We’re all busy.

It’s kind of a fact of life these days. Between kids, jobs, spouses, parents (in some cases), houses, bills, kid activities, church, community activities—the list could go on and on—it’s really hard to find time to exercise. But just because we’re all busy, our workouts don’t have to become non-existent. And since we get such great physical and mental returns on any time invested in exercising, it’s so important that we make it a priority amongst all our other priorities.

Here are some ideas to help you cross “Exercise” off your daily to-do list:

Prepare the night before. Set out your clothes, shoes, water bottle, or anything else you’ll need. If you’re going to the gym, make sure there’s gas in the car. Preparation alleviates a lot of potential “reasons” for not working out.
Wear your workout clothes (except to work, of course). I put on my workout clothes first thing in the morning because it not only reminds me to exercise, but on those crazy busy days I’m ready to take advantage of every free minute to do a little something. Even a few minutes here and there throughout the day can add up to some great workout time: run up and down the stairs, do walking lunges, walk instead of drive, throw in a few pushups or burpees, do squats while you’re on the phone, do crunches while you tickle your baby’s toes…get creative!
• Don’t get stuck in a rut by doing the same thing over and over again—try something new. Variety results in not only stronger muscles (and more calories burned), but a more enjoyable workout too!
Plan. Have a plan A. And a plan B. And some days you might even need a plan Z. Make a list of workouts so when you’re in a time crunch, you don’t have to think about what to do.
Be flexible. Constant change is the name of the game at our house. In fact, often the only constant in our life is change. Do the best you can, when you can, and give yourself a pat on the back for doing so.
Reward yourself. Hey, it works for kids, so why not for us too? Instead of a chore chart, make an exercise chart. You can even use some cute stickers. ☺ And make the reward so fabulous you’ll want to exercise regularly to earn it!
Trade with a spouse or friend. Not only will you get your workout in, but you’ll be helping someone else do the same.
Include the kids. Jump rope, play ball, run around the block, play hopscotch, teach them your favorite exercises, and have them do the same for you. For infants and toddlers, put them in the stroller and let them become part of your workout, or even extra weight to lift! Be an example of the importance of exercise.

When you make the time to exercise regularly, you’ll be happier—and more productive—in all the areas of your life.

I promise! ☺