Finding time to workout sometimes seems impossible. But since I know that it's essential to my weight maintenance, I've found some tricks that help keep fitness a top priority in my uber-packed schedule,

Health.com
December 01, 2009


By Tina Haupert
Like most women, I seem to have very little time for myself. Between work obligations, my husband, and my new pug puppy, I'm on the go from dawn till dusk. Finding time to work out sometimes seems impossible. But since I know it's essential to my weight maintenance, I've found some tricks to help keep fitness a top priority in my über-packed schedule, whether it's a trip to the gym, a jog around my neighborhood, or even a quick abs session on my living room floor.

1. Change your perspective.
I used to look for ways to squeeze more exercise into my very busy life. But, when things got too hectic, fitness was usually the first healthy habit to go. I've learned that I need to change my perspective about exercise if I want to make sure I stick to a routine. Exercise isn't something extra that I should try to squeeze into my life—it's a priority for a healthy body and mind. Now I think of exercise as essential "me time." It's a reward for all the hard work I do in other areas of my life, and a sweaty workout always seems to melt away the stress of the day.

2. Bribe yourself.
I recently started to bake a small batch of Workout Cookies on Sunday night to motivate me out of bed for my workweek trips to the gym. I know you're not supposed to bribe yourself with food—especially if you're trying to lose weight—but for just 80 calories, a Workout Cookie fuels me with lots of whole grains, fiber, low-fat protein, healthy omegas, and some subtle sweetness. Just the thought of a delicious baked treat gets me out of bed—even in the cold, dark winter mornings in Boston. Plus, I usually end up burning way more than 80 calories at the gym where I was able to exercise my muscles and heart, so the extra calories are worth it to me.

(Istockphoto)

3. Make it a "to do."
A daily planner keeps me organized with all aspects of my life—from blog work and grocery lists to important deadlines and social events. So, why not incorporate my weekly workouts into my calendar as well? Spending some time on Sunday night organizing my "to do's" for the week allows me to figure out when I can schedule my workouts. Seeing my week laid out and organized with plenty of time for exercise motivates me to stick to my plan. If you feel extra unmotivated one week, highlight your workouts in your planner so you have no excuse for missing them. Plus, there's nothing more satisfying than checking a workout off a to-do list!

If you're a snooze-smacking lady who only has time for morning workouts, check out my tips for becoming a morning exerciser.

Read Tina's daily food and fitness blog, Carrots 'N' Cake.

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