How to make time for exercise (and keep motivated)

How to make time for exercise (and keep motivated)

Last updated: February 6th 2019

Wondering how to make time for exercise? Wonder no more.

A week without exercise suddenly turns into a month, and then another month after that. It’s not uncommon to completely drop your exercise routine and struggle to pick it up again.

Not too long ago, you ran three times a week, made at least one yoga class and spent most of the weekend outdoors, now you’re “too busy” to manage a slow jog come Sunday.

It’s not just your physical body that suffers, but also your mental state. When motivation is at an all-time low, it’s important to remind yourself exactly why exercise is a non-negotiable piece of living a good life. It may just be the secret ingredient you need to re-energise that exercise routine and start sweating again on the reg.

Let’s do a quick Q&A, so you can get out there and move!

Why is exercise a necessary part of life?

You know that feeling you get after exercise? That rush of endorphins that makes it all worth it it feels good, right? Endorphins are a natural way to fight stress, pain, anxiety and depression.

Exercise, in general, prevents disease, and the more active you are, the less likely you are to develop cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, or have a stroke.

Why is exercise so important?

How often do I need to exercise each week to be considered “healthy”?

Well, according to the Australian Government’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, adults between the ages of 18-64 should be active most, if not all, days of the week.

What that actually looks like in a regular week is:

  • Around 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate intensity fitness OR
  • 75 minutes to 2.5 hours of high-intensity physical activity

But a healthy combination of both will do you just fine! As long as you’re making an effort in your day-to-day to move, especially those working in an office environment, you’ll be better for it especially in old age.

How can I make time for exercise when I’m SO busy?

Good question! When we have many conflicting interests in life, exercise is often the first to go in replace of a new job, a new baby or a new relationship.

Here’s a few tips to get you back to where you need to be: 

Commit to 30 minutes each day.

Before work, at lunch, or after, we can all restructure our days for just 30 minutes to a better, healthier you.

Change your diet and the exercise will follow.

This is a simple tip for anyone who “can’t be bothered” with an exercise routine when their diet is unhealthy and making them feel sluggish. Ditch the bad diet and you’ll feel more compelled to match your fitness to your food.

Make plans with a friend to get sweaty.

It could be a lunchtime jog or an after-work yoga class. When there’s plans, cancelling can be more of a hassle than actually just turning up and working out. Pick a friend or your partner who will stay accountable and encourage you to stick to a routine.


How can I make time for exercise

Help! How do other people structure their exercise routines?

Completely lost on how to mentally prepare yourself for exercise? Take inspiration from the routines of people who love exercise and make it an essential part of their every day (really!).

Find an exercise and make it a hobby. For example, in a Forbes article, celebrity CEO Richard Branson is known to mix up his routine with extreme sports, ranging from kitesurfing to yoga and weights. Payal Kadakia, CEO of Fitness app ClassPass, runs every morning and supplements her weights sessions for dancing, barre and core workouts. Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour makes time for exercise every day on the tennis court. Rock climbing or snowboarding, anyone?

What if I’m not busy, but just in an exercise rut?

Making excuses is the first resistance to exercise. When we acknowledge that actually, there is time, we open up new possibilities for living a healthy life. If you’re stuck in a rut (very common during those colder months!), try exercising at different times each day and assess which time feels best for you.

As for anyone, mixing up the types and styles of exercise you’re doing will keep you motivated and accountable to your health goals.

So now to you: how will you make time in your day-to-day to exercise (and stay motivated)? We’d love to hear your best exercise hacks and tips in the comments below.

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