How To Stop Saying "I Don't Have Enough Time To Exercise"

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” –Stephen Covey

We all have 24 hours in a day. What you choose to do with those 24 hours can make all the difference. 

The most overused excuse for skipping exercise is, “I don’t have enough time,” but the reality is: You chose to do something else you deemed as more important.

It’s a little wake-up call to take ownership of your choices. It’s easy to say you don’t have the time, it’s more challenging and disciplined to create the time. 

So how do you make the time?

Acknowledge the difference between being productive and being active. 

We often fool ourselves when we think being busy means we are being productive. 

Sure, maybe we are getting a lot of little things accomplished, but we aren’t getting our most important things accomplished. 

It’s a form of procrastination to busy yourself with little things while you knowingly don’t make progress on the most important things. Make sure you are making progress on your most important priorities.

Make exercise appointments. 

Let’s face it, if you aren’t exercising, you aren’t feeling good. You feel sluggish and low energy. In order to make exercise work with a crazy schedule, you have to schedule it like it’s an appointment you can’t miss. (That’s why I love group fitness- it’s my appointment!) 

You can’t wait for the day when you will suddenly have more time, because often that day never comes. I like to remind people to think of passion as energy. 

Do you have passion for feeling good? If exercising and keeping your body healthy is truly important to you, prioritize exercise and schedule other parts of your day around it. 

Don’t forget that keeping yourself healthy goes a long way to keeping the rest of your family healthy and happy.

Approach your day with the end in mind. 
  • How would you deem your day successful at the end of it? 
  • What needs to happen for you to have a sense of accomplishment and feel great when the day concludes? 
  • Identify the activities or projects at the start of your day so you have a game plan for a successful day.
Track it. Don’t try and keep everything you have to do in your head. 

Develop a method for listing all of your to dos so you can get them out of your head and into an effective system. Some people love keeping track of big priorities and daily To Dos with their iPhone and others like a Daily Planner or a notebook. 

Find a method you like, and once something you have to do pops into your head, document it. You will alleviate stress and you will be motivated to cross those items off your list!

Bundle your activities. 

Checking your email throughout the day—or obsessively as soon as a new email pops up in your inbox, eats tons of time. Try checking your email at certain times during the day instead and turn off your automatic notice that a new email has come in. 

Constantly switching between tasks eats your time. Bundle other activities together to get more accomplished. For example, if you have errands to do, try to line up several errands to do at one time.

Batch quick tasks together. 

Rather than scatter quick errands or tasks throughout the day, group them together. Make a list of tasks you can finish in under 15 minutes and do them all at once. 

You won’t lose time switching between small tasks or scattering them throughout the day. When you tackle them all at once, your mind will be clear to focus on bigger priorities—like exercise!

You May Also Enjoy

Hate Exercise But Love To Dance? Try Conscious Clubbing

If you're like me, it is not always that easy to motivate yourself to go exercise. Some say it's a question of mind over matter, but recently I had the opportunity to interview Darryl Edwards, author  Read

About the Author

Chris Freytag is a nationally recognized fitness expert, public speaker, contributing editor to Prevention magazine and an author. Her latest books are Get Started with Weight Loss, and Get Started with Clean Eating (and a vegetarian version). Chris also has a healthy cookbook titled, CHOOSE THIS! Chris shares her tips weekly on the Minneapolis NBC affiliate and has appeared on the Today Showand Lifetime TV. She has dozens of workout DVDs; the latest is her ACE HIIT series. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives, and works with adults, kids, and athletes, as well as several nonprofit organizations helping youth get active. Live life from a positive place and Love Your Body!

Get Healthy, Be Happy and Love Life! Get inspired weekly by signing up here! Find out more about Chris Freytag or contact her through her website at on Facebook, Pinterest, or on Twitter.