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How to squeeze exercise into a busy work lifestyle

We all know that it’s important to take care of our wellbeing. In fact, it should be one of our top priorities in life. Without a healthy body to function, how are we supposed to keep up with the demands of a busy work lifestyle? 

Yet, many of us are guilty of neglecting exercise while we try to stay on top of a challenging workload. It’s a vicious cycle: we exercise less, we feel less fit and the harder it becomes to function properly on the job.  

The uncomfortable truth is, we can all find time for exercise, but not all of us want to. It’s incredibly tempting to get home after completing long working hours and not want to move from the sofa. Especially if it’s your turn to make dinner, or pick the kids up from school, or it’s raining outside…the list goes on and on.  

Leave your excuses behind and get out the Lycra. Because you’re never too busy to boost your health and your mood. The benefits of exercise are countless, so you’ll be thanking us later! 

Choose an exercise you like  

We hear what you’re saying: ‘but what if I don’t like any exercise?’ It’s simply a case of trial and error. Eventually, you will find a sport that sticks. If you’re a member at your local gym, try out some of their classes on offer.  

Whether you opt for yoga, weight-lifting, running or martial arts; it’s all about finding something which you won’t dread doing week after week. If you’re excited to get your blood pumping, you’re more likely to keep to your schedule.  

Be efficient  

We’ll admit that sometimes – yes, sometimes, you really are just short on time. Luckily, some of the best workouts are the ones which are short but intense.  

You might be familiar with ‘HIIT’, for example. HIIT is a broad term for workouts involving short periods of intense exercise, alternated with recovery. When done right, HIIT workouts provide maximum health benefits in minimal time. Perfect for the individual wondering how to squeeze exercise into a busy work lifestyle!  

If HIIT doesn’t sound like a bit of you, consider other lunchtime ‘express’ classes, designed for the busy professional. You can pop in on your lunch break, follow the instructor, then leave. No faffing around waiting for machines and you’ll return to the office refreshed and victorious.  

Wake up earlier  

Try setting your alarm half an hour earlier and see what you can get done. Lay out your gym clothes the night before – you don’t need any more obstacles which might just send you back to your duvet. 

Also, ensure that you’ve decided what workout you’re going to do the night before. You’re far more likely to skip it if you don’t have a plan. Whether you go for a run, lift some weights or skip rope, it doesn’t matter. You’ll never regret a morning workout! 

If you’re really struggling to get up and go, there’s a simple solution – get to sleep earlier. And move your alarm clock far away enough so that you’re forced to get out of bed. You won’t like it, but it’s surprisingly effective.  

Work out with friends 

Create a schedule and stick to it. Knowing another person is counting on you means you’re less likely to hit snooze on your alarm button, or crawl back to the couch after work. On those days where you’re just not feeling it, your workout buddy will be there to give you the push you need.  

Or, at least, they’ll be there to share your grumbles and complaints with. Overall, it’s a lot more inspiring to share your fitness goals with somebody else. Remind each other that your workout is a priority worth keeping.  

Work with what you’ve got 

Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to mean you end up collapsed in a sweaty heap on the floor. It can be anything which gets your body moving. You can even make the most out of your commute to increase your heart rate.  

Instead of driving to work, could you cycle or walk? Many employers have a ‘cycle to work’ scheme which helps you to save on the cost of a bike. Just remember to leave a change of clothes in the office in case you get sweaty or rained on.  

Alternatively, simply take the stairs or get off the bus/tube a stop earlier. Increase your steps where you can, as little changes make a big difference.  

Get cleaning  

Hear us out – cleaning is fantastic exercise. Vacuuming, scrubbing bathrooms and tidying up all require physical exertion, as most of us are familiar with. While it’s not a fun task, if you’re tight for time you don’t have to choose between sprucing up you house and hitting the gym.  

Instead, get your sweat on while also having a spring clean. You can even make it a challenge and see how fast you can get your jobs done for maximum calorie burn. The upside is, the cleaning will be done faster as well! 

Less excuses, more exercise 

Commit to squeezing exercise into your busy work-life schedule and you’ll never look back. You’ll feel stronger physically, more focused mentally and overall better for it. Plus, once you create a habit of working out, it will only get easier.  

Remember, a little of something is better than nothing. That can be walking to work, hoovering your house or climbing the stairs in the office. So, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have time for a 10k run every day – it’s just not realistic! Make small changes and look forward to a healthier and happier you. 


BY Bethan Port


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