Oh No! I’m Too Busy to Exercise?

Here’s why you should continue to exercise—even if it’s for a few minutes every day.

Green dumbbells and sneakers next to a blank exercise calendar.

Have you considered what happens to your body when you stop exercising? At first, you may feel a bit more sluggish than usual, have trouble waking up and staying awake, and even have a few spurts of depression. The effects of straying away from your workouts can further impact your body’s overall functions.

Starting just a few days after stopping physical activity, your body begins sending less oxygen to your muscles, which decreases your energy levels and increases fat cells. You also may experience symptoms like higher blood pressure, unhealthy blood sugar levels, muscle loss, weight gain, weakened bones, and difficulty sleeping.

By not exercising, you’re increasing your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers. You may even find that as you’ve gotten older, you’ve become less active than you used to be. If you’re aren’t careful, you may create an unhealthy habit of not exercising, which can make it harder to get back into your old routines.

It’s recommended that adults get 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise and two days of muscle-strengthening per week to be healthy. If you have certain conditions and limitations, talking to your healthcare provider about exercise regimes that aren’t overly strenuous will not only help you remain active but keep you safe from injury.

When you’re busy, it can be difficult to imagine fitting in a whole workout or even a walk around the block. You may even disregard the thought, telling yourself “you’ll get to it when you have time.”

Unfortunately, finally having the time to exercise isn’t in the cards for everyone. Working within your hectic schedule may be the only way to enjoy the benefits of routine exercise.

Here are five ways to ensure physical activity remains a priority:

Commit to a fitness class

When you have a specific time set aside on your schedule for an activity, you’re more likely to keep that appointment each week. That’s why fitness classes are a great way to commit to a workout. Group exercises classes are also linked to increased motivation when it comes to maintaining a regular workout plan.

Utilize online workouts

If part of your problem with setting aside time to work out involves a lack of a gym membership or not being able to leave your kids unattended, invest in some at-home gym equipment and head online.

There are many fitness apps and free workouts available to make fitness a breeze to do from the comfort of your living room. Some even allow you to filter by class length. If you only have 20 minutes or less in the morning to squeeze in a workout before work, you can find full-body and targeted workouts that match your desired length.

Keep your workout clothes with you

You aren’t alone if your excitement for working out begins to wane as you go on the hunt for your workout attire. By having your clothes and shoes handy—whether that be in your car, at your desk, or folded neatly on your dresser, you can quickly change without giving them a second thought.

This way, you don’t have an excuse not to stop by the office or local gym, take a brisk power walk, jog, or bike ride when you finally have some downtime that you can maximize.


It’s not recommended that multitasking is best for every situation. However, when it comes to exercise, you can multitask to a certain extent. For example, it can be hard to make time for reading your favorite books, studying for school, or watching your go-to streaming service. Thankfully, with a pair of headphones, you can listen to audiobooks, lectures, podcasts, etc. while doing an efficient workout.

Have your kids join you

If your little ones are keeping you from getting your heart pumping (apart from the regular stress of parenting), don’t be afraid to get them involved with your exercise schedule. Go on a bike ride or a run together. Or you can look into utilizing childcare at your gym and allow them to play. Not only will you be able to get a workout in, but you’ll be setting a good example for your kids that exercising is important to keep your body happy and healthy.

Related: The Best Time of Day to Work Out

No matter how busy your schedule is, there is always time to work out—even if it happens to be a quick walk around the block or starting an online class. Consider what changes you can make to your schedule and what ways you can get creative to stick to a fitness plan that meets your needs.

Related: Effective Ways To Workout At Work—Part 1

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