5 ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule

Published 12:05 pm Monday, March 9, 2015

fitness photo

Staying Active by Kathy Johnson

Family, work, household and community commitments. Among all of the responsibilities you might have, exercise often is the last thing on your mind. But, even busy people can find time for fitness with a little creativity. 

Email newsletter signup


1. Park your car farther away.

Whether it be the grocery store, work or even the gym, park as far away as possible. It will give you a chance to take in some fresh air and enjoy a brisk walk. Every additional step throughout your day will add up, keeping you active and healthy.


2. Work fitness into your workday. At work, walk to someone’s office or desk instead of emailing or calling. Every little step will add up quickly. Take a brisk walk during your break or lunch. Have co-workers join you and make it bonding time. You will be supporting someone else getting active and healthy. Also trade your super comfy chair in for a stability ball. Stability balls force you to sit up straight and are a wonderful way to work your core muscles. Another idea for staying active at work is doing lunges or squats at the water cooler. Multi-tasking every chance you get is the key for staying active and fit in your busy life.


3. Do some chores at home.Shoveling snow, cleaning the house and working in the garden are all great activities to keep you moving. These are not vigorous activities, but they will keep you moving while getting your yard and house in order. Help a neighbor or an elderly person with their chores. Remember to make every activity fun and not a chore. Even 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in your day will help keep you healthy and strong.


4. Play with your kids or dogs outside. Be a good example for your kids and family by being active with them. Join them playing outside, running, jumping and just having fun. Walking your pet is a wonderful way to stay active and keeping your best friend healthy, too. If you don’t have a dog, volunteer at your local shelter and walk the dogs that are there. You will feel great knowing you are doing positive things for the community and getting fit at the same time.


5. Keep it short and simple by taking a tabata or high-intensity interval training class at your local gym.

These quick, short and intense workouts take only minutes to do, yet you will reap great rewards from them. A tabata workout is working as intensely as you can for 20 seconds and then resting or recovering for 10 seconds. Repeat this eight times for a total of only 4 minutes. Choose a simple, but intense, movement or workout to get the best results. Jumping jacks, jumping lunges and squat jumps are all great ideas for this type of workout.


Whatever way you choose to stay active and healthy, make sure you have fun with it.


Kathy Johnson is the creative director for Albert Lea magazine and the Albert Lea Tribune. During her spare time she is a  group fitness instructor at the Albert Lea Family Y.