making excuses

“I Don’t Have Time”

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  • Get up 30 minutes early to workout.
  • Ask your partner/spouse to make breakfast in the morning while you fit in a workout before work.
  • If you go out for lunch with coworkers every day, reduce it to 3x a week and spend 2 days going for long walks during lunch.
  • Instead of having friends over for beer and board games, organize a touch football or friendly soccer game.
  • Jump rope with your kids.
  • Take your kids to the park and while they play, do squats, lunges and jumping jacks.
  • If your kids are in swim lessons, spend those 30 minutes swimming laps in the lane next to them.
  • Look at your TV watching habits. Is there one show you can eliminate to fit in some fitness?
  • Watch TV and workout at the same time.
  • Get a bike trainer for your living room.
  • Swap babysitting with another mom so you can go to the gym a few times a week.
  • Run at lunch time.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator everywhere you go.
  • Do squats while you’re on the phone. Even at work!
  • Bike to work. Saves time by combining commutes AND fitness!
  • Have a set of free weights in your cubicle and do exercises during your break times. That adds up to 30 minutes a day!
  • Play tag with your kids and run around like a kid!
  • Do your school readings while on the elliptical or bike trainer!
  • While your kids are at soccer or football practice, walk the track with another mom/dad.
  • While your kids are at sports practice, run the stadium stairs.
  • Start a “Biggest Loser” contest with coworkers to stay motivated.
  • Go for hikes on the weekends with the family. Quality time + fitness = smart!
  • Keep your gym bag in the car and go straight to the gym after work. Avoid stopping at home.
  • Join a running group near work.
  • Wake up 15 minutes early to jog with your dog before work.
  • Speed walk to the store when you just need to pick up a few things.
  • Start your morning with push-ups and sit-ups.
  • Be a Weekend Warrior!
  • Instead of meeting friends for happy hour, meet them for power walks in a park.
  • Change your workouts with the seasons–in summertime, bike. In winter, snowshoe. In spring, train for a 5k. In Fall, go for a hike to see the fall colors.
  • Go dancing on Friday night.

QUESTION: How do you fit in fitness when you don’t have time?

Too Busy to Exercise

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people trying to lose weight is “I have no time.” It’s easy to make excuses. Everyone is busy. It takes planning, forethought and dedication to establish and keep a consistent workout schedule. When people ask me how I make time for exercise my response is: “How much does being fit mean to you? If it means a lot, you’ll make time.”

When I decided it was time to lose the weight I made the time.


One of the tools that has helped me is Google Calender. I have a workout schedule on my Google Calenders and each week I plan out my activities. There are certain things I don’t change: my swim days are usually Fridays and Sundays. All the other days can be switched around depending on my mood or what I’m training for.


How do I fit in exercise? I do the bulk of my workouts on the weekends because I have the time. Saturdays are perfect for long bike rides, intense gym sessions or fun hikes. On the weekends I get my workout done in the morning so I have the rest of the day to run errands, see friends, watch TV, hang out with Michael, do house chores, etc.

My weekday workouts are a little different. Now that I commute to work by bike it helps a LOT. Commuting to work on bike frees up my evenings. Back when I was training for the Hood to Coast Relay I was running during my lunch break. I loved doing that. I got my workout done in the middle of the day, had evenings free to do whatever I wanted and I got out of the office.


I take two rest days a week and almost always schedule them for a week day. Taking a Monday or Thursday off is a nice mental break and it’s two less days I have to hurry to the gym right after work.

Another suggestion I have is to go straight to the gym after work. If you aren’t a morning person (like me)  after work is the only option but going home first means I’m less likely to go back out once I’m home. If you somehow can’t find time to go to the gym, try working out at home. I suggest getting the Nike Training Club App. It’s free and has hundreds of workouts you can do in your living room.

Too busy to exercise? Try these:

1. Lunges. You can do walking lunges if you have space, or just alternate legs and stay in the same spot. You can totally do this in your living room while watching TV!

2. Squats.  Another one you can do while watching TV. It doesn’t require a lot of space to perform squats and it’s such an amazing workout.  Or if you are feeling brave, try:

3. Jump squats. Same as above, but explode into a jump as high as you can from the squat position.  Obviously not the best option if you have knee issues.

4. Pushups.  Pushups are challenging no matter how fit you are. If you’re already in decent shape, try doing a certain number of pushups in 60 seconds and then incorporate some of the above exercises in between sets of pushups. (Pushups are hard for me because I have wrist pain but I try to do as much as I can handle pain-free.)

5. Stairs. If you have stairs in your house that’s a free workout! Just run up and down the stairs. You’d be amazed at how hard it is. I’m lucky to live next to a track. I can run around the track and then incorporate running stairs too.

6. Burpees. These will kill you. They are so hard! But such a good workout for breaking a sweat. If you can do 3 sets of 10 you’re a rockstar.


You don’t have to be a gym rat, either, to get fit. All of the above suggestions are things you can do at home for FREE. Still not convinced that you have time to get fit? What about taking Michael’s suggestion of getting a bike trainer? It’s an excellent way to getting fit without buying a gym membership.

If you’ve discovered a way to simplify your life and fit exercise into your busy life, what tips can you share?

QUESTION: What excuses do you make to avoid getting healthy? How can you change it?