When I speak with people about fitness, they usually have a couple reasons why they don’t workout. It usually has to do with not liking the gym, not knowing what they’re doing in the gym, and the most common answer is “I don’t have the time nor energy.” My main objection to this is:

1. If you have time to be on social media or watch Netflix, you can workout

2. If you’re feeling a little tired, working out is one of the best energizers

Sorry to break it to you but “not having enough time” is an EXCUSE. For instance, I’d like you to ask yourself a couple questions:

Do you value yourself? 

Do you care about how you treat your body? 

Are you really too busy to boost your health, lift your mood, prevent disease and increase your energy?

I bet those questions made you realize that exercising would greatly improve your life. Then again if those questions didn’t impact you, think about how much the people closest to you rely on your love, energy, and presence. Mismanaging your body is a disservice to them. Doing some form of exercise no matter how little it is, is always better than nothing. Start small if you need to and work your way up. You don’t need to workout for an hour to make it effective. Depending on what you’re doing, it’s not necessary to spend hours working out everyday.  I exercise 3-4 times a week for an hour no matter what. Although, what works for me may not work for you. Only you can make that decision.

Below are 7 ways you can fit fitness into your busy schedule:

1. Wake up earlier and exercise

Begin waking up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do. Set aside your workout gear the night before and go for a run before you start getting ready for work. I know this sounds insane to someone who doesn’t workout or isn’t a morning person, however I promise you this is guaranteed to enhance your day tremendously.

2. Workout out during your lunch hour

One of my co-workers spends his lunch break at the gym. He showers there and comes back to work. Talk about being effective and maximizing your time! Try going to the gym if there’s one close to your work. If not, go for a walk during lunch or take a workout class in the area. You’d be surprised what you can get done in an hour.

3. Do home workouts

Carve out time to do a home workout. Also, invest in a mat, weights, and resistance bands. Or whatever you need to get you moving. There are countless work-out apps like SWEAT, Fitplan, Sworkit etc. that provide guided workouts you can do on your own time wherever you like. SWEAT is my personal favorite of them all, but they are all great.

4. Start a fitness challenge with friends 

Going to the gym with friends is always exciting and encouraging. Fun fact: before my boyfriend and I started dating we went to the gym together every week. Going consistently with him was fun, and it helped me develop a routine and get comfortable exercising in the gym.

If you can’t find a friend who can accommodate your schedule, try doing a fitness challenges with them. My boyfriend and I did a plank challenge for a couple weeks and we posted our plank times on our Instagram stories. People loved engaging with us and it was fun competing with him, it motivated me to push myself. Some good competition is guaranteed to get you moving.

5. Schedule workouts like a meeting 

Commit to your workout like you would a work meeting. If your friend invites you to happy hour and you know there is no other day you can shift your workout to, then you decline the offer. Instead you head to the gym because you have a scheduled meeting you can’t miss. It may sound dramatic, however this discipline will pay off tremendously in your overall life.

6. Attend free fitness classes 

If you’re looking for a group workout and money is a factor, you have still have no excuse. There are plenty of free workout classes in all cities, look for free classes on Eventbrite. For NYC residents in particular, the NYC Parks Department provides free fitness classes at recreational centers across the five boroughs. One free class I recommend is Big Al’s Boot Camp, taking place Tuesday evenings, it’s a high-intensity workout including circuits that get your heart pumping while sculpting and toning your body, and moving to good music. You can register here.

7. Track your progress

Logging my food and exercise on the MyFitnessPal app helped me stay motivated when I first started working out. Watching my progress made me want to keep succeeding to reach my goal body.

As a bonus, below are some of my favorite IG fitness accounts to follow for inspiration and fun workouts:

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below!