How to exercise when you don’t have time

Hands up who’s busy! Me too. But it’s even more important to find ways to exercise when you’re holding things together in business, life, and at home. Here’s how the busiest people can find ways to work out.

Business owners, entrepreneurs, parents, shift workers, people who travel a lot… there are tons of reasons a person might be “too busy to exercise”. And I get it – I really do. I’m a Dad of two young boys, my wife and I both run our own businesses.

But it’s my duty to tell you that physical exercise matters even when you are busy. In fact, I think it matters even more when you’re busy, stressed, and pushed to the max.

Why exercise helps busy people perform better

As a busy person, what are your biggest health concerns? I’ll take a guess at weight gain, stress, blood pressure, sleep, and long-term health issues creeping up on you. A bit of regular exercise helps with all of those and more.

Getting enough physical activity on a regular basis can improve your sleep quality (1), your emotional resilience to stress (2), and act as a tool for hypertension (3).  We also know without doubt that regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and even some cancers. It can even improve your self-perceived health, stress, and quality of life, meaning people who exercise regularly are likely to think themselves happy and healthy. (4) Powerful stuff.

How much exercise do you need to do?

This is all great news. But you’re still busy! So the question we need to ask is how much exercise is “enough” to tap into these physical and emotional benefits?

You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s not as much as you think. There is absolutely no need to be in the gym for an hour every day – in fact, that kind of regime would increase your stress levels!

Here’s the advice I give my busy clients (which is nearly all of them by the way!)

– move your body every day

– stop thinking “workouts” and start thinking “activity”

– build activity into your days through walking and short bursts

– use HIIT workouts (short and intense) on busy days

– use longer, more mindful workouts (hiking, water sports, biking) when you have time

HIIT workout videos for home training

My YouTube is a treasure trove of short HIIT workouts, some of which don’t even need equipment. You can do them all at home in 10+ minutes. Ideal for before work, or breaks away from your desk. Follow this link and save your favourites.

9 ways to get enough exercise when you’re busy

(1) Keep it short and intense – HIIT workouts get more done in less time and burn calories after you finish

(2) Daily movement, not necessarily workouts – take the pressure off by thinking about activity on days you can’t work out

(3) Double up – can you workout with your other half, kids, or friends to make it social?

(4) Something is always better than nothing – you are doing the best you can!

(5) Find something you love – the best form of exercise is the one you l=enjoy and will actually do

(6) Shift by 20 minutes – by setting your alarm just 20 minutes earlier you will have time for a 15 minute HIIT workout…

(7) Co-parent to workout – if you’re a parent, ask your partner to hold the fort one night a week (then do the same for them)

(8) Use weekends wisely – most people have more time at weekends, use it for longer workouts and outdoor activity

(9) Get a programme – having a coach like me write you a programme takes so much stress and thought away from the whole thing!

Get in touch if you need help staying active and getting some exercise into your busy schedule. This is exactly what I do.

Coach Joseph Webb.

‘The number one rated Personal Trainer In Henley and Oxfordshire’

References used in todays blog:






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