How do I exercise
with a busy schedule

Regular workout is a big PRIORITY for me. Read below how I exercise with a busy schedule and how I have learned to make time for exercise, even if I’m at the peak of a huge project or have extremely tight deadlines at work. 

The one thing that helped me a lot to keep my exercise routine is starting working out in the mornings. 

Ever since I started, this became a habit and now I can’t imagine doing it any other way! Keep reading to learn how I make time for exercise with a busy schedule, why do I work out in the mornings and how I have followed this workout routine for more than 4 years already!

How Much do I workout?

For a regular person, who works min 45 hours a week in a high demanding corporate job, I do work out a lot

However, when I run through the numbers (I workout ca 4-5 hours a week), I only work out max 3% of my week. 

This doesn’t seem a lot and with a bit of planning, you can definitely allocate that much time for your body (and mind!) right?

How I exercise with a busy schedule

How I exercise with a busy schedule and why morning workout?

Over the years I’ve tried different ways of exercising – during lunch breaks, in the evenings, in the mornings. 

For over 3 years now I am following the same routine of working out early in the mornings, before going to work and not eating anything. This is my secret of how to exercise with a busy schedule.

What are the benefits of exercising in the mornings?

  • There is no time for things to come in between. Many times things would come in between when I was planning to work out later in the day. 

Somebody would invite you for an important lunch meeting, you would have to work extra hours for that presentation, or friends would invite you for dinner after work. When working out in the mornings I never have this problem. I always plan my morning workout in the evening. 

Even if I have an earlier meeting and need to get to the office earlier, I simply wake up a bit earlier.

  • There is no time to think of excuses such as ‘I’m tired’, ‘I’m hungry’, ‘my muscles hurt’, ‘I’m not in the mood’ etc. 

Usually, my schedule is planned in super tight in the morning so I barely have time to think about any excuses not to hit the gym, because otherwise I will miss my train / my meeting / etc. 

I just wake up and do things automatically, and before I get to actually understand what’s happening – I am already in the gym!

  • You actually save time by not having to change and shower twice. 

I wake up, put my sports clothes and hit the gym. Once I’m done, I would take shower and get ready for the day (I pack all my clothes the night before). 

An additional benefit of doing so is that by the time I start thinking of excuses to skip the gym (the usual “I think I’m not feeling so well…”), I am usually already on my way to the gym. And since I cannot go to work in tights and messy hair, I do need to go to the gym anyway

And you don’t go to the gym just to change your clothes and take a shower, do you? You get it.

“By excercising first thing in the morning, you have no time to think of excuses – you just wake up and hit the gym automatically”

Dovile Sinke

Key to success for exercise with a busy schedule

  • Establishing a routine: I keep it consistent and always workout the same days and the same time
  • Preparing my outfits and food the night before, not to waste any time in the morning
  • Not improvising: I follow a training program that tells me exactly what to do, without me having to spend additional time thinking about what exercise to do next. I love BBG, BBG Stronger, PWR, FBFM and similar. 
  • Doing HIIT trainings to maximize time. As much as I like working out, there are more exciting places I’d rather be than the gym.  Hence, I keep my training short and intense – no longer than 35-40min. 
  • Sticking to the same days for working out. In my case, I always stick to Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I would normally workout during the weekend as well, e.g., take a yoga class or go hiking, but I’m not that strict about this. The 3x weekday workouts are, on the other hand, a must for me.
  • Planning your week ahead. This helps me to stick with my 3x resistance trainings plan. E.g. if I know I’ll have a dinner party on Thursday, which will most likely end up late, I would do my Friday training on Thursday morning instead. You get the point.
  • Not thinking, just doing!

But what about breakfast?

I exercise on an empty stomach and I find it works best for me. 

At first I tried eating something small before the workout, but it didn’t feel right – I was feeling full and sick. I would sometimes get hungry towards the end of my workout, but waiting 15-20 more minutes has never been a problem for me.

I do however make sure to eat within 30 min after my workout

I plan my breakfast in advance and usually grab a vegan protein shake (see my top protein smoothie recipes here) with me to the office, supplemented with some seeds, nuts or coconut oil

Like my work outfit, breakfast is something I pack the night before as well.

How I exercise with a busy schedule

How to start exercising in the morning?

If you try working out once in the morning and immediately think it’s not for you, you might be wrong.

Give your body at least a month to get used to the new regime before you write it off.

I have always been a morning person so you would think exercising in the morning has come naturally to me. Believe me, getting into the morning exercising routine was not easy even for me..! 

In the beginning, I was feeling tired, sleepy, sick or hungry. After a couple of weeks of keeping the same routine my body got used to exercising in the morning and now I cannot imagine my morning without it!

The best thing about it? It’s 7.30 am and you have already completed your workout for the day! 

I have the rest of the day for myself and no longer need to worry where to fit my workout 🙂

If you want to start working out, but don’t know where to begin, check out these workout tips for beginners.

Dovile Sinke

Dovile Sinke

Dovile is interested in all things related to health, fitness and nutrition. She's a hard-core fitness freak - you can either meet her doing some sorts of intense HIIT training, walking in the park or unwinding with a cup of vegan cappuccino after a relaxing yoga class. Dovile is a founder of 21 Day Hero, responsible for the content and running the entire show.


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