busy day! You can have fun with shorter workouts, exercises in your living room, and changes to your normal routine like adding in more walking or combining exercise with other parts of your day!