Finding the Time to Exercise – Part 1

fitness at work - office workers running

For the busy office worker, this can be the most difficult question of all. Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to exercise? Are the long hours in work and the dark evenings putting you off exercising when you get home? Maybe you feel you can’t find time due to family or social commitments?

healthy office worker

I’ve used all of the above excuses on numerous occasions and I still do lapse into them from time to time, that’s only normal depending on what’s going on in your life. Two things help me to get over them and get back exercising:

1)      A strong desire to be fit and healthy for both myself and for my family

2)      Drawing up a plan of my short term exercise goals and sharing it with those close to me

I’ll speak more about exercise planning in a later blog. For now I want to concentrate on “Finding Time” to exercise. The reality is that everyone is different and everyone has different challenges in finding time to exercise. I think we can break these challenges down into three areas:

-          Physical factors

-          Personal factors

-          Work commitments


1)      Physical Factors

Are you a morning or an evening person? Maybe your body responds better to exercise first thing in the morning. Or perhaps morning exercise leaves you drained for the rest of the day. Maybe you’ve planned on exercising after work but frequently find that you’re exhausted when you get home (even if you have been sitting at a desk all day). The latter has often been an issue for me.

2)      Personal factors

Family and friends are important. If you’re married with young children it’s hard to get away to spend time exercising having spent the whole day at the office already. Maybe exercising in the morning isn’t an option as that’s when you get to spend some quality time with your kids before work. If you’re studying or a member of a club or society, chances are some of your evenings are already taken up with classes or meetings.

3)      Work commitments

Every job is different and so are the hours. 9 to 5 is pretty standard, however in reality many people are working from 8 to 6 including the commute. Or even 7 to 7 or worse. At certain times of the year or when we’re working on certain projects, we need to work even earlier mornings and/or later nights, or on weekends! On the plus side, perhaps you can work from home from time to time.

time to exercise - office fitness and wellbeing

We need to consider all of the above when we we’re setting our exercise goals. Only YOU can analyse what’s going on in your life and decide when to exercise. Be sure to read Part 2 of this blog to understand some of the options I've used to find time to exercise.


Was this blog useful? Are you struggling with finding time to exercise each week? Share your thoughts and experiences right here on the Office Worker Health blog. I’d love to hear your comments.