For many young adults, finding time for regular exercise can be challenging. After all, college and work tend to be pretty time-consuming. But even if your schedule is extremely busy, don't skip exercising!
Exercising will make you physically healthier, reduce your risk of illnesses, improve your mood and give you more energy to conquer your busy schedule. Here are some strategies to fit exercise into your day:
- Use short breaks in your day, such as an hour between classes or meetings, to go to the gym or take a walk.
- Make your commute more active. If possible, ride your bike, walk or even jog to your next destination. Few people care if you show up sweaty to class, and many work places have showers for their employees.
- Exercise first thing in the morning. Plan on waking up a little earlier and heading to the gym or going for a run. Once this becomes part of your routine, you'll look forward to how good you’ll feel after exercising.
- Exercise at the end of your day before returning home. After a long day of work or class, some people find it hard to go out again after going home. Prevent this problem by going straight to the gym after school or work.
- Exercise with your friends. Going on a hike, walking around a park, lifting weights together, throwing a frisbee, or checking out a rock climbing gym are all fun, active ways to connect with your social group.
- Make social time active. When you and your friend go for your weekly coffee, suggest taking a walk with your drink instead of sitting at the cafe for an hour.
- Take a class. Many colleges and community centers offer PE classes or other physical activity courses. Pilates, kickboxing, tennis and yoga are all common options. Many classes only meet once or twice a week for one to two hours, so they won't take up a huge portion of your time. Plus, committing to a class can increase your motivation, especially if the instructor takes attendance.
- Get work done while working out. If you need to do some reading, try multitasking and read while using a treadmill or elliptical.
- Take your phone calls while you walk. Instead of sitting on the couch while you catch up with friends and family over the phone, make it a habit to walk while you talk.
- Join a sports team. Admittedly, this takes a bit more time than other options. But, if you're looking to find new friends, this is a great way to meet people you already have something in common with.
As important as it is to stay active, it's also crucial to find a healthy balance of work, play and exercise. Try some of these strategies and see what works for you.
Reviewed by: Matthew Ryan, MAed, ATC, PTA
Last reviewed: August 2019