How To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

Busy schedule or fast-paced work life? Yes, welcome to the club. Most people have a very busy schedule and often have to put their career first before they can even begin to think about themselves. Unfortunately, money talks. It’s understandable to let your health slide a little when you’re very stressed out. However, having a busy schedule doesn’t mean you should forget about your health entirely. Besides sneaking in a little work out here and there will not only make you look amazing, but you’ll also feel a hundred times better about yourself.

The other issue is that a busy schedule or long working hours can make you feel tired, weak and fatigued. We get it, exercising like this is not easy. It also might seem impossible to get to the gym as frequently as you’d like. Luckily, there’s good news. When you’ve got a busy schedule your workout doesn’t have to be insanely difficult, long nor do they need to happen in a gym or pricy studio. Due to tons of new fancy boutique gyms and high-tech fitness studios popping up all over, we’re under the impression that short and simple is not worth doing anything at all. Interestingly that’s not always the case and our bodies don’t need massive amounts of stress every time we exercise for body re-composition to start happening.

The issue is that if you’ve got a busy schedule you might feel as if you can’t be a part of the fitness community because you’re just too overloaded. It saddens us since there’s still plenty of opportunities to get fit even with a busy schedule.  We have all got a busy schedule. That’s the thing. There may be a time when you can dedicate 90 minutes to a solid workout. However,  not every session needs to be some intense marathon sweat-fest. It’s unrealistic and you’ll never get it done or keep up this pace.

Busy Schedule? Try Bursts Of Effective Exercise

Think of shorter workouts as little intense snippets of movement. There are sneaky ways to add exercise into your busy schedule, without a lengthy amount of time. We’re going as far as only 20 minutes in the morning or 20 minutes at night. Perhaps you can fit it in between meetings or after dinner. Something is still better than nothing at all.

In fact, there was a study that showed how three short and small sessions of exercise (about 12 minutes each) were more effective in lowering blood sugar. Not only that, but they can keep it lower for longer than one 30-minute session.

This is ideal if you’re one of those people who can never seem to find time to work out between everything else you’re juggling. You might have a busy schedule where half an hour seems to manage. But we’re pretty sure you have at least 15 minutes to spare.

Pressed for Time?

busy schedule quick squats [longevity live]

When you’re constantly juggling a busy schedule it can get more difficult to stay fit and healthy. It’s easy to make its way to the bottom of your list. It’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of rushing out the door first thing and then plonking into bed after a long day. Who wants to wake up and workout when you can stay in your warm bed right?

We know it gets very tricky fitting in exercise after long conferences and work meetings, but you’ve got to hit the gym for at least 20 minutes after work before even thinking of bed. We know  it’s touch, but your body will wake up.

You don’t have to exercise for long, just get something done.  You can try doing a short circuit with ten dumbbell presses, ten stability ball push-ups, ten dynamic Bosu ball push-ups, and then a 400-meter run. GQ recommends repeating that three times (with short breaks in between). That’s it. It won’t take you longer than 25 minutes and you can make it even shorter than that. This is why High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is so popular.

If you’ve got a busy schedule, then shorter intense workouts are optimal. The downside is the misconception that every short workout needs to be an insanely extreme level of exertion. This is not always true and your little workout can be as simple as ten minutes of stretching and five minutes of jump-rope. Just keep moving in some way or another, so that your body gets used to exercising more. Don’t think of movement as some crazy torturous exercise but rather a natural part of being human. We are born to move.

Don’t Live In A Fitness Box Mentality

As mentioned, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all and even with a busy schedule, you don’t need to limit yourself. There are many ways you can implement more exercise into your daily routine. Take the stairs, but pick up the pace and then slow it down again. Or maybe take a walk around the block slowly and speed it up later. You can even pick up the pace when you’re shopping down the aisles. This is your own kind of interval training.

