We all wish there were more hours in the day- or maybe just less to do in the hours that we do have. Either way, it can be tough to manage the demands of everyday life, like work and family, and still find time to focus on yourself and your health. If it feels like you have very little left in your tank after taking care of everyone else needs, it’s time to make a change. The easier the change, the easier it is to stick to, so here are some easy ways to create more time in your schedule for your workouts.

First of all, you have to make your health a priority. Your health comes first: before kids, before work, before friends. If you don’t have your health, you aren’t going to be around to take care of and enjoy those other responsibilities so make being the best you you can be #1 on your list.

Use your workouts as your “me” time and stick to it. Make your intentions to devote an hour to your own health everyday well known to those around you and stick to it. Pop in your headphones, hit the gym or the open road and focus on you. Exercise does wonders for easing anxiety, reducing stress and boosting endorphins, so recharge your batteries with a nice sweaty workout that will leave your mind clear and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Use your workouts as your social hour, too. If you usually unwind with a happy hour with friends, a trip to the coffee shop, shoe shopping, etc., turn those social activities into social workouts. Go for a walk, a day hike, or take a fitness class with gals pals. Shoot hoops, play golf or hit a boot camp with the guys instead of watching the game and swilling beer. You’ll have just as much fun, will be taking a step toward your goals instead of away from them and set a great example for your friends.

Streamline your routine. Have everything ready to go for your workouts so all you have to do is grab and go. Pack a gym bag with your workout clothes, bottle of water, shoes and music and you are ready to go in a matter of minutes. This works great for healthy meals, too: cook extra and package up in tupperware so you have easy, healthy meals to take with you to the office.

Inventory your time. You may feel like you don’t have a spare minute, but you may be surprised how much spare time you have. How much TV do you watch at night? How much time do you surf the night? What can you put off? What errands can you save to do all in one trip?

Delegate. Do you do everything so it gets done “right”? Give the rest of your family some credit and let them help out. Older kids can prep dinner and do chores. The wife can mow the lawn occasionally and hubby is certainly capable of folding laundry

Wake up earlier. You don’t want to hear it, you probably don’t like it, but the easiest way to find an extra hour is to set the alarm to go off an hour earlier then usual. You can get the jump on the rest of the family and  enjoy the quiet “me” time in the morning.

Make it a family affair. EVERYONE needs fitness in their lives, so get the whole family in on it. You can spend quality time together going for walks, to the park, on a hike or playing active sports in the yard instead of in front of the TV.

If nothing changes, nothing changes. I know change is hard, but with a little reprioritizing, and a little planning, you can easily fit a workout in each day, and be a positive influence on your loved ones at the same time. Make time for YOU today, and celebrate your health and body by treating it to a workout, because you deserve it.

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