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How to Work Out When You're Busy

The Best Tips For Working Out to See Results, Even When You're Busy

Don't think you have time to work out? Think again. These tips from top trainers will help you rethink all those excuses and start seeing results. At least one of these tips will resonate with you, so keep it in mind the next time you're feeling overwhelmed and ready to skip your workout.

  1. Schedule something almost every day: You know you're not going to see results if you don't put in the time, so be realistic about what it's going to take. The Biggest Loser: Australia trainer Michelle Bridges recommends scheduling out a one-hour workout, six days a week. It may seem like you don't have time for this, but putting these workouts on your calendar and aiming to hit the goal every week means you'll work out more than if you aimed for just two or three workouts a week — even if you have to skip. "I guarantee that someone who has the habit of training six days a week, even if they miss a couple, is going to be more consistent than someone who only trains three days a week," Michelle says.
  2. Stop with the excuses: You say you don't have time to work out? You may be making an excuse that has no leg to stand on, says celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who's trained everyone from Sofia Vergara to Khloe Kardashian. "Five minutes for a warmup, 30 minutes for a workout, and five minutes for a stretch and a cooldown. By the end, that's 40 minutes," Gunnar says. "You really don't have 40 minutes? The President is far busier than you, Kim Kardashian is far busier than you, and she can make time. It's about prioritizing."
  3. Every bit counts: You may not have time to fit in a workout every day, but you do have time to walk, says celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak. Invest in a simple pedometer — you don't even have to spend hundreds on an activity tracker; a basic $25 pedometer (or a free app on your phone) can track your steps just as well. Aim for 10,000 steps a day, and you'll start seeing a difference even if you have to skip a workout or two.
  4. Aim high: Just because you're busy doesn't mean you can't vocalize your goal of running a marathon or losing 30 pounds. "It's good to set realistic goals, but sometimes you have to set unrealistic goals," says celebrity trainer and Equinox gym cofounder Kacy Duke. "Set goals that really feel like you're keeping it interesting and you're really pushing yourself at the same time."
  5. Vary your intensity: Get a better workout in the same amount of time as a regular workout by just varying your intensity. "You're supposed to vary levels of exertion in order to optimally burn fat," says Joey Gonzalez, chief operating officer of celeb favorite Barry's Bootcamp. "These kinds of things all date back to the caveman days when that's how you'd hunt . . . That's how the human body responds."
  6. Go with weights: Want to see results fast? Time to hit the weight room. Miss America 2013's trainer, Tia Falcone, believes this is the fastest way to your slimmest self. "All women need to gain as much muscle as humanly possible; that's what's going to make you smaller, and it raises your base metabolism permanently," she says.
  7. Above all, keep it manageable: We love this tip from celebrity Pilates trainer Kit Rich, who's shared her own struggles with fluctuating weight and body issues: aim for three miles of running, hiking, or walking, or 30 minutes of any kind of workout, every day. "I really do believe wholeheartedly that the middle road is the way to go," she says. "Anything extreme is not long-lasting."
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