Generally, people tend to think that the only way to get fit is to attend a boxing class, fancy gym or running club. Every aspect of your life determines your level of ‘fitness.’ If you sleep in for 30 minutes, you can squeeze in a quick 20-minute session and perhaps drink one less cup of coffee. Because you slept in, you might not feel so tired later in the day after your busy schedule. You will be able to make wiser choices with your snacks which will heighten the effectiveness of your workout and give you more energy. Diet is everything. Cycling classes and hot yoga sweat sessions are great, but they’re not the be-all and end-all. It’s your daily movement integrations that make the world of difference. Sitting on a bike in a room is not natural, it’s just something you might enjoy doing to help burn some calories.

A Busy Schedule Is Better With A Simple Lifestyle

Try your best not overcomplicate your life with unnecessary things. Just because people on Instagram are saying that you need to lift weights, run, do yoga, eat this and that, sleep more, stretch etc. Doesn’t mean that all these things to such an extent are going to be doable and sustainable for you. A busy schedule means making simple and smart choices.

This means that when you’ve got a busy schedule don’t try to overreach. There’s no point in setting unrealistic goals or trying to attend every class or attempt to exercise with a workout program designed for an athlete. You’ve got to train smarter, especially in the midst of stressful busy times. If you feel you can do more when you’re doing it, then go for it.

If not, stick to keeping things simple because this will keep you motivated to stick to it. Think of your fitness journey as a long hill climb, there will be some rocky patches but if you stop now you’ll never get to the top. Don’t let yourself go, keep pushing when times get tough. Be patient with yourself and remember your body is not a robot. With a busy schedule, you need to take care of your health physically, mentally and emotionally. Getting started whilst having a busy schedule is the hardest part but you can do it.

Thanks to GQ here are some amazing short and effective workouts to slot into your busy schedule. Most of them will only take about 15 to 20 -minutes of your day. If you can do this then you’re on your way to success.


  • Jump rope or jog in place — 1 minute
  • Dynamic leg swings — 16 reps (alternating legs)
  • Knee hugs — 16 reps (alternating legs)
  • Hip circles (on all fours/in a tabletop position) — 8 in each direction
  • Bird-dogs — 5 each side
  • Cat/cows — 5 reps

runners run busy schedule

1. Running Snack

Easy Option:

  • Run 200 meters
  • Walk for 30 seconds
  • Run 400 meters
  • Walk on an incline (1.5-4.0) for 1 minute
  • Repeat 3 times

Hard Option:

  • ‘Deadmill’ sprint for 15 seconds
  • Rest for 45 seconds
  • Repeat 4 times
  • Rest 2 minutes. Do 5 more reps.


  • Incline between 8.0 and 12.0, the speed at 8.0
  • Sprint for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 40 seconds
  • Repeat 4 times
  • Rest 2 minutes. Do 5 more reps.

2. Mobility Snack

  • Side-lying T-spine sweeps — 5 each side
  • Seated T-spine reaches (up, side, straight) —5 each way
  • Lying hip swivels — 10 reps
  • Walking inchworms — 8 reps
  • Spiderman pushup — 10 reps
  • Single-side elevated plank — 8 each way
  • Jump rope — 3 mins

3. Weights Snack

  • Deadlifts — 8 reps
  • Bent over rows — 8 reps
  • Renegade rows — 8 reps (alternating arms)
  • Mountain climbers — 30 secs
    (Repeat above four exercises)
  • Runner’s deadlifts — 8 reps
  • Side lunges — 8 reps
  • Shoulder presses — 8 reps (alternating arms)
  • High knees — 30 secs
    (Repeat above four exercises)

Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Make time for self-care and time for treats. Stressing over the little things only contributes more worry to your already stressful and busy schedule. When time is not on your side, start carving out small parts of the day for a sweat session by following these simple tips. Slowly your busy schedule will include some healthy habits that you can do any time and anywhere.

Hot yoga yogis, we’ve taken the time to shed some light on the sizzling hot power yoga classes you adore so much. Here’s what you can gain or risk in these classes. 


The Secret to Getting in Shape when you’re Busy? Make your Workouts Easier. GQ Magazine.

Creative Ways to Sneak Fitness into your Busy Schedule. Austin Fit Magazine.

Busy schedule? Try these 15 quick tips for staying fit and healthy. Single Care Blog.

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