• Dr Sally Norton


We all know that staying active through regular exercise is an essential way to keep our bodies as healthy as possible, but trying to fit exercise into your already busy day can often seem near enough impossible. Between juggling work, family-life and socialising with friends, there’s not always much time left over to focus on staying active…

But, instead of simply shrugging exercise off as something you just don’t have time for, learn how you can keep your fitness in check with five simple stay fit tips for busy people.

1. Actually, properly, genuinely make exercise a priority!

The problem with exercise is that we don’t always see it as an essential part of our day, in the same way that we might see things like picking up kids up from school, or getting to work on time. Yes, of course those things are very important, but by seeing exercise as something that isn’t essential to our day, it becomes pretty easy to find an excuse to ditch it. But the fact is that exercise is important. So instead of seeing it as an optional extra, we should see working out as something that is vital to keeping us healthy. Book it in! That way, we won’t just drop it at the first opportunity; instead, we’ll do our best to find the time, the energy, and the ways to fit it in.

2. Find a workout that works for you​​

Take a look at your lifestyle, likes and dislikes and find a workout that is going to work best for you – something that you’ll be able to find the time for, and that you’ll actually enjoy doing! Because if you don't enjoy it, you just ain't going to keep it up - let's be honest!

If you don’t have much time to head to a gym, then find a workout form that you can do at home, or even at work on your lunch break. If you tend to get bored quickly, then high-intensity interval training is great for providing maximum impact in minimal time. If you find more enjoyment in working out outdoors, then focus on activities like running, hiking, or other outdoor activities. There are so many options available – you just need to find something you enjoy, and working out will end up being something you actually look forward to!

3. Be prepared

​​When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, every minute counts, so make sure that when you want to exercise, you’re fully prepared. It could be as simple as keeping your workout clothes at the bottom of your bed, ready to chuck on for a morning workout, or having a pair of trainers at work ready for a lunchtime walk. Think about your pre and post-workout routines and how you can use your time as efficiently as possible. Being prepared means you are less likely to cave into excuses not to do it.

4. A few minutes is better than nothing​​

Last minute plans leaving you with no time to head to your usual gym class? Remember, you don’t need an hour, or even half an hour to get a bit of exercise into your day. Some exercise is better than none and even just a few minutes can make a difference. No matter how busy you are, we can always find a few spare minutes to get our heart rate up and blood pumping. It may be as simple as pushing yourself up a few flights of stairs in a spare 5 minutes at work. Or some strength exercises - squats, bicep curls - whilst waiting for the kettle to boil! So squeeze in whatever time you can find and it’ll make all the difference when it comes to your health.

5. Make it a part of your day​​

Busy with meetings at work? Use it as an excuse to get some fitness into your day. Get your colleagues together and brainstorm on the go – I guarantee you’ll feel all the more energised and positive just for getting out of the office for half an hour – and it’ll even help those productivity levels. Are you a commuter? Use your daily journey to work as a chance to inject some fitness into your day – ditch the car and cycle to work, or park a little further away and walk in. Meeting up with friends? Combine your socialising with some exercise and head out for an afternoon hike, or to a gym class together.

Making exercise a part of your day means you don’t need to ‘make time’ for it – and it’s more likely to become a long-term, habit that will help you to keep your body as healthy as it can be.