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No time? No problem. You WILL exercise in 2014, Part 1

You can make time for fitness
You can make time for fitness
Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images for Reebok

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to get fit, or at least fitter, in 2014? If so, you may be having a hard time figuring out how to “fit” fitness into your schedule. That’s why so many people put off exercise. It’s not that they don’t want to lose weight or be healthier; rather, it’s because they can’t seem to make the time. Well, if that’s the case, don’t worry. Throughout this week, you’ll find solutions to this very common problem, and we’re going to start with baby steps. Here are some ways to get in a quick workout, no matter how busy you are.

Start on the couch. Yep, you read that correctly. Sit down on the couch, or at your desk, take a few minutes, and look over your weekly schedule. Chances are, you’ll find a few spots for squeezing in a workout.

Be honest with yourself. Can you find 30 minutes a day? An hour? Don’t worry if you can’t fit it all in at once. Breaking your workouts into smaller, more manageable chunks is better than doing nothing at all. This is especially helpful if you don’t have access to a shower during the day. You won’t get too sweaty walking around the neighborhood of your office for 15 minutes after lunch, and you can still look great during your client meeting. (Just don’t forget to bring tennis shoes.) Does your child have sports practice or a music lesson? Don’t just sit there contemplating your next Words With Friends move. Take advantage of this time and move.

Make yourself a priority. You may need to do a little rearranging, or make a tradeoff here and there, but it’s worth it to establish a routine. Put your workouts on your schedule so you’ll have no excuse for skipping them. This is an appointment with yourself, and an investment in your healthy future. Don’t bail. You’re worth the time.

Next, move to the phone. Is there someone who would be willing to meet you at the gym or take a hike with you? Call or text them right now and set it up. You’re less likely to blow off a workout if you know someone is waiting for you. Maybe your workout buddy can’t be there due to scheduling conflicts, but you can still check in with and encourage each other when you need to fly solo.

Is there an app for that? Of course there is. Even if you have a reliable workout partner, you may like the added incentive of logging your workouts with an app like Lose It, My Fitness Pal, Nike Training Club, Fitter, Gorilla Workout, or one of many, many others. Spend a few minutes browsing apps to see what fits your lifestyle. Many have a free version.

Get your supplies in order. Do you need new running shoes? How about a sports bra, water bottle, or some other equipment? While you don’t want to use this as an excuse for putting off workouts, you do want to ensure that you’re properly equipped before you begin. Using old, worn out shoes will not just hurt your feet. They can lead to joint problems that can keep you from exercising. Make the investment now and set yourself up for success.

Now you’re ready. Getting yourself organized is the first step to any successful fitness program. Once these details are taken care of, you can confidently begin.

So, with everything else in place, why don’t you kick things off with a quick, do anywhere, no equipment workout? Here’s one to get your started. Come back this week for more workout options.

Limber up by stretching your legs and arms for 3 minutes.

March in place for 2 minutes to get your heart rate going.

Repeat this cycle 3 times:

Jumping jacks for 1 minute

Alternating lunges for 1 minute

Squats for 1 minute

Pushups for 1 minute

Crunches for 1 minute

Walk for 5 minutes

That’s it. And it only takes 25 minutes. You can even do it while watching your favorite sitcom or while you’re waiting for dinner to come out of the oven. Be sure to drink plenty of water as you go. Now, that wasn't too tough, was it? Be sure to visit this column throughout the week for more ways to work fitness into your schedule.

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