27 Jul The Best Way To Stay Fit When You’re Busy

covey schedule your priorities quoteLast week, we celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday with a surprise party. Over 60 guests attended, and there were many who I hadn’t seen since I was in high school about 20 years ago. Outside of “How’s your family? and “Where do you work?” I was asked another question more than any other, and essentially it was, “How do you stay so fit with a young family and a demanding career?”

As I was driving home later that evening, I started to think about the question.  I thought about the busy people I know who also stay fit.  I was asking myself, “How do busy people still manage to stay fit?”

Some of them wear fitness trackers, but not all. When I wear a fitness tracker, I over-train. Some people are “young,” but not all. Some people receive discounts at health clubs through their employer or their insurance providers, but not all. Some of them even train for marathons or triathlons, but not all. I admit, when I train for competitions, I start dreading my workouts. Some people have jobs that include movement all day, but not all. Some fit people that I know take the stairs instead of the elevators, but not all. Some of them always eat healthy, but not all. Some play volleyball or basketball or another team sport, but not all. When I play sports, I get hurt.

Can you relate?

Then, I asked the question with respect to myself, “What do I do to stay fit when I’m so busy?” After my 90 minute drive, I finally came to the conclusion that I’m committed to one habit that has made the most positive impact on my fitness: I make fitness a part of my day by consistently scheduling it in my calendar. This habit continually reinforces and strengthens my consistency in maintaining fitness.

Think about it. When you want to do something, what is the first thing that you do? You schedule it! For me, I schedule fitness in my calendar just like I schedule a meeting with a colleague, driving my kids to school, working on a big project at work, going to a dentist appointment, or taking a vacation.

I’ve come to the realization that all of the fit and busy people who I know do the same thing. They schedule exercise as a huge priority along with their other huge priorities. To them, time for fitness is a necessity, not a luxury. Do you think these fit, busy people want to workout 5-6 days a week? Probably not. There are days when they are not feeling their best or are even exhausted. They exercise because they receive the daily rewards of feeling happier, healthier, and more productive in every area of life.

Click to Tweet: Build a life where you can get work done and stay healthy at the same time. @derekdeprey #movetolivewell

Do you ever ask yourself, “How can I be fit when I’m so busy?” If so, here are 10 tips to help you get or stay fit when you’re busy…

  1. Plan your week every Sunday. Schedule 5 workouts per week and don’t cancel these appointments. This is the keystone habit that will make the biggest impact.
  2. Stop allowing work to get in the way every day. Make exercise a part of your job description.
  3. Say no to something. Cut your social media browsing in half.
  4. Just move. Start with 15 minutes per workout. Stretch when you wake up.
  5. Combine priorities. Schedule a walking meeting with a colleague, stand during calls, or sit on an exercise ball at your desk.
  6. Pack your gym clothes the night before. Check out my previous post: Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
  7. Allow time to change and shower. Create a cushion.
  8. Do what you love. Check out my previous post: Find Your Fit
  9. Listen to your body. Don’t over-train.
  10. Remember your why. Play with your kids, move things for your spouse at any time, or effortlessly run a 5k at any time.


Busy people can be fit. You can be fit too. Now, what are you going to do about it?

ACTION: Right now, schedule your workouts for the next week. Work up to scheduling a month’s worth of YOU appointments. Show up for these fitness appointments with the same commitment that you would show up for your work appointments.

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