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Fitting In Fitness

Fitting In Fitness
December 18, 2020 Michael Harlow

There is no arguing with the immense benefits of fitness in our lives.  Some of these benefits include better mental and physical health, increased productivity, and simply being able to enjoy more of life through having the fitness to go on a hike or wrestle with your kids.  Though we all recognize the importance of fitness, it can be hard to fit it into our busy lives.  Trust me, I understand.  With 7 kids, being the leader of 2 organizations, and wanting to have time to serve others, fitting in my fitness goals can be a challenge.

Before I get into how to fit fitness into the busiest of lives, I want to go over the first step which is understanding your priorities.  What are the important things in your life right now?  This could include a new relationship, family, career, church, a service project, or something else.  Where does fitness rank within these priorities?  If it is a busy time at work or you are raising small kids, fitness might need to play second fiddle to these important roles.  At other times in your life, fitness might take one of the top priorities.  The point is that fitness should always play some role but that what role should change with your priorities.  Knowing these priorities is the first step.  One of my favorite phrases which I learned from pastor Andy Stanley is “not now, but not forever.”  For endurance athletes, this might mean saying no to the Ironman or marathon this year but still doing plenty of shorter races.  It could also mean that this is the perfect year to do an Ironman after analyzing your priorities.

With that decided, here are my top 10 tips for fitting fitness into the busiest of schedules:

  1. Make the Commitment – Pick a goal and then commit to it by telling at least one other person you are going to achieve it.
  2. Recognize Free Time is a Choice – You ultimately choose what your schedule is. Don’t live life letting other people control it.  Make decisions based on your priorities and find the time.
  3. Workout with Friends or a Group – You are much more likely to get a workout in if you are meeting others. If this is not possible, make an appointment with yourself anyway!
  4. Be an Early Bird – Get your workout in first thing before hundred things pull you away from it.
  5. Involve Family – Involve others, especially your family, in your workouts. Ask a child to ride their bike alongside you when you run or have a family push-up competition.
  6. Be a Contortionist – Look for small windows of opportunity in your schedule and take advantage of them by fitting a workout in.
  7. Be Creative – Get your workouts in while watching TV, doing chores, family activities, or commute to work.
  8. Increase Intensity – Short on time? Increase intensity to get more done in less time.
  9. Don’t Overcomplicate – See what you can get in with the least equipment and time possible.
  10. Make It Fun – Choose variety, make it social, and do what you love.

You got this!!


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