By Katie Rosenbrock

When it comes to fitting exercise in our lives, a busy schedule may be one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome. It’s not that your health isn’t important to you or that you seriously hate working out (OK well, maybe some of us do), it simply just comes down to the fact that your time is extremely limited.

So, for those of us who don’t have the leisure of spending hours upon hours at the gym, it’s important that we use the time that we do have wisely; even if it’s just 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Any amount of activity, no matter how little, is always better than choosing to do nothing at all.

Of course, when you do only have a little bit of time to spare, you want to make sure that you’re using it wisely. Maybe you've been trying your best to squeeze workouts in when you can, which is great, but you’re not seeing the results you’re aiming for.

Or maybe you really just can’t figure out how the heck you can fit a trip to the gym into your schedule at all.
Whatever the case, these tips can help solve your time-crunch quandaries and teach you how to make the most of your precious exercise time.

Making Most Of Your Time At Gym


Be prepared

If you're not organized and armed with a plan, getting to and from the gym can add a significant amount of time to your exercise endeavor. Cut down on transition time by making sure your gym bag is packed and ready to go at night before you head to sleep; this way you can throw it in your car and head straight to the gym whenever it’s most convenient for you. Be sure to also pack anything you’ll need for after the gym so you can head straight to the next engagement without having to stop back home.


Make a plan

Aside from packing your bag, part of preparing for the gym also involves planning your workouts. When you walk through those gym doors you should already know exactly what your workout will entail. Avoid wandering around the gym while deciding what exercise to do next. Not only does it waste time, but it makes for an extremely ineffective workout.


Turn off your phone

OK, you don't need to shut it down completely. But avoid being distracted by messages, emails and social media by turning on the ‘do not disturb’ mode and focusing only on your workout during the time you spend at the gym. Not only will your workouts become more effective, but you’ll save lots of time, too.


Increase intensity

When you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, one way to make your workouts more effective is by increasing intensity. You’ll burn more calories in less time and reap more fitness benefits like increased strength and endurance, too.


Be friendly, but frank

Every gym has its resident Chatty Cathy, and from time to time you'll probably bump into a few friends or acquaintances while you’re there, too. Of course, you don’t want to be rude so you can smile and say hi, but politely reminding your talkative pals that you’re on a mission to focus on finishing your workout will help you cut down on excess gym time.


Exercise alternatives

Going in with a plan is important, but if it happens that a machine you were going to use is taken or you can’t find the piece of equipment you wanted to use, you’ll save lots of time by choosing an alternative exercise.


Relax a little

Yes, you want accomplish as much as possible in what little amount of time you have, but that doesn’t mean your workout should feel rushed and hurried. Remember to focus on the enjoyment of exercise; stress is associated with negative health effects, so try not worry too much about cramming your workout in and take a few minutes to warm-up, cool down, stretch and focus on your breath.

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