Making TIME to Workout (My Schedule & Tips for You)

When I announced that I was starting a health and fitness blog, I was thankful and humbled by the support from readers in the comments they left and in the private emails I received.  I think most everyone desires to be fit,  and by far, the overwhelming question I got was,

"How do you find the time to workout" or "How do you balance it all?"

With jobs, commutes to jobs, kids, after school activities, a household to run and clean, bills to pay, groceries to buy, laundry to do, not to mention trying to catch up with friends, shop, or date-  making time to work out often falls to the bottom on the list of priorities.   It can feel overwhelming to try to fit working in on top of all the other commitments we have on a daily basis.

For me, the first thing I had to do was decide that working out is a priority for me and that my health matters.  I am worthy of taking time for myself.  You are too.

If you're not feeling good, you're overweight, sluggish and don't have the energy or vibrancy you'd like to have, you NEED to take time for yourself.  It can get better.

That having been said, there are only so many hours in a day.  You have to figure out where you can carve out the time for yourself.  You have to put yourself on your priority list.


In my household, I only have one young child that isn't in any after school activities or sports and I normally work full time.  There have been periods in my life where I got up at 5:30 a.m. twice a week to meet my girlfriend at the gym to workout from 6:00 to 6:45 a.m.  Then I'd get home around 7:00 a.m. and get ready for work to be out the door by 8:00 a.m.

Morning workouts are perfect for early risers and make you feel good and accomplished!  The workout is over first thing and you don't have to think about it again all day!  How good does that feel?  It's what I highly recommend if you can commit to it- even just a couple days a week.

I lean much more toward the night-owl end of the spectrum and prefer to workout after work.


This only worked with one parent being home while the other went to the gym- and I did this because our previous gym did not have a daycare.  We recently changed gyms to one with a daycare so that the family could all go at the same time, instead of taking turns.

7:00 a.m. Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work.

8:00 a.m.  Take my son to school.

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work.

10:00 a.m.   Eat a snack.

12:00 p.m.  Eat lunch.

3:30 p.m.  Eat a snack

5:00 p.m.  Leave work, pick up my son

5:30 p.m.  Make dinner (or have leftovers)

6:00 p.m.  Dinner

7:00 p.m.  Son's bath and story

7:30 p.m.  Son's bedtime

8:00 p.m.  Go to the gym

9:00 p.m  Home/shower

9:15 p.m.  Eat a snack

9:30-11:00 Clean the kitchen/prepare lunch for the next day, watch tv, Blog/Pinterest, return emails

11:30 p.m. Bedtime


My new gym has a daycare that is really well run and my son loves to play in.  It's more like a large indoor playground where he can read, color, play on the jungle gym, play with cars/trains/puppets and the other kids.  They also have dinner tables where the kids can eat.

I am mindful that I don't want my son to be in daycare all day, then go right to another daycare for an hour when he gets home, so I might only do this two times during the week and then do two more workouts on the weekends.  With this schedule, we tend to go right after work and let James eat dinner with his friends.  He also goes to bed 30 minutes later so we all get a little more time together.

7:00 a.m. Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work.

8:00 a.m.  Take my son to school.

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work.

10:00 a.m.   Eat a snack.

12:00 p.m.  Eat lunch.

3:30 p.m.  Eat a snack

4:00 p.m.  Husband picks up son (an hour earlier than before)

5:00 p.m.  I leave work

6:00-7:00 p.m.  Eat snack.  Go to the gym (son eats dinner at the daycare)

7:30 p.m.  Home dinner/Son's bath, and story

8:00 p.m.  Son's bedtime (30 minutes later), Shower

8:30-11:00 Clean the kitchen/prepare lunch for the next day, watch tv, Blog/Pinterest, return emails,

11:30 p.m. Bedtime

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On Saturdays, I like to wake up, eat breakfast, enjoy my coffee/magazines on the couch, fiddle around the house some, then go workout around 9:30.  It feels really good to get it out of the way early and then you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want.

On Sundays, I don't like to workout before church, but sometimes like to go for a run during my son's nap or in the evening before dinner.

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Below are some general time savers that will help you add time to your day.

Turn off the TV.  (And when you watch TV, record the shows and fast forward through the commercials).

Turn off the computer- yep, blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook.

Put your phone down.

Say "NO."

Decide the house doesn't have to be spotless every day.

Hire a housekeeper once or twice a month, if possible.

Set out your (and your kids') clothes the night before.

Prepare lunches the night before.

Get up early.  Go to bed early.


Below are some suggestions to help get you thinking outside the box and how to realistically incorporate working out into your day.

Can you find a gym with a good daycare?

If you are married, can you and your husband take turns going to the gym/watching the kids?

If you are married, can your husband do dinner and feed the kids two nights a week while you go workout and then you come home and do bedtime duty?

Can you commit to waking up an hour earlier to workout?

Can you workout at night?

Can you turn your "date night" into a workout, then go eat afterwards?

Can you meet your girlfriends for a walk/workout instead of a happy hour/lunch/dinner?

Can you trade babysitting with a neighbor/friend?

Can you get a jogging stroller so you and your baby/toddler can go together?  My son used to nap in his when he was younger.  Or what about a bike with a kid seat?  Or bikes for the whole family?

If you are a parent who's always at your kids' sporting practices in the afternoon/evening, is it weird to walk a few laps during the practice?  Or could you skip out (I know that sounds bad) and trade "babysitting" with another parent who's there?

Can you leave work early and workout before you get home or go at lunch once/twice a week?

Do you have a neighborhood pool where you could swim laps?

Can you do a neighborhood bootcamp?

Can you combine everyday errands with fitness- like parking way in the back and walking to the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator?

If you don't belong to a gym or just cannot get there, you could try workout videos you can do at home.  (I am researching to see what good ones are out there and will write a separate post on that.)

Great home exercises also include pushups, crunches, lunges, jumping rope, jumping jacks, lifting hand weights.

Could your family play in a sport together- like soccer or tennis?

I am always a fan of just starting to walk or jog in your own neighborhood after dinner.


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Making TIME to Workout (My Schedule & Tips for You)
Making TIME to Workout (My Schedule & Tips for You)
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