“I don’t have time to work out” – Let’s fix it!

I’m kind of the office freak.  I’m tall, thin.  I eat green things.  I sometimes pack workout clothes, and then head out around 4pm for a run.  Often a coworker will look at me in disbelief or disgust, and say something like, “I don’t know how you do it!  I don’t have the energy.  I just don’t have the time to work out.”

That line of…interrogation sometimes irritates me.  Usually it’s said with some judgement.  Some disbelief.  A little bit of mean.  And there’s this assumption that I just am some kid with oodles of time and that it’s easy for me to find the time to work out.  I get it.  I don’t have kids.  I’m young.  So maybe people assume that I’m just an idiot.

Well, fun fact.  I work my day job.  I also have jobs at 3 or 4 gyms where I teach classes.  I work at Fleet Feet Raleigh when they need.  And I blog.  Like a decent amount.  So I’m not just some idiot with time and time and time on my hands, I do actually have to work to sneak my workouts in.  And trust me, these days it’s always a sneak.

But if you’re interested in figuring out how in God’s name you’re gonna make some time to work out, allow me to at least offer you a couple of suggestions for good ways to sneak in the time for physical activity that we all need to maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart, and healthy mind.

work out


  • Are you a grad/college student?  Got a break between classes?  Even if it’s like only a 40 minute break, use that time to put on some running shoes, and walk/run.  A lot of times on Tuesdays my second year in graduate school, the only way I could ever get a workout in was to run between my second and third classes.  A lot of times it meant that I got to my last class sort of sweaty, but honestly, I probably wasn’t going to show up to that class looking cute anyways so it all worked out.
  • If you’re into this, wake up early.  I truly hate to wake up early.  I do it two or three times a week now for a Body Pump/Body Attack class, and the waking up part of it is literally the worst thing ever.  I’m miserable when I first wake up, but I’m a happy gal by the end of it.
  • If you’re not an early bird, pack your workout stuff with you, and sneak out of the office when you can.  In my office, typically around 4 pm I can sneak out without anyone asking me too many questions.  I can come back, finish some work, and generally, no one asks me a question.
  • If you’ve missed the early morning, and you didn’t pack your workout clothes, do something after work.  For me, sometimes that means a run.  Sometimes a class.  Sometimes it means getting on my bike for a few miles and cranking it out.  But it makes me feel good, and as Austin says, it’ makes my dinner taste better 🙂
  • For the ladies with the kids, I understand how tricky this can be.  I honestly commend you for what you do.  And I’m not a mom, so I don’t want to overstep my bounds and give crazy suggestions, so I’m opening this part up to the moms – Mamas, how can you sneak your workouts in and keep yourself healthy and sane?  I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

So moms, kids like me – how do you sneak in your workouts? 

9 thoughts on ““I don’t have time to work out” – Let’s fix it!

  1. Sometimes when someone says, “I just don’t have time to ___,” I really have to bite my tongue so I don’t say, “So you mean ___ isn’t a priority for you, right?” There are only extraordinary circumstances that would truly render someone unable to find time to address their priorities (and being a mom could definitely count as one of those!) and it’s usually just an excuse not to change existing habits.

    1. I just try and think of exercise like I do of brushing my teeth or putting deodorant on. It’s necessary for me to function to have a good, decent amount of exercise in. I think that is the best way to make it a priority!

    1. Agreed! Your body will thank you! People in my classes always ask how I have so much energy. It’s really from working out! It keeps you energized and fun!

  2. I get so irritated when people think I have all this spare time because I work out as often as I do. As in my priorities aren’t as important as theirs. It’s so aggravating.
    But on a side note, I definitely just try to always be prepared. Carry my workout bag with me regularly if I don’t wake up early enough that way I can do a little something when I have a moment in my crazy work day.
    Great post!

    1. Thanks! Carrying the workout bag ESPECIALLY on a day when you sleep in and can’t get to the gym, is so crucial. I’ve also taken to folding up my little commuter bike so I really can ride anywhere I’ve driven to! Helps me sneak a little bit of extra in!

  3. Thanks for sharing! This also makes me angry. The follow up statement I get to this is “When you have kids, you will understand.” I realize it is hard to speak to that, but I know plenty of people who are able to fit it in. It is really about priorities.

  4. Well, I guess I’m going to be the odd man out since I am a mom. But finding time to workout when you have small kids is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. I had to capitalize that because it’s needs emphasis. To give you all background, I was VERY active back in college. I worked two jobs, was in a few organizations on campus and worked out like a boss. But then I had my daughter, and things change.

    Now I work online as a social media specialist for a digital marketing agency. I also work as a blogger (which as y’all know, is time consuming) And I have a three year old toddler. She just hit the mark where she is too big for our running stroller, but she’s not at the age where she can ride her bike while mommy goes for her run.

    Then, my husband is in the National Guard, he occasionally goes away. For instance this month he’s been gone for 2.5 weeks at OCS. Can’t afford a babysitter or daycare so that I can go workout. It’s just not in the budget. So my workouts have been reduced to squeezing in a DVD at home while shouting at my daughter who likes to climb on my back while I’m doing push-ups, ram her face into my legs or conveniently scoot by on her tricycle while I’m trying to workout.

    I said all this to say all this, I have been on both sides of the fence. But now I can unequivocally say, trying to work out when you have a small kid(s) is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. It is not a priority. As much as I love taking care of my body, I think we can all agree that taking care of our children is a wee bit more important. At least CPS seems to think so 🙂

    So as far as my advice for moms looking for extra time to workout. I have none. It’s a hectic lifestyle and I’m not even going to begin to give advice since this is something I’m still struggling with myself. However, I would go easy on those moms. Sometimes those comments are said out of pure frustration. And enjoy life while you’re young. Also, don’t have kids until you’re at least 30 😉

    1. You know what I absolutely love about this comment? The fact that you broke it down and the fact that you said that the comments are made out of frustration. That’s all I need!

      Also, I love that you said that it’s just not a priority, and I think that is one thing that scares me a lot about motherhood. It scares me to think that one day exercise might not be a priority because exercise makes me feel sane, and I’m afraid that without that, I will lose my body and my mind!

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