6 ideas to help you exercise when you have no time

Lots of us would love to have an exercise routine built into our everyday lives, but feel like we just can’t find the time. This could be more about creating a new habit of scheduling time to exercise rather than genuinely not having any time.

See below for 6 ideas about how you can fit exercise into a busy schedule:

Make a mini habit 

If you are struggling to fit in any exercise at all, start off by just taking 10 minutes each day to work out. You will be amazed what a difference this makes and you can slowly build the duration up over time. The most important thing is to initially form the habit. Click here to read about the benefits of this approach.

Exercise without leaving the house

You don’t have to leave home to do a workout. Sometimes exercise takes much longer if you have to include getting somewhere and getting back home. SWORKIT is a great app that you can use to exercise in the comfort of your own home.


This app is perfect for people who want to exercise without going to the gym or even leaving the house. It allows you to choose from 4 different workouts, Strength, Cardio, Yoga and stretching. You choose how long you want to exercise for, then it gives you different exercises to follow, shows you via a video how to do them, and times 30 second time periods to undertake each one. If you only have 10 minutes to spare, and you want to workout, this app is the perfect solution. It takes the thinking away from you and explains exactly what you need to do and for how long.

Prioritise exercise over something else 

I’ve heard people say ‘I haven’t got time to exercise’, but then they sit down every evening to watch their favourite TV programme! You could consider replacing watching TV or any other habit with 30 mins of exercising, or even better, you can incorporate it in. Find exercise you can do in front of the TV, so you can enjoy your latest series and work out at the same time. Everyone’s a winner!

Get up earlier or stop snoozing

If you get up 20 minutes earlier, or get up as soon as your alarm goes off instead of snoozing, you could fit in 15 minutes of exercise without impacting anything else in your day. Try setting your alarm slightly earlier and see whether you can fit in exercise then. If you can’t even think about exercising in the morning, see if you can carry out other activities in the morning, leaving more time to exercise later on in the day.

Incorporate exercise into leisure activities

If you haven’t got lots of spare time at the weekends, you can incorporate your leisure activities into exercise, by choosing something that will work you out. You could try going for a hike or a long walk, if you live by the coast, you could go surfing, you could go for a swim, walking the dog, climbing, sailing etc… This makes it feel less like you are fitting exercise into your schedule and more that your schedule involves activities that will work you out.

Get organised

To ensure that you fit exercise into your routine, it may help to analyse when you will have time in your schedule to undertake this activity and allocate that time accordingly. If you just ‘see what happens’ during the day, you might well find it gets to the evening and you have run out of time. The more planned you are, the more likely it is that you will be able to schedule some time in for a workout.


I’d love to hear how you incorporate exercise into your busy schedules in the comments below.


  1. Bev Johnson April 2, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Am now using SWORKIT. Love the fact that you can do a mini workout when you have a spare 10 mins or so.


  2. Rachel Brown April 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi – another great blog post! I have wasted so much money on gym membership and then after an initial burst of enthusiasm I slowly stop going. I have found a brilliant YouTube channel called fitness blender. It is done by a girl and guy who have uploaded hundreds of different workouts that target all different areas of the body. You can also choose by how much time you have from 10 mins up to an hour. They are so down to earth and make the workouts really doable in your own home with no equipment needed. I would really recommend them to anyone looking to get started in that exercise habit.


    • Mel Johnson April 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

      Thanks for the recommendation Rachel. I’m definitely going to try Fitness Blender. It’s great to have a variety of options to mix it up a bit and get some variety.


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