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Favorite Excuse For Not Working Out: I Don't Have the Time

Favorite Excuse For Not Working Out: I Don't Have the Time

You have a demanding job, you go to school full-time, you're a mom, you volunteer, you have appointments, and a dog, and a daily to-do list five miles long. There's no way you can fit exercising into the mix, right? Not having enough time to workout is a valid excuse, until you realize that free time doesn't just magically appear in your schedule — you have to make it happen.

Don't feel like you have to start off with an hour-long routine at the gym. Begin with short workouts. Do 10 minutes a day, or 20 minutes a few times a week. Find ways to move throughout your day. A little goes a long way, and a few minutes here and there definitely add up. For some quick workout ideas,


  • Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier so you can go for a jog, or pop in a fitness DVD.
  • If you have to make a phone call, walk up and down the stairs while you chat.
  • Do push-ups, crunches, lunges, and squats while watching your favorite TV show.
  • Go for a 20-minute walk with a friend after dinner. Not only will it burn calories, but it'll help clear your mind so you'll be ready for bed.
  • Sign up for a series of dance classes. They usually happen one night week, so you can set aside a few hours in your schedule ahead of time.
  • Instead of sitting at your desk on your lunch break, slip on your sneaks and hit the gym or go for a walk. Then you can eat afterward while you work.

If you have any other ideas for fitting in quick workouts, please share them below.


Join The Conversation
katyharper katyharper 8 years
OK I have the same thing with the whole "have time to work out, don't have time to clean up after". So here's what I do: During my 1-hour lunch break, I drive to the gym (5 mintues) literally run inside and do a speed change (you can't be modest for the speed change!). I get on the elliptical or treadmill for 30 minutes, get off, run back to the locker room to the shower, strip down and rinse off but don't wash my hair. (On the days when I do this, I don't wear mascara in the morning so I don't have to deal with racoon eyes after the shower.) Just soap down really quickly, rinse, dry your body. Towel dry your hair as much as possible, because the heat form the hair dryer is going to make you sweat more. Get dressed and just barely do any makeup - you won't need it b/c you'll have that "just worked out" glow. I do tinted moisturizer, concealer, powder, mascara. With the hairdryer, only dry your bangs if you have them and the top of your head. I pin my bangs back with a bobby pin afterward. Turn on the AC in the car and head back to work. It's stressful, but on days when I don't work out in the morning, it works. You CAN'T have any down time - just go go go!!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i used to think that i just didn't have enough time, but i've decided that to me, working out is more important than having lunch while i'm at work, so thats' what i do. now that we're getting into the BUSY season in the office, i'm going to start setting my alarm a bit earlier so that i can manage to get to the gym for a full workout in case i don't have time during the day. (what i really need is a 24 hour gym so i can workout when i get out - even if it's at 11pm)
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I can't work out during lunch (not a lot of time between morning and afternoon dockets, no place to shower, etc.) but I always MAKE time to get in my workouts -- either before work, after work, or both. when I'm training I workout 8-20 hrs/ week, and I have a full time job. (I don't have kids though, so that makes it easier). bottom line: you make time for what you want to make time for.
jessik75 jessik75 8 years
OMG !!! katie225 I hear you loud and clear !!! I used to believe i was a lazy cow for thinking "hey i can't fit a workout here or there cause after i have to shower/hair(also curly and unforgiving, and i'm not even talking about the way they look after sweating)/makoeup" !!!! I feel so much better seeing your comments !!!! I mean yes, in the morning it takes me 35 mn to get ready while my bf takes roughly 12 ... So unfair !!! I'd like to hear girls talking about how do you fit a work out in 1 hour lunch, time to travel to the gym, change, do it, shower, dry, get dressed, makeup, travel back to the office, and not eat junk food cause you can't take ANOTHER hour to lunch something healthy otherwise your boss/colleagues will think you take 2 hours for your break??? Please tell me ...
Taadie Taadie 8 years
I make it a group activity so I have to put it in my schedue because I dont want to cancel with people I have made a commitment to. I work out with 2 of my coworkers on different days. One likes to work out in the morning @ 730am and the other after work @ 530. Sometimes I schedule them on the same day but usually different days so I make sure that if nothing else I work out about 4 times a week for 30-40 minutes each session.
heartbreakerx62x heartbreakerx62x 8 years
I hear that katie, if I were a guy, sure I could find the time to do a quick 30-40 minute workout followed by a 5 minute shower. But no-o, after my workout it takes at least another 45 to shower, do my hair, etc. and get all cleaned up! That is like a workout in itself!
katie225 katie225 8 years
it's not that i can't find 30 min. a day to work out, it's that i can't find the 1.5 hours it takes for me to take a shower, do my hair (it's curly and unforgiving), and put my makeup back on. i sweat like a pig so there's no getting around this. the way i find time is i make it a job, literally. i teach spin/cycle classes after work. so now it's a chore that i get paid to do. ;)
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
i find that if i don't get up in the morning on a mission to do a class, i 'run out of time' to do a full work out. i try to walk a bit on those days and stand at my desk rather than sit. it's all about wanting to workout, not just making the time.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Yeah, you have to make time for exercise. It doesn't just "appear". I get up at 3:30 or so sometimes to get my workout in before going to work. I also hear the comments about how I'm "so lucky you have time to work out", but yeah, I MAKE time for it because it's a priority. Some people make time for Sex and the City or Dancing with the Stars; I make time to work out.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
You have to just make time for it. I get up at 5:45 every morning to get on my elliptical. I find that if I don't work out in the morning, I tend to "not have time" (i.e. not do it) later on.
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily 8 years
I implement the last tip - working out during lunch break and eating afterwards while working. My boss isn't too crazy about it..(especially if I eat tuna! ;)) but... that's his problem. I make working out a priority. Nice, jenniferjane, very inspiring. I find it hard to say no to people in my life..
1cigarrette 1cigarrette 8 years
I have to agree with jenniferjane, Its ridiculous how many people tell me they're "soooo jealous i have time to work out"... people, i dont HAVE time to work out, I find a way to make it work because I know I feel sooo much better and energized when i exercise. I wake up at 5am, I pack my stuff I go to the gym from 6-7:30 I get to work by 8am finish by 6:30pm, go to school from 7 to 10 and do homework and go to bed as soon as I can. C'est la vie...
jenniferjane jenniferjane 8 years
I make a date with running every day. I tell everyone in my life a big fat NO if they want something from me that is going to prevent me from running. I work a full time job and I find AMPLE time to keep my apartment spotless, keep meals on the table for my boyfriend and I, and fit in social time with friends and family. It's all about what you REALLY want and how badly you want it.
Neekoh Neekoh 8 years
I think another great way to know that your short workouts are going a long way is to just eat better. Make sure you don't snack too often, but if you do, snack on healthy things (5-a-day fruits and veggies are great with hummus or nuts). I know I have a hard time hitting the gym all the time, and I do feel guilty when I go home to sleep after a work event rather than to the gym, but we have to remember that we're all human and require rest in order to function well to begin with. With that said, it's important to keep things moderate and make small changes. Over time, things will add up if you're really serious about it. Trust me, I lived it!
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