Ever skipped a workout because of a hectic, exhausting week? You’re not alone. Though it may seem like an excuse, being too busy and tired is a legitimate obstacle to exercising regularly.
Thankfully, there are several ways to find the time for it and convince yourself to show up when you’d rather go home and snooze.
When you have a jam-packed schedule…
1. Visit the video gym
YouTube has no shortage of workout videos you can do anytime and anywhere, ranging from strength training to kickboxing to dance classes. You can search for routines that require little or no equipment and that fit any length of time. For inspiration, check out these best-of lists by BuzzFeed and Shape.
Another time-saving option is to use an app like Sworkit or Nike Training Club,both of which have step-by-step workouts you can filter by time length.
2. Do micro-workouts
It’s not always possible to dedicate a solid hour (plus travel time) to your workout. Instead, look for a sliver of time to sneak in some exercise—even 10 minutes is better than zero minutes. Habit’s Head Coach Jae Berman, RD, has a 10-minute workout you can do at home or at the gym. The popular Seven app also has a great collection of high-intensity seven-minute workouts.
3. Book a group class
Many gyms and studios let you book your spot in advance, which forces you to schedule it on your calendar (and show up to get your money’s worth). You can search for boutique studios in your area or look for deals on Groupon.
4. Make it a social event
Instead of meeting friends for dinner or happy hour, see if they’re interested in joining you for a workout (you can always eat together afterward). If you can’t find someone who’s interested, try to combine exercise with an activity you already make time for, like watching TV.
5. Delegate an errand
List out all the errands that take up your time and see if there’s one you can somehow take off your plate. For instance, maybe you can find an affordable grocery delivery service to save you a couple trips to the store.
When you’re just too tired...
1. Tempt yourself with a reward
Rewarding yourself is an excellent way to turn exercise into a habit. To set up a reward system, decide on the number of workouts you’ll commit to, then choose a reward that matches the effort you put in. A reward can be binge-watching your favorite show, buying a new piece of clothing, or getting a massage.
2. Set a penalty for not showing up
Though the word penalty may sound harsh, this method is essentially the opposite of rewarding yourself. If your reward for exercising is watching your favorite show, don’t allow yourself to watch it on the weeks you skip your workouts. Alternatively, you can set aside a dollar or two for each workout you skip, then donate the money at the end of the month.
3. Exercise immediately after work
If you go home first, you’ll begin to decompress from the day and won’t feel like leaving the house again. Get in the habit of taking your exercise clothes to work and eating a pre-gym snack toward the end of the day.
4. Do a low-intensity workout
When you’re running low on fuel, try a calming exercise like yoga, pilates, tai chi, or even walking. Since it’ll feel more doable than a high-intensity workout, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
5. Think about how you’ll feel afterward
The hardest part about working out is showing up, and no one ever regrets doing so. Remember that exercise can help you feel more energized and sleep more soundly.
Habit is taking the guesswork out of eating right. For everybody. For life.
Habit is a personalized nutrition company that is making optimal nutrition possible. Unlike one-size fits all diets, Habit uses an at-home test to uncover details about your genetics, lifestyle, metabolism and goals to design personalized eating recommendations for the one, unique you. Because feeling your best isn't about forcing something that worked for others to work for you. It is about knowing exactly what does work for you.