How to Conquer the “No Time” Myth

busy street rush

When I was asked if I could write this blog post about not having enough time for exercise, my initial thought was, “I don’t have time for this.” Then I really read the request and realized I needed to make the time to do this. Why? Because helping people achieve their fitness goals is not only my business, but an integral part of who I am as a person. If I don’t (notice I said “don’t,” not “can’t”) find the time to complete this simple task, what kind of an example am I setting for my members?

We’ve all heard the saying: If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way; if you don’t want it bad enough, you’ll find an excuse. The most common excuse we all use now and then is “I don’t have enough time.” One of my favorite quotes about this topic is: “I don’t have time is the adult version of the dog ate my homework.” It’s a story we tell ourselves and others when we don’t really want to do something, or it’s just not high enough on our priority list. But what if it should be? Let’s take a look at some of the more common time-related excuses we use to avoid exercise, and how we can conquer them!

I have kids.

Back to school time is here, or very close. Take some of the time you spent with your kids during their summer break and spend it on YOU! Before you fill your less packed schedule with things that will not benefit you personally, set aside some of this time to get to the gym, take a walk, or exercise at home. If you schedule the time the same as you schedule everything else about your life, it will naturally become part of your day-to-day routine. Start small. Once it becomes a habit, you won’t want to miss a single workout because you’ve already experienced its rewards. Hiring a fitness coach or scheduling group sessions or buddy workouts are a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on getting to the gym, too. It’s an appointment, just like going to the doctor or any other professional.

I work full-time.

We all get the same 24 hours every day to use as we determine will be the most beneficial for us. Yes, most of us need to work to support ourselves and our families. But we also need to be healthy to maintain our jobs and provide for our families to the best of our ability. Healthy employees are proven to be more productive, and save themselves and their company health-related expenses. So what can you do to fight this constant struggle? Try instilling some healthier habits at work. And remember that all Anytime Fitness members have access to our free app, with many workouts like this one you can do from anywhere, with limited (to no) equipment. Time spent on making sure you are in the best physical shape you are capable of is like money in the bank in more ways than one.

I’m tired all the time.

It has been scientifically proven that regular exercise can increase your energy level. So make the time to exercise, and the energy will come. Instead of reaching for that afternoon coffee or energy drink, try a bit of exercise. You’ll be amazed at the results. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort your energy level will improve. Bonus: It’s all natural! As a side note to this, make sure you are drinking enough water. Dehydration also is proven to cause fatigue.

My gym closes before I can get there.

This is where Anytime Fitness really shines. You can literally pick your convenient time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (holidays included) at over 3,600 clubs worldwide. Once you join any Anytime Fitness club, the time excuse literally flies out the window. Find what works for you!

I can’t fit a two-hour exercise routine into my day.

There is some really good news on this topic: You don’t need to set aside two (or even one) hours every day for exercise. Studies show that 2.5 hours per week of moderate cardio exercise and 2 hours of strength training (again per week) are all that is necessary to improve your health. Given that there are 168 hours in every week, 4.5 hours is a little over 2% of your valuable time being spent making you a healthier, happier, more energetic person. There is no way to put a price tag on that.

Here are some short workouts to get you going and maximize your time:

The Bottom Line

So, that’s it. Do you really want to be healthier, or do you want to use time as an excuse to not exercise? As with every other part of your day, the choice about how to spend your time is entirely yours. Time is our most valuable commodity; spend it wisely!

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Bryan Forsing is an Elite Trainer and Anytime Fitness "Rebel" who owns the Anytime Fitness in Culpeper, Virginia. He is certified as a fitness trainer and specialist in fitness nutrition, senior fitness, and exercise therapy. Food (it's fuel first!), other members' success stories, and maintaining the best shape of his life while medication-free keeps him motivated and active every day.