10 Tricks to Fit in That Workout

Excuse-proof your workout without breaking a sweat. (It's that easy.)
Published January 30, 2017


Isn't it funny that the moment you decide to exercise, something always gets in the way? Mom stops by. That report is suddenly urgent. The dog ate your running shoes. Legit or not, these "reasons" can snowball into days or weeks full of excuses to not exercise. Try these easy ways to make fitness an excuse-proof part of your day.

Find fitness that fits your life. If you work irregular hours, don't sign up for classes that start at the same time each week. Instead, choose activities that can be easily slotted into your day: Walk the kids to school or run errands on foot during your lunch hour.

Draw up a weekly timetable. To help you organize your time properly, create a weekly calendar of planned exercise and activities. This will also help you see how much activity you're getting. Try to do something for at least 20 or 30 minutes each day, even if it's just yard work or going on a brisk walk around the neighbourhood.

Attach exercise to a treat. Give yourself a non-food reward for scheduling in fitness. Buy flowers once a week for completing all of the workouts you scheduled. You can also attach exercise to an enjoyable event, such as playing with your kids in the park or catching up with a friend on a walk.

Get everyone else on board. Make sure your family and friends know when and where you plan to exercise. This way you shouldn't get any unwelcome interruptions. If you need someone to watch the kids while you exercise, make sure you arrange this well in advance; don't rely on last-minute favours.

Anticipate motivational dips. Everyone struggles with motivation from time to time, preparing for these feelings can go a long way to combating them. For instance, if you sometimes struggle to go to your aerobics class, get a friend to call you to make sure you're not still sitting on the sofa.

Avoid danger zones. Many things can distract even the most hardened of exercisers: your favourite TV show, the lure of a night on the town with friends, or a neighbour popping in for an impromptu chat. Learn to recognize your particular "danger zones" and take steps to negotiate your way around them.

Buy workout clothing you're excited to wear. Shop for well-designed, flattering, and supportive gym clothes; you'll be more motivated to work out.

Have a specially designated drawer for fitness gear. When you're in hurry, the last thing you want is to be hunting around for your yoga pants. Keep all your exercise clothes in a special drawer so you can find them quickly.

Leave your gym bag by the door. Leaving your gym bag by the door serves two purposes: you always know where it is; and it serves as a gentle reminder that an exercise session might be due.

Put your gym clothes straight into the wash. As soon as you get back from the gym or pool, wash your dirty clothes. Nothing is guaranteed to put you off exercising more than having to rummage around in the laundry basket for the least-funky pair of gym socks!