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Fitness Friday || Making the Time. Making Fitness a Priority.

When I asked family, friends and co-workers, “what is your biggest obstacle to exercising on a regular basis,” the #1 answer was not enough time.

As a mom of 2 very active teenagers and a wife who works full time, strength trains three times per week, training to run 12 half marathons this year and likes to do yoga as often as possible, I get it. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to work out.

 Fit Fitness Into A Busy Life and Make It Work

First, you need to identify why this is important to you. What are the benefits of making the extra effort to find the time?

  1. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a completed workout.
  2. Most of us have read at one time or another how important it is to get a good night sleep. I sleep better when exercise consistently.
  3. Your health is definitely worth the time and effort. I am healthier and more fit than ever before.
  4. Better mood and overall good feeling. I’m a better wife and mom when I make fitness a regular part of my life.
  5. Lose and maintain weight.
  6. Boost your confidence. Accomplishing goals, seeing progress and making positive changes is a wonderful boost to self confidence.

Second, you need to come up with a plan. How do I fit exercising into daily life consistently (most of the time)?

  1. Identify non-negotiables. I made a list of all of the things I had to do as opposed to the things I wanted to do. For example, taking my kids to school, family time, going to work, etc. are non-negotiables. They are on the calendar to stay. On the other hand, watching a TV show is negotiable.
  2. Make fitness a priority. I committed the time and stuck to it.
  3. Workout at home. This one change made the biggest difference in the consistency, progress and success of my workouts. This change also eliminated the often used excuse of just getting home from work and not wanting to drive anywhere.
  4. Get up early. I was the most consistent and saw the most progress when I started working out or running in the morning. I found early morning to be the time that was least likely to be interrupted by phone calls, appointments, and errands. And, I can honestly say there is not a better way to start the day.
  5. Make it a habit.  My workouts are like brushing my teeth and getting dressed.
  6. Write it on your calendar. Just like you would a doctor’s appointment or school activity.
  7. Be prepared. Put out your workout clothes the night before. Maximize your time for working out with as little prep time as possible especially if working out early in the morning.
  8. FInd a fitness program that you enjoy.  There are endless options online, in magazines, and DVD programs. You Tube is a fabulous source for every type of workout imaginable. Find what you like and you’re more likely to stick with it.
  9. Track your progress. Use either paper and pencil or an online tool to keep track of your progress. Seeing the proof of your progress will make the difference between a skipped or a completed workout. Garmin Connect is a great tool for tracking miles, effort and progress.
  10. Turn “it” off. For some people an “off” is the computer. Maybe for you it’s the TV? Think about whatever your off needs to be. Look closely at how you spend your time and consider reducing the time spent on some activities or even stop some altogether.

It takes 21 days to create a habit. Start with a commitment of 21 days to a healthier and happier you.

What extra effort do you make to exercise when life is crazy busy? How do you make fitness a priority?


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  1. great post jill! i’ve found that mornings just suit my body and my schedule best. i have to make myself go to bed early, but i just feel so much better, plus the gym is less crowded!

  2. Great tips! I like tip #10 turn it off. Sometimes you just have to shut your mind, tv, outside activities and make some time. 🙂 Thanks for hosting this blog hop! I like to read and connect with other fitness bloggers! 🙂

  3. Really great post, mama! You are so right about making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle and eliminating the things/distractions that hold you back. I prefer to work-out at home because I can do it in my own time. I don’t like gyms. However, there are some benefits to meeting friends for a work-out or run. That accountability keeps you focused on your goal.

    I forgot to link up yesterday, but I made it. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  4. Mark Allman says:

    Over the years the only thing that has worked for me is:
    Do the exercise first in the morning;
    Do the exercise 6 days a week. If I did 3 days a week I would work that into 0 days
    Do it at home. I aint going anywhere to do this.
    Have a plan and work the plan.
    Keep progress and notes.
    Measure success.
    Mix it up.

    1. Hi Mark and welcome to Fitness Friday!

      I can see why you’ve been successful with fitness.

  5. Great post Jill – it’s so important to prioritise in order to fit it in. I feel a bit like you now – it’s just like brushing my teeth. I don’t feel quite right if I haven’t done my workout.

    1. Thanks Kate! Is your day just a bit “off” when you don’t workout? It’s like having a doctor’s appointment and not showing up or not brushing your teeth. Not an option!

