How To Introduce Exercise to Your Weekly Schedule

Fitting a workout schedule into a busy week of work, family, social life, commute, and a dozen other obligations isn’t easy. What is easy, though, is making it a lot more difficult than it needs to be. 

Step 1: Know Yourself

If you hit the snooze button for times every morning and can still barely drag yourself out of bed, don’t try getting up an hour early to get to the gym. Figure out a time when it makes the most sense for your lifestyle and schedule. 

Step 2: Book It

Choose your workout days and times and then book them like they are appointments. Put them in your phone or whatever type of calendar app you use. If you treat it like a scheduled event — a haircut, or a night out with friends — you’re way less likely to skip it. 

Step 3: Do Yourself a Favor

Workouts should be hard. Getting to the gym should be easy. Pack your gym bag or lay out your morning workout clothes the night before. If you’re running around trying to find a clean tank-top and shorts in the morning, while also packing up your laptop, lunch and travel mug of coffee, something is going to get lost in the shuffle. This also goes for your choice of gym. You’re far more likely to hit the rundown gym that is close to your home or work than the hip place that is 11 miles out of the way. 

Step 4: Just Show Up

People love getting caught up in the details of their workout: the sets and reps, front squats versus back squats, rest intervals. Forget all that. Your job for the first several weeks is to just make it to the gym. Whatever you do there is better than the alternative. At this point in your workout journey, building that gym habit is more important than how long or how hard you train. 

MIKE CARLSON

MIKE CARLSON

Medical Science/Health Writer and Editor - http://bit.ly/3anof4K

Mike Carlson is a freelance health and fitness writer and a lifelong Southern Californian. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles what feels like a long time ago, and has been a full-time editor for Los Angeles Magazine, Men’s Fitness, and the UFC, as well as a copy writer for various nutritional supplement companies. As a health reporter, he’s crafted features for the American Optometric Association, Stanford Health Care, the National Hemophilia Foundation and USA Today. Mike spends most of his free time applying sunscreen, but between slatherings he coaches soccer, competes in various endurance races and loves to explore the culinary and outdoor majesty of his home state. Current obsessions include the Los Angeles Dodgers, kombucha and distilling bourbon at home. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, two children, and a bulldog named Frankie.