Finding Time to Include Exercise in Your Routine

Easy Does It!Finding time for exercise is often the thing that falls to the bottom of your to-do list.  Am I right?

And yet, finding time for exercise and other kinds of self-care is what allows you to bring optimal energy, focus and creativity to all of your other tasks.  Self-care is not a luxury, it is a responsibility! How can you find time to work some exercise into your routine?

First, it is important to acknowledge to yourself, and communicate to others, that this is a priority.  In doing this you are articulating a commitment.  You are also laying the groundwork for setting time boundaries, should you need to.

Next, settle on a time of day that is best for you, along with a number of days per week that you plan to exercise.  While I generally encourage people to “start small” when initiating new tasks or activities, in this case I’d advise that you carve out as large a block of time as you can.  If you need to tweak your plan, it is easier to take away time than to add it, once you’ve established your schedule.

Third, I suggest that you track how the time goes, especially in the initial weeks, and make adjustments as necessary.  The ultimate goal is to have exercise become embedded in your routine; however,  it takes many repetitions for that to happen.

Finally – it is also important to have exercise in your routine even when you can’t make it to the gym or don’t have time for a run or bike ride.  This can be accomplished in any number of ways as you mindfully navigate your day, for example:

  • Walk to do errands when you can, don’t drive.
  • Take every opportunity to climb stairs – it’s great exercise.
  • Park far away from the store – rather than as close as possible.  Savor the walk.
  • Take breaks from desk work and get up and stretch or walk around.  Give yourself a break every hour or so.

Do you have other ways that you incorporate exercise into your daily routine?  I’d love to hear how you do it – please feel invited to drop me a line!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Hi Paula,

    I really love this post, especially as I’ve been re-igniting my relationship with exercise and finding time to build it in — you’d be proud of me.

    Our gym recently closed and my husband and I just joined a new gym a few weeks ago. I have to say it’s helped remotivate us — new equipment, new surrounding and new people can make all the difference. And you know what else? it seems like getting there has gotten much easier. We went yesterday and we’ve already booked time in to go today at 4. Making it a priority makes a big difference.

    When we can’t get there, we’ve gotten adept at walking a lot. Often up to 5 miles on the weekends to and from our favorite farmers’ market. How’s that for getting into a routine and feeling even better physically, as you mention?

    Thanks for the timely post!

  2. beingtotal says

    Hi Paula,

    I like this post also.

    I mow my own lawn, carry groceries instead of getting help, take extra trips up and down my stairs instead of being efficient when I do laundry, and meet friends for walks instead of coffee. I also take NIA classes. These classes are wonderful, combining healing arts with aerobic movement, expression, and energy & body awareness. The prepaid card expires if I don’t go, adding incentive to get my backside down there and move.


  3. Hi Wendy and Teresa – thanks so much for your comments and additional ideas.

    Teresa – what a great list of ideas! And I’m so curious – what does NIA stand for?

    And Wendy – I’ve been enjoying your posts about getting back on track on the exercise front. It sounds like having an exercise buddy is a big plus, too – adding fun, company, and some additional accountability.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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