Prioritizing Exercise Into a Busy Schedule

Balancing all of the responsibilities of a young adult can be exceedingly challenging. Staying up to date on schoolwork, being involved in extracurricular activities, working a job, maintaining a social life and still having time for yourself can be tough to do with only 24 hours in a day. Then add exercise and healthy eating into the mix and it seems nearly impossible! However, prioritizing exercise can be more beneficial than you think. By adding this element to your to-do list, you can actually lower your stress levels, increase your mood and become a happier and healthier you!

Obligation not option.

The first and most important aspect in working exercise into a busy schedule is treating it as an obligation rather than a non-essential option. If you are scheduled for a shift at work at 9am you might feel that you are too tired to go. Regardless, you wouldn't just say, "well, I have another shift tomorrow, I’ll just go then.” This is the same way that you should view exercise! Even though you may be tired, it is something that you have to do. I’ve never heard anyone say that they regretted working out after they were done. It will benefit you in so many ways that it almost seems silly not to view it as essential.

Make it a part of your schedule.

A key to staying consistent is making a schedule that you can stick too. If you say that you will exercise every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, then it will be easier for you to get a routine down so that you can get into the habit of working out. For people in school, adding a gym class or some type of class that requires physical activity can help make sure that you are getting some type of exercise regularly. Viewing it as a class instead of a workout can help with the aspect of turning exercise into an obligation. Once you have a schedule down, you can fit extra workouts in whenever you have time.

Make it enjoyable not dreadful.

Getting a workout in doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to the gym. Choosing a method of exercise that is more enjoyable for you will make it much easier to consistently workout. This way, you won’t dread going to your workout; instead you will look at it is as a nice stress-reliever and maybe even a time where you get to let loose. Even going on a hike or biking in the park count as workouts. There are so many different ways that you can stay active that you’re bound to find a thing or two that you enjoy. Having a friend that can be your workout buddy can also help. They can help make it fun while also keeping you motivated!

Reap the benefits.

After some time you’ll start to notice a change in yourself. Not just a change in your body but a change in you as a person. The satisfaction of committing to something can be enough benefit for some, but there is so much more. Exercise increases mood while decreasing stress, and that’s just about what every college student needs. It also can increase your self-esteem and spark a change within you. If you feel good on the outside you may be more inclined to feel good on the inside. Every person is different, so you may experience benefits unique to you.

I know from personal experience that I fell in love with exercise and everything that it does for me. It has become an outlet for me and I see the 2 hours that I spend in the gym as "me time." It's time that I am actively bettering myself and practicing self-care. I stopped looking at it as an option and turned it into a priority. I committed to a schedule of exercising in a way that I enjoy and it has made all the difference!