Want to stay fit but you’re short on time? Struggling with long work hours and ongoing projects? No problem! From plyometrics and full body circuits to HIIT, there are plenty of ways to squeeze exercise into a busy schedule. After all, health is your wealth. Fitness is an investment in your health. Its benefits go beyond a lean body. People who work out regularly are more productive, make smarter decisions, and feel better about themselves.

Why “I’m Too Busy to Work Out” Is a Lame Excuse

One of the most common excuses for skipping a workout is lack of time. In a perfect world, we’d all have at least an hour a day to hit the gym or go outdoors for an invigorating workout. Unfortunately, finding the time to exercise isn’t easy, especially for those with a demanding job and family responsibilities. When you spend over 10 hours a day at work, staying fit comes last on your list.

“… low self-esteem, fear of failure, negative associations, or lack of motivation that keeps us from working out.”

The truth is that we all have the same 24 hours in the day. Many top athletes juggle two, three or even four jobs, and they still find time to work out. Research indicates that most times, it’s low self-esteem, fear of failure, negative associations, or lack of motivation that keeps us from working out, not lack of time. Most people today are in denial about their health. They spend hours surfing the web, watching TV, and even doing household chores, and yet, they are unable to squeeze in a short training session. At the end of the day, those who don’t make time to work out will need to make time for seeing the doctor.

When we complain that we’re too busy, what we are really saying is that we don’t have time for “that” particular task, which is exercise in this case. With today’s hectic lifestyle, we all have a million things to do. But if something is truly important to you, then you’ll make time for it.

There is no such thing as being too busy. Remember that woman who crosses the street daily to hit the gym? She has a job too. And kids. We all have that kind of friend who looks shredded and full of energy every time we see him. Guess what? His schedule is just as busy as yours. He has a successful career, he travels once every few days, and his young wife is about to have a baby. And yet, he finds time to work out. The way you choose to spend your time defines your priorities.

The Life-Changing Benefits of Exercise

Committing yourself to a training routine is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Regular exercise not only keeps you fit, but also lowers blood pressure, boosts cardiovascular health, and relieves stress. In the long run, it causes positive changes in the brain areas associated with memory, problem solving, creativity, and learning. Studies indicate that physical activity boosts cognitive function and affective experience after just one session.

“The key is to make sure that exercise is a part of your life, but not all of it.”

Exercise benefits both your mind and body. It supercharges your productivity, boosts work performance, and sharpens mental performance. Fitting into your favorite jeans from 10 years ago is just a welcomed bonus. A study conducted at the University of Bristol has found that subjects who worked out for several days in a row retained more information, focused better at better, and didn’t experience the afternoon slump. Exercise also enhances mental focus and alertness, leading to better results at work. Like it or not, working out is part of your job.

Simple Ways to Make Time for Fitness

Forcing yourself to hit the gym five or six times a week is a recipes for failure. Any workout plan that tells you to “never, ever deviate” will fail in the long run. The key is to make sure that exercise is a part of your life, but not all of it. Set realistic goals and find what works best for you.

When it comes to exercise, it’s not about quantity, but quality. A short, intense 40-minute workout can do more for your body than two hours of random exercises. The truth is that you don’t even need a gym to keep fit. There are plenty of workouts that can be done at home or on the go. Bodyweight movements, such as push-ups, chin-ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, planks, squats, burpees, and walking lunges, can be just as effective as traditional gym workouts. You just need to be a little bit more creative.

“Stolen moments add up, so feel free to break your workout into smaller sessions throughout the day.”

Make time to work out at least four times a week. Jogging, hiking, power walking, pilates, or bodyweight exercises – anything will do as long as you’re consistent. For instance, you can go jogging first thing in the morning, complete a 20-minute full body circuit at home in the evening, and hit the gym over the weekend. Stolen moments add up, so feel free to break your workout into smaller sessions throughout the day.

If possible, get a set of dumbbells and a resistance band to exercise at home. With dumbbells, you can do just any exercise, from biceps curls and skull crushers to weighted crunches. The extra resistance will make your workouts more challenging, yielding better results in less time. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need fancy cardio machines to lose fat. Most bodyweight exercises are perfect for both cardio and strength training. Not to mention that you can go jogging or take a power walk anytime. A jumping rope will do the trick.

Another great option is HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training. A typical session lasts just 10-15 minutes. All you have to do is to alternate between short bursts of exercises and recovery periods. For example, you can do burpees or run outdoors for 30 seconds, rest for another 30 seconds, and repeat. This training method can be applied to any workout. A more advanced version is tabata, which involves 20 seconds of fast-paced exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for four minutes. With these strategies, you’ll get the most out of your workout and stay fit on the go.

So, are you ready to give it a try?