If you’re searching for the fountain of youth, look no further than your closest park, gym, or exercise class.  Not only does regular activity strengthen your muscles and improve heart and lung function, but it can also reduce your risk of major diseases, stimulate the growth of new brain cells, and even add years to your life!

That all sounds great so why is it so hard to make exercise a priority in our lives?  We’re busy! There aren’t enough hours in the day.  I get it.  Like many of you, I too work in a corporate environment, which is the crux of this conversation.  All too often, our fitness plans fall by the wayside due to client meetings, overdue proposals, company events…you name it.  

Here are 6 easy ways to ensure you fit fitness into your daily routine!

  1. Establish a bedtime routine- I know it can be hard to turn off the running to-do list in our mind so keep a pen and paper on your nightstand.  As soon as you think of something you have to do the next day, write it down and close your eyes, instead of harping on it and losing sleep.  For the restless sleepers in the house, I suggest covering any clocks in your bedroom.  Not seeing the time will eliminate any anxiety about not being able to fall asleep, or having to be awake in a certain amount of time.
  2. Get some Zzz’s- If you think you can function on only a few hours of sleep, you’re either lying or delusional (probably from lack of sleep.) We all need 7-8 hours of rest.  The reason most people find it hard to wake up in the morning is because they’re not getting enough sleep.   
  3. Set Your Alarm- Make a morning commitment to yourself.  Working out in the morning guarantees there is no gray area.  No last minute client calls or fire drills at work.  Make it harder to set the snooze button by moving your alarm out of arm’s reach.  If you’re already standing to turn off your alarm, you’re more likely to get up and get going!
  4. Find something worth waking up for- If you’re like me it can be difficult to overcome sweatpants separation anxiety (I swear it’s real).  The only way I know I’ll workout, is if I find a workout I don’t want to miss.  Find your what you love.  Some enjoy camaraderie, while others enjoy competition.  Some enjoy group settings, while others prefer to be alone.  You get the idea!  Know that exercise is a lot like food.  Once you understand how different types of exercise nourish your body in different ways, you can put together a “menu” of activities to keep yourself active.
  5. Make your workouts efficient and effective- HIIT, or high intensity interval training, only requires 30 minutes.  With a combination of cardio and strength bursts, you can squeeze a lot of exercise into short period of time. 
  6. Don’t skimp on the small things- Trust me the little things add up!  Physical activity can come to fruition in simple and modest forms.  Try getting off the subway or bus one stop earlier and walking to your destination.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator to your office or apartment.