Fitting in Fitness When Life is Busy

In my perfect world, I would get up each day with no alarm, and enjoy a cup of coffee, a bit of reading, and journaling. Then, I would then head to the gym for a workout or the Rotary trail for a walk or run.  After a hot shower and recovery meal, I would go to work and have a productive day. After work, I would go for a walk and then come home to prepare a delicious home-cooked meal- which in my perfect world would be a part of my well-thought-out seven-day meal plan.

Like most people, my reality is a little different. Between being a mom, running two businesses, and other everyday life occurrences, I have learned to be intentional about fitting in my workouts and healthy eating habits. I know the importance of exercise and healthy eating, for both mental and physical health, and have learned mindset shifts and strategies to make taking care of my body a non-negotiable.

Here, I’ll break them down as the 5 ‘W’s’ of Healthy Habits for Busy People. Actually, it’s 4 W’s and 1 H, but 5 W’s sound better 😜

Take notes, save it, post it on your fridge, and take action.

1. WHY: The why is the most important place to start. Denis Waitley said, “if the why is big enough, the how is not a problem”. In other words, if you have a compelling reason why you should exercise and eat right, you can overcome almost any barrier. Write a list of all the reasons why you want to take care of yourself. Post that list somewhere where you can see it every day. Don’t miss that step. So often we drift from our healthy habits simply because we forget! When making the decision to exercise, remind yourself how much better you feel after, how much more energy you have, how exercise relieves stress.

2. HOW: Once you have a strong why, the how will be more manageable. Many people struggle to fit exercise in around all their other appointment and errands. The solution?  Make exercise an appointment. Seriously, block it on your calendar. Don’t be shocked when the day ends and you found that you didn’t get your workout in if you didn’t set an appointment. I don’t know about you, but I don’t default to doing push-ups or squats without a plan. Block fitness into your schedule, book an appointment (at Ascend!) or set up a meeting time with a workout partner to keep yourself accountable.

3. WHAT: You don’t need a lot of time to keep fit.  Pick a type of exercise you enjoy (or at least hate less) and do it!  A properly designed fitness program can be completed in 30 minutes or less, and deliver see-in-the-mirror results. Add 5-10 minutes for stretching, and another 10 minutes to shower, you can be done in an hour or less. If you don’t have the time for a full hour, get moving for 20, 10, or even 5 minutes. The 10-minute workout is better than the hour-long workout you didn’t do. And if there is absolutely no time for a workout, focus on moving your body throughout the day. Stand or walk whenever you can.  For the best workout routines for women 50+, listen to the Fit + Vibrant You Podcast.

4. WHEN: Fitness experts argue about the best time to workout. The best time is the time you’ll do it consistently. For me, it’s first thing in the morning. I don’t love the 5AM alarm, but I never regret it when I’m done! Some of our members find it best to come first thing in the morning, others come after work on their way home. Fit your workout in at the time that works best for you.

5. WHERE: Think comfort and convenience. Many of our members don’t feel comfortable going to big box gyms but feel at home at Ascend. If your gym is way across town and you have no set appointment time, you probably won’t go. Workout in a place you feel comfortable, and that is convenient (it may be your basement!).

I’d love to know, how do you stay active when life gets busy?

-Tanja x

PS: If you’re ready to start fitting fitness into your life, this is what we DO. It’s a lot easier than you think when you have the right people in your corner.

We’ve helped hundreds of men and women over 40 just like you to improve their strength, fitness, and have fewer aches and pains. If you want to see how we can help YOU to do the same, learn more at

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