Everyone knows they ought to be exercising, whether that’s to improve fitness, to lose weight, for mental health, or for aesthetic reasons. Yet many of us feel we’re not doing enough, and when asked why we don’t work out regularly, the most common response is “not enough time.”

It’s true. I’m a women’s fitness coach and I find it hard to squeeze exercise into my schedule. Between running a full-time business, parenting, social life, housework, life admin etc… It’s no wonder that we struggle to keep fit.

It’s a sad state of affairs but we’re all so busy. Too busy. Something’s gotta give! Often we’re our own worst enemy and put up barriers to taking care of ourselves. I see this all the time (and have experienced it myself), so I’d like to share my observations on the matter and help you find a way to make exercise a normal part of your life.

1. Change your mindset about what constitutes a workout. Many people are guilty of thinking that it’s only worth doing if it’s an hour’s hard slog. That’s simply not true; it ALL counts! Rather than doing nothing, maybe you commit to do five minutes every morning before breakfast, maybe you jog the school run, maybe you take an evening stroll every Sunday. Whatever it is, no matter how small, it adds up. So do something! Anything! You’ll feel better for it, and the more you do, the more you’ll notice the benefits, the more you’ll want to keep at it.

2. Prioritise. It sounds harsh to say it, but those who manage to fit exercise into their schedule only do so because they have made it a priority. Sure, some people have it easier in terms of opportunities to work out – I know it can be tough – but ultimately you have to carve out the time. September is a time of change and fresh starts, so spend a while in front of a planner and block out the time for you!

3. Train in front of your kids. I used to be all about making sure that workout time was sacred, but if you’re a mother to young children, you might not have the luxury of alone time. I’m not going to lie – working out with your kids will be full of interruptions: Requests for snacks, people hanging off your legs or climbing on top of you every time you get on the floor, but there are a number of benefits:
– Something is better than nothing (see point 1).
– You’re setting a great example for your children.
– They might even join in and burn off some energy! #winning

4. Get yourself a workout buddy. Truly, the accountability of having another person involved will hugely increase the chances of you keeping at it. It’s very easy to skip training because of a lack of time. But when your absence means letting somebody else down, you’re far less likely to pull out.

5. Go online. If circumstances mean that getting out to the gym / for a run / to a class is simply unfeasible, then have you considered online workouts? There are lots of options ranging from free resources to paid subscriptions. Either way, quick workouts you can do at home in front of your laptop are an easy solution for time strapped women.

6. Commit to a course. Sometimes the only way to make yourself do it is to bite the bullet and sign up to a membership. If you’ve paid in advance for a course of sessions, the chances are you won’t want to skip class.

There is time for you to work out, one way or another. I hope you can make it happen.