    1. Agreed! It can’t ALL be done! It took me forever to realize and accept that.

  6. So excited to have found your blog. I’ve been looking for a link up party around fitness and haven’t been able to find one yet. I’m so excited to join in on yours – thanks for hosting! Great tips. I think something else that’s been helpful to me in fitting fitness into my busy life is having my husband as my workout partner. We motivate each other to workout. If one day I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to exercise, he’s feeling pumped and ready to hit the gym so that motivates me to go. And, vice versa.

    1. Hi and welcome Ali! I couldn’t agree more! Everything I’m able to do is in part due to my husband. When we run (or whatever) together I push a little bit harder. It’s a fitromance 🙂

  7. These are great tips. It is hard to find enough time in the day for everything there is to do but I think that your point about non-negotiables vs. “like to do” is key. For me, there’s no way that I would fit fitness into my life without having supportive people around me who get why it’s important to me i.e. my husband.

    1. Hi Christine. I couldn’t agree more! I couldn’t do all that I do without my husband.

  8. Hi Jill,
    Thanks for hosting!
    I just started a blog about fitness and weight loss where I will share tips about losing weight, exercise and nutrition. I’m on a 90 Day Health and Fitness Challenge to lose weight and I would love to have people share their fitness/weight loss journey with me…You don’t have to be on the challenge to be able to enjoy my site or share your story…

    1. Hi Jo and welcome to Fitness Friday! Off to check out your blog. I’m looking forward to following your journey.

  9. Great tips! what a way to end the week 🙂 SPA <3

  10. Great post! I know that I will be miserable if I don’t get in some type of exercise. I just have to remember that and make the time. Plus, the laundry and dishes can wait:)

    1. I often remind myself how I will feel if I skip a workout. That’s usually enough to get me going. Laundry and dishes can always wait. It will get done…eventually 🙂

  11. I was just writing about this on my page. Fitness is important to get some me times. With 3 little kids it can sometimes be hard. But I’m making it a priority to each day find time because I love how I feel once its done. It makes me a better mom and wife to with a lot more patience… 🙂

  12. As I sit here nodding off from my 4:20 a.m. wake-up call today so that I could be swimming by 5 a.m., I am nodding in agreement with these tips! Gotta make it a priority or it just won’t happen.

    1. I understand. WIth waking up by 4:00 everyday I start nodding around 9:00.

    1. Hi Kierston. Loving what you do makes it easier to put forth the effort to make the time 🙂

  13. These are such great tips, Jill! I definitely make it a priority and also schedule it into my week. It’s become such a part of my routine now that it’s second nature to plan it all out!

    1. Thanks Laura. Agreed. It’s second nature and I practically do it without thinking.

  14. My workout routine changes almost week by week because of my constantly changing schedule. I like it though, it keeps me on my toes and I try my best to “plan by the seat of my pants” so to speak. Haha! 🙂

    1. Hi Abby. My husband works best and accomplishes more when he plans by the seat of his pants.

  15. I couldn’t agree with you more Jill! I schedule my workouts like I would schedule a doctor’s appointment. I put it on the calendar and work my extra stuff around it! Most of the time this means sacrificing sleep but when it means being healthier and happier…I’ll take it!

    1. Does your day just feel a bit “off” when you don’t workout? Like having a doctor’s appointment and not showing up. Not an option!

  16. awesome tips, jill!! i try to make my workouts early in the am very first thing so there’s no excuse and i don’t “forget” or “not have time” when the day gets busy! happy friday and spa love!

    1. Thanks Jenna! I’m a huge fan of morning workouts for all the reasons you listed plus I just feel better in the a.m.

  17. I make it a priority and put my workout time up on a pedestal similar to a pedestal i’d put a meeting with Will Smith on (he’s the celeb I’d most want to have lunch with)!

  18. Great post Jill,I have been making time the last few weeks as sometimes I thinl I don’t have time then spend a hour cleaning out cupboards or something that can wait,love the make time picture,pinning this 🙂

  19. Life can get crazy but it’s even crazier if I don’t make working out a priority. I sneak it in wherever I can. If it means getting up super early, I’ll do it.

    1. Agreed and who needs crazier? I’ve gotten pretty good at sneaking it in when and wherever I can.

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