THE BLOG
07/24/2014 01:16 pm ET Updated Sep 23, 2014

Make Time for Your Own Wellbeing: Ways to Rethink Exercise So You'll Actually Do It

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Deadlines loom, new projects pop up and you're putting off that lunchtime workout... again. Your day fills up with rides to practice, errands and family obligations and you're driving everywhere except to the gym... again. With all those To Dos crowding your list you couldn't possibly make time for your own wellbeing, right? Wrong.

Think long term
If it seems like taking the time to go for a walk will mean disaster for everyone who relies on you it's time to change your perspective. The energy and focus you'd get from that walk would make you better able to give to those around you. And you'd be happier! Your own health and fitness are too important for your longevity and quality of life to take a short sighted view. In the long run spending even a few of those precious, over committed minutes in your day moving your body will pay off both now and in the future. Think about how you plan to get through your life, not just your day!

Prioritize your health
Let's face it -- when something is categorized as "me time," it's way too easy to push it out or take it off the list. How many gift cards for massages are you carrying around in your wallet right now? Work and obligations to others get higher priority, right? That's what has to change in order to take charge of -- and make time for -- your own wellbeing. When you get pressed for time don't let your workout be the task that slips. Block out time for exercise on your calendar and stick to it. Don't "reschedule" your fitness!

But when?
Are you looking to lose weight? Increase your physical activity? Jumpstart your workouts to get to the next level? Rock that outfit at your reunion? Great. When do you plan to kick off your exercise regimen to achieve those goals? When you have more time? When things aren't so crazy? Hmmm... The time is now. Right now. Even though your life is crazy. Letting fitness slide another year or even another month will only make it harder to change.

Set the example
Remember that you're not just working out for yourself. You're showing your family and your coworkers that you're committed to health and wellbeing. Healthy, fit employees are more productive. Healthy, fit parents live longer, more active lives.

Do what you enjoy
Enjoying your workout is one key to sticking with it and variety is another. What do you like to do? I love to dance and take long walks outside with my dogs. Exercise doesn't have to happen in a gym. Go for a bike ride. Play tag with the kids. Keep switching it up. Sick of logging miles on the treadmill or elliptical? Take advantage of the longer hours of summer sunshine and take your workout outside.

Keep your shoes at the ready
Pack your workout gear and water the night before. Keep a spare workout bag in your car or office. If you plan to exercise during your lunch hour, pack a lunch that's quick and easy to eat. Don't let not being prepared be the reason you don't exercise today!

You don't have to spend hours in the gym to get results
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the Department of Health and Human Services recommend adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week and do strengthening activities at least two days a week.

Easy ways to work in a workout
Take a walk outside -- vary your pace and find some hills to climb to get your heart rate up. You can focus more on walking inside the office, too -- make a point to get up and walk around frequently and do the stairs. Swap your chair for a stability ball. Use a headset during calls so you can stand up, walk around and even do a few lunges. Keep small hand weights at your desk and do bicep, tricep or shoulder strengthening repetitions for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day two to three days per week. Find a fitness class and take advantage of the group motivation, regular schedule and accountability. Next time you drop off a child at practice instead of running to the grocery store spend that hour doing laps around the field or court.

Track toward your goals
Keep a running tally of the minutes you exercise each week. Find a fitness tracker to help keep you honest. Free websites like MyFitnessPal.com can help. There are also a variety of fitness tracking devices ranging from simple pedometers to count your steps to sophisticated GPS-enabled heart rate monitors. Or go low tech -- log your workouts on a white board, notepad or calendar. You can also take the tried and true route -- get a new pair of fabulous jeans and exercise your way into them!

Declare victory!
Every time you exercise count it as a success. Whether it's taking 10 minutes to walk around outside or running a 10k, it gets you closer to your goal. Give yourself credit and let that feeling motivate you to do more. Like everything you try, you'll have successes and failures. Just keep trying! The increased energy, weight loss and overall health benefits you'll achieve by working exercise into your schedule are worth it!

What's your fitness goal? How are you working to achieve it? Share and comment below!

Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people worldwide. The international franchise business hosts a network of 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in 32 countries. For more information, visit jazzercise.com.

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