Five Effective Ways to Sneak in a Workout

Five Effective Ways to Sneak in a Workout

As a parent, finding time to exercise can be a challenge. Often, we know what we have to do to get healthy but don’t know how to allocate the time into our busy schedules. Fortunately, it is simpler than you might think.

Here are five effective ways to sneak in a workout, while working toward building a consistent exercise routine.

Use the Dose Effect to Your Advantage

You may have heard recommendations for minimum exercise targets before, which usually encourage you to aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This number is fairly arbitrary, as many will opt to work for one hour three or four times a week. The point is to get moving.

What isn’t mentioned is the dose effect of exercise. The more you exercise, the more effective the results (up to a certain point). The dose effect also gives truth to the idea that something is better than nothing.

What does this mean for you? It means you shouldn’t feel bad if your day progresses and your 30-minute window of opportunity shrinks. Find some time in your day, even ten minutes, to get moving. If you have less time available, increase the intensity during a short workout.

There’s an App for That

There are various free apps available that offer programming, flexibility, and convenience. Using one of these can help you save time planning workouts when you get to the gym or adapt when you are stuck at home with no equipment.

Nike+ Training Club is a free app that provides exercises for strength, mobility, and endurance. They can be filtered by equipment available, intensity level, time available, and experience level. You can also create a customized training plan based on your goals.

The J&J Official 7 Minute Workout app is designed to capitalize on the exercise dose effect. This is the perfect app to use before your morning shower, without having to get up too earlier than you do now. Like Nike+ Training Club, 7 Minute Workout also allows you to filter by intensity level and experience. Since the workouts are so short, you can choose to double up if time (and endurance) allows.

Yoga, running, core-centric exercises; the app options are endless. Take some time to peruse your options and find what works best for you.

Find Something You Love

In the battle to get things done, dedication trumps motivation. Motivation comes and goes, depending on what is happening in our lives. Dedication, on the other hand, is a constant. By finding a form of exercise you truly love, you’ll be more willing to make time to fit it into your schedule.

Be open-minded when trying things out. If you try something new and dislike it, stop and try something else. You’ve lost nothing and narrowed down the options in pursuit of your goal.

Also Read: What are the best home gyms?

Take a Class

Some people need a certain amount of flexibility to be able to sneak in a workout. Others need a sense of accountability. Enrolling in a class requires a financial commitment, expectation from others, and an appointment-like time commitment that encourages attendance.

Classes are available for almost any type of exercise you can imagine, many of which offer a free trial. If your time is limited, seek out a short class in your area. Classes like 30 Minute Hit, a popular choice in the Women’s fitness Vancouver circuit, offers a kickboxing class that can be completed on a lunch break. See what your local gym has to offer, and consider looking into privately-owned fitness businesses for more variety.

Involve the Whole Family

If you don’t have time to fit in a structured exercise class or at home workout, consider involving the whole household in an activity. Getting outside for a walk, hike, swim, or going coasting are just a few of the endless family activities that will get your heart rate up.

If you’re at a loss for family activities, think outside the box. Create an obstacle course in your yard or start a scavenger hunt. Scroll through the plethora of inspiration on the internet and put a plan into action.

Get Moving

When it comes to exercise, don’t overthink it. Do what you can, when you can, and you’ll be on the right track. Don’t become bogged down by the pros on social media who seem to be able to juggle work, a family, and a six-pack. Contrary to what the internet says, that is the exception, not the norm. At the end of the day, remember to try your best and cut yourself some slack!


  1. Cynthia R says

    Youtube is a great resource, free videos, often 5 to 10 minute long showing you yoga routines or pilates routines. Also if I’m standing around waiting for something, like in line at a store or waiting on the microwave- I’ll often do calf lifts or squats just to be doing something.

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