There’s just not enough time in the day.  I hear this over and over.  It’s time to throw away that excuse because you CAN find time in your day for exercise.  I help my clients figure out how to make fitness a part of their daily lives even when they think it’s not possible.  It’s just like anything else, you have to schedule it into your day or it will never happen.  But, putting it in your schedule is just part of the equation.  Try my 5 Step Process to develop a regular exercise routine:

Step #1

Take out a piece of paper and write down your entire schedule (including weekends) from the minute you get up until the minute you go to bed.  Now take a close look at it and answer the following questions:

  • What time of day would you like to exercise?
  • How can you be more time-efficient?
    • Car pooling
    • Meal planning
    • Grocery shopping
  • Can you find an extra 30-60 minutes in your day?
  • Is there anything in your current schedule that you can get rid of?
  • Can you get up 30 minutes early one or two days each week?

You don’t need to set aside 1-2 hours for exercise.  There are some great routines that you can do in as little as 15-20 minutes!  Create a basic schedule for yourself on certain days and times–like Spinning on Mondays and Thursday, strength training on Tuesdays and Saturdays, walking your dog every night after dinner.

Step #2

Treat your scheduled time to exercise like a doctor’s appointment.  It’s in your calendar.  Protect it and guard it like you would other important events in your life. Every weekend, take the time to review your upcoming week to see conflicts you may have.  Make the necessary changes to your schedule so you won’t disrupt your ongoing routine.

Step #3

Make a commitment—to yourself and to someone else.  If you make a commitment only to yourself, chances are you’ll let yourself down over and over.  If you make a commitment to yourself AND your daughter, you’ll think twice before skipping your workout.

Step #4

Make your lunch every day.  You may be wondering what this has to do with sticking to an exercise program, but it’s really important.  Taking your lunch to work gives you more time during lunch to MOVE!  You may be able to get to the gym or go for a walk with some friends.  You’ll be eating healthier AND saving a bundle by bringing a little brown bag to work.  When you practice one healthy habit, it’s easier to adopt other healthy habits that all work together to make you look and feel better.

Step #5

Right before you go to sleep, visualize your entire upcoming day.  If you plan to go to a Body Pump class in the morning, picture yourself getting out of bed, getting dressed and going to the class.  It’s amazing what this simple thought process will do for you.  Trust me, just do it.

Follow these 5 Steps and you’ll be exercising on a consistent basis.  If something comes up and you just can’t fit it in, don’t beat yourself up.  Exercise, like brushing your teeth, is something you should do for the rest of your life.  It’s okay to miss occasionally because you’ll fall right back into your routine.   Be kind to your body and mind—take care of them and they’ll take care of you.

Move and Be Healthy,