Fitness is an important factor in our overall health, but in today’s busy world, it can be so tough to fit it in! While it can be tempting to just relax on the couch when you get a spare minute, you should still find time to exercise. Finding ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule, rather than pushing yourself too hard when you’re running on fumes as it is, becomes essential. You’re in luck, because there happens to be many easy ways to accomplish this!

Schedule It Out

Simply put, the most effective way to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of exercise to promote a healthy lifestyle is to build workouts into your schedule. If you develop an effective weight loss plan that includes dieting and exercise, a workout schedule will come naturally. But even if you don’t have an all-encompassing scheme to lose weight, setting aside time for a little cardio is great for multiple reasons.

The obvious one, of course, is that you get your work out in and improve your fitness. But, taking a little time to exercise is also excellent for your mental health. Exercise is linked to lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress, which can have a profound effect on you. So, even if you have a busy schedule, it’s a great idea to set aside time to work out. Your mind and body will thank you.

Choose a Micro Workout

While scheduling workouts works for people who are able to plan their weeks ahead of time, some personal schedules don’t allow for that. So, what can you do if you happen to find yourself with 20 minutes of free time? Well, there’s always time for an effective micro-workout. A micro-workout is a short, but intense, exercise routine that can last anywhere from seconds to 10 minutes. In the article linked above, we even outline a five-minute-long micro-workout that doesn’t require equipment or a lot of space. You could even do it right now if you want and are healthy enough!

Many micro-workouts are high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which mixes up the exercises so that you’re working different muscles in your body. Generally, HIIT workouts take under 30 minutes, but some are as quick as four minutes long. Despite this, they remain as effective as a long jog or workout twice the length. We don’t recommend focusing on HIIT workouts for those just starting their fitness journeys, because they need to be high-intensity to be effective. That said, between micro-workouts and HIIT regiments, you can easily slip a few exercises into your busy schedule.

Turn Everything into a Workout

If you’re so busy that it’s even tough to sneak in a micro-workout (we’ve been there before), all hope is not lost. You just need to be a little clever! Nearly everything you do has some physical attribute that can be heightened to give you some sort of fitness boost. Instead of taking an elevator, take the stairs. Take a few extra minutes to ride your bike to the store instead of driving. Are you still working and have a meeting coming up? Try making it a walking meeting! A long phone call can be enjoyed on a leisurely stroll instead of sitting in the house. You can even get more out of your walks with a few helpful tips.

The trick is to look at everything as a way to improve your fitness. Even leisure activities can become a workout if done properly. If you have a date night, dancing is so fun, you won’t even realize how much exercise you’re doing. Gardening may seem leisurely and relaxing (and it is!), but it can burn anywhere from 115 to 315 calories every 30 minutes. Even golf can be an effective workout! Just skip using the cart and enjoy walking an average of five miles in one round.

● ● ●

Modern living is fast, and many of us have to move fast just to keep up with it. It can be even more difficult to find time to improve your fitness. Today, we’ve only shared a few ways to accomplish this, but avid the Shop & Enroll blog readers will notice that one of our favorite topics is surprising ways your favorite pastimes are actually really healthy for you! Looking at it through this lens, it’s hard not to fit exercise into even the busiest of schedules! Just remember that before starting any new exercises or workout routines, you should check with your doctor to make sure they’re healthy and right for you.