How to exercise when you “have no time”

Let’s face it – “I have no time” is always the excuse.  Not to mention, this excuse is actually not true.  You may, though, have very little time …. Which is why I am writing this post.

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First things first – you make time for things you value or for things that you feel will provide you with a lot of value.

Consider this example:

You are on your way to work and you have a very, very, very important meeting first thing when you get in.  Of course, you are running late on this day.  As you walk into the office, you walk through mud up to your knees, a bird poops on your shoulder, and you spill your coffee on your blouse (because you were so distracted by the mud and the poop).

Remember, for this scenario, you are completely behind schedule and most of us would think “I have no time.” What is the likelihood that you would somehow find five minutes to get cleaned up before this very, very, very important meeting?  Pretty high, I think!

Even though you literally “had no time” in this scenario, the value of cleaning yourself up before this meeting was very high, so you somehow found five minutes (in the “no time” that you had) to get back on your feet and cleaned up.  WHY?  You valued this meeting.  When we value stuff, we make it happen.

This post is for people that value exercise and have little time.  

The following tips are how you and I can exercise on a very low time budget. Essentially, how to exercise if you are not going to shower after. Consider the following:

1. The sweat factor

  • Exercise in a place where you will sweat minimally.  Let’s face it, the less you sweat, the less you stink and the less your appearance gets out of whack, AKA, the I-just-exercised-and-then-threw-my-work-clothes-back-on look. If it’s hot outside, exercise inside!  If your office gym has no fans, buy a handheld one!  Keep your sweat minimal, especially if you plan to not shower after.

2. The do

  • Style your hair in a way that preserves the look when you return to work OR that doesn’t get disrupted with movement.  My favorite look?  “Poof” the front with pins and a twisted bun in the back.  The poof keeps the hair off your scalp so that sweat doesn’t get on it and the bun leaves minimal creases and kinks.  DO NOT wear a thick headband or a hat unless you plan to wear it the rest of the day.  The front and top of your hair will get sweaty and you will not be able to recover your do.  Plus, your hair will be flatter than flat in the front.  Do your do in a recoverable way.

3. The look

  • This tip if for if you are going into your exercise session with makeup on and would like to preserve your look as much as possible.  During your workout, do not WIPE your face, always blot it with a towel.  After you exercise, be sure to STOP SWEATING before you begin to touch up your make up.  Any and all touch ups to foundation and powder need to be blotted back on.  Avoid wiping; it will increase the likelihood of the caked-on look. REMEMBER – blot your sweat away and blot makeup touchups to preserve your “look.”

4. The twinkle toes

  • Your feet will be the first thing to get smelly.  Sweaty, AKA twinkly :).  There is rarely much airflow in your shoes.  This tip will be brief as not much explaining needs to be done here.  After you are done working out, dry your feet, consider sprinkling some baby power on them, and put on a fresh pair of socks.

5. The recovery

  • YOU MUST STOP SWEATING.  No one, I mean absolutely no one, enjoys being around others that are just simply sweating everywhere.  Here are my tips for this one.  Always bring 3 hand towels (yes, the tiny ones).  Towel 1 will be for sweat management during your exercise.  Towel 2 will be for after you are done exercising.  I generally like to get this wet with cool water and wipe down my body.  This will help you cool off!  Towel 3 will be to dry yourself off, or if you decide to allow the water evaporate off, a “just in case” towel for back up.  I also find that fans are great for this.  This is huge – stop sweating before to change (or maybe not change) and return to your daily tasks.

As a personal trainer in Schaumburg, IL, I hope these tips will help you to find the time to exercise, even if you have very little of it. 🙂

– Julie

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Julie Cates
Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Resistance Training Specialist™ (RTSm). She is also a Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Master Specialist (MATm).

Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues.

Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology.

As an education lover, Julie has taken on the role of leading the Academy of Applied Personal Training Education’s (AAPTE) Chicago-area hub for personal training certification and education. AAPTE provides in-depth education and continuing education for personal trainers and prospective personal trainers.

In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap , lyrical, jazz, and hip hop!

Julie can be reached via e-mail at julie@matschaumburg.com.

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