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How to find free time for exercise

We all know life can be hectic and sometimes it’s hard to fit exercise into your day, especially if you’re working or looking after the kids. But finding time to do some form of exercise not only helps you to stay fit and healthy, it also provides you with the freedom and opportunity for some ‘me’ time. Forever is keen to support you in your exercise efforts by providing you with ideas that can help you to stay on track. Read on for our top tips and follow Forever’s #PoweredByArgi campaign on social this May for additional inspiration. 

Track your time better

Start by tracking your time in a planner or via an app/gadget (Apple watch). This will help you to identify any gaps you have in your usual schedule, time that could then be assigned to working out. You might even have some days off coming up or a free weekend where you can get in longer workouts than you'd have time for during the week. To avoid skipping your workout, mark the days and times in your phone or desk calendar or even set alerts.

Decide whether you’re a morning or evening person

Waking up an extra 30 minutes earlier can be a hard thing to do, unless you have trouble sleeping anyway, but doing so will leave you with plenty of time to fit exercise. Why not try and squeeze in a quick run when the sun rises? You’ll get some much-needed vitamin D and you’ll feel far more productive throughout the rest of the day. 

Also, by getting your workout over and done with first thing, you can still enjoy free time after work for dinner with your family or happy hour with colleagues. You will also avoid that dreaded feeling after a long day when all you really want to do is go home and put your feet up.

On the other hand, if you have a rather stressful job or you’ve been looking after your kids all day, you might benefit from an evening escape. If you need time to destress and something to take your frustration out on, an evening training session will probably be the best choice for you.

Combine exercise with other daily tasks or responsibilities

Some types of exercise can be combined with other tasks you already need to do. For example, if you’re nipping to the shops for milk or heading into work, why don’t you see the trip as an opportunity to fit in a good run? If you use public transport, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier or park the car farther away to extend your walking time. If you’re not a runner, why not cycle to work instead? 

If you love watching television when you get home, you could try doing a cardio workout while you catch up on the latest episode of your favourite TV show. Alternatively, try using your sofa as a workout bench to help you do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, or squats.

For those of you with kids, finding childcare can be a huge obstacle when it comes to making time to exercise. If you have the space, you could make your home into a gym with a treadmill inside and lawn exercises outside, or you could put on a fitness DVD in the living room whilst the children play in their bedrooms.

Don’t sit when you can stand

If you have a nine-to-five desk job, you’ll be used to sitting for long periods of time, but unfortunately prolonged sitting can be detrimental to your health. Next time you’re waiting for a phone call, an email or simply waiting for a meeting, don’t use those minutes to sink down in your chair, stand up and take a little walk instead – this will help you to burn more calories each day. Remember to also make use of your precious sixty-minute lunch break by hitting the gym or going for a walk.

If standing at work is simply impossible, consider the other times during your day that you may be able to get up. What about your morning commute or whilst you’re cooking dinner?

Reduce time before exercising

Deciding what workout gear to wear and driving or walking to the gym can easily eat up an additional thirty minutes of precious workout time, so it’s important to stay prepared by planning ahead. Pack your gym bag the night before, choose a gym that’s closer to your place of work or alter your workout so you’re closer to home on the days you’re busiest.

Make workouts fun again

If you dread going to the gym or working out full stop, you’ll do anything to let them drop off your schedule; that’s why it’s important to figure out a form of exercise you like. Also, remember to reward yourself for any workout you do fit in – as long as it doesn’t undo you good work, a treat will certainly make working out more appealing. With this in mind, it’s also important to be honest with yourself when it comes to your mindset. Often one’s perception of exercise has a lot to do with mindset. So, if you have a negative view of the gym, try working out with a close friend who motivates you. You never know, you might even start to enjoy yourself! 

Have you got any tips for making more time for exercise? Let us know in the comments below.

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