How can you work out when you do not have time?

If you are leading a fast-paced life and trying to balance work, personal life, familial obligations or studies, it can be difficult to find the time to exercise. You want to do something you enjoy in your spare time and exercising may not be at the top of the list. Even a small workout can have a positive effect on your physical health, which is why it is important to at least try to find time for it. Here are some ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine without having to do it in your spare time.

If you are planning to try out a new workout, it is important that you do it safely. There are many instructional videos on YouTube which show the correct way to do exercises and stretches. Make sure to avoid overworking yourself – start with lighter exercises and work toward the harder ones.

8 ways to exercise if you lack time

  • Choose walking or cycling

If your work or school is far, it takes a long commute by public transport and you cannot walk the whole way, try to walk at least part of it. By combining walking and public transport, you can add exercise to your routine without it taking up too much of your spare time. Similarly, if you are planning to use public transport in your spare time, see instead if you can walk part of the way or all of it. Walking is a great way to relax and move your body at the same time.

  • Exercise at lunchtime

Exercising at lunch may seem unrealistic to some people, but if you have an hour for lunch, you probably have time to exercise and eat at the same time. Eating should be your priority at lunch, but perhaps you could split the hour and use the first half for walking, jogging, stretching or another available form of exercise. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, it is important to regularly stand up and move your body. The workout does not always have to take long. It is important that you move your muscles and body and increase your heart rate.

  • Incorporate exercise in your daily activities

There are many ways you can work out more in your daily activities. Taking the stairs can be an easy way to exercise even if means getting off the lift a couple of floors earlier or using the lavatory at the far end of the building. Walking your dog for longer distances and parking the car further away from your destination can help extend the time you are active.

  • Practise yoga at home

If you find a workout you like to do and that helps you relax, it is easier to make time for it during the day. Yoga is an excellent example of an exercise that helps you relax and that can be done at home with limited equipment. You can find many yoga instructors on YouTube whose videos help you regardless of your level or ability.

  • Dancing

A fun and easy way to exercise, dancing is something we often do even without having planned to work out. If you are out at the weekend and you have the opportunity to dance, it is a great way to move your body and get your heart rate up while having fun. You can also turn on the radio or put on some music and dance at home either alone, with your housemates, partner or family.

  • Taking part in PE

If you are still in school, physical education classes are a great way to work out properly and regularly, as it is part of your timetable. In PE, you can improve your level of fitness under the guidance of your PE teacher. Because of the activities done in PE classes, working out with your classmates may sometimes seem like a scary experience, but you should be able to find an activity that suits you. Remember that the important part of PE is making yourself be active, not how good you are at a certain sport.

  • Use the time you spend waiting on something

At home, there are often moments when we are waiting on something, such as the laundry to be done, the kettle to boil or dinner to be ready. In these moments, you have the opportunity to do small exercises such as skipping, squats or sit-ups. Exercising for small periods throughout the day may be an effective way to get active without feeling like you have to dedicate a lot of your spare time to it.

  • Work out in the morning

If your daily routine is fast-paced, it is convenient to work out in the morning by waking up half an hour earlier than usual. This gives you time for a quick walk, jog or workout at home or in your backyard. By exercising during a time when you would normally sleep, you can get active without feeling that is taking time away from things that are important to you during the day.

The article was translated into Estonian by Inger-Paula Ude, a volunteer for the youth information portal Teeviit.


Spunout is Ireland’s youth information website. 

Published on the youth information portal Teeviit in 2022.

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