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Making Time for Exercise

(even when you are overwhelmed ) 

5 tips on how to make the time to work out.

When I owned Mums The Word Fitness, an exercise program for mums with bubs, I came across lots of clients who found it hard to find time to exercise with new babies and toddlers to care for.

The reality is, it does not matter what age your kids are or even if you have kids, life can often get in the way of putting yourself first. Caring for aging parents, work, caring for kids, or pets take our time and energy and leave not much time left for us.

I am passionate about exercise and wellness so making the time to exercise for me is a number one priority and I want that for you too.

Yes, making the time. Not finding the time.

A friend and I were planning to catch up over the weekend, but she had plans with another friend. Can’t do both! Just not enough hours in the day. 

You have to make time. No matter what, you will make time to take your kids to swimming at 5am in the morning and will move heaven and earth to make the appt with your hairdresser or wake earlier than usual to take the 6am flight to Melbourne for work.

It’s all about prioritizing. It is about actively choosing to make time for yourself, for your health and wellness and to meet those fitness goals.

So how do we get started? I often get told, ‘I want to get started with exercising more, but I just can’t find the time. I am just too busy.’

We all know what is good for us. We all know being active as we age is what we should be striving for but it is easier said than done.

If you have been following me for some time you will know that I am gob smacked  how many people chose not to exercise when it has so many benefits.

The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to add exercise into your lifestyle.

I am going to share some tips so you can make the time so working out  becomes part of your DNA.

1.Commit to yourself.

We commit a lot of time to family, work, other people and don’t often leave much time for us. I come across this every day in my work. It’s like the oxygen mask in the plane- you fit yourself first before you can care for others. Treat yourself, show up for yourself, you are the most important person and once this is a habit you will do it without thinking, and then you will notice the benefit and no matter what you will religiously do it because you will see the results and feel amazing. After a while, you will find yourself asking ‘why was I not doing this sooner?!’.

 Exercise has to be part of our routine or daily ritual. If it’s not a routine, people often find it hard to stick with it.

If you must decide if you should exercise each day, you won’t do it. You will simply choose something else to fit into that time slot because that is easier. Start off by making the decision the workout a few days a week. Set aside that time and don’t let yourself make any unnecessary excuses.

I want you to treat yourself, show up for yourself. Show up for your health and wellness.  You are the most important person on this earth!

2. Plan ahead

You put our doctors appointments, your work meetings and your kids or family activities in your diary. Your workouts should not be any different. Allocate the time every day or every week and pop it in your calendar. Block out the time, so it remains a priority.

You can easily then keep tabs on your progress and when you tick it as completed on your to-do list, plus you’ll feel great starting the morning with one thing already ticked off.

In 2001, a study in Great Britain was conducted with three groups of people.

One group was the control group, and they were simply asked to track how often they workout

The second group, the ‘motivation group’ were asked to to track their workouts, but to do research as to the importance of exercise from a health point of view. They were also given a presentation about the importance of exercise for your heart health.

And the third group, the ‘intention group’, were asked to also formulate a plan for when and where they were going to do the workouts, for example, during the week I will partake in least 20 mins of exercise on Monday at 6pm at the gym.

In the first and second group, only 35-38% of people exercised once a week. They found that the ‘motivation’ group, was not much different than the first group.

However, group 3, the ‘intention’ group, had 91% of people exercising at least once a week.

This study goes to show that intention and discipline is more effective than motivation. Planning your weeks ahead, allocating the time and showing up for yourself and writing down, will ensure you stay consistent.

3. Find something that brings you joy

If you have seen or done any of my live sessions or read any of my blog posts, you know this is one of my favorite pieces of advice.

If you don’t love it you won’t do it and no way will you stick with it.   A healthy lifestyle is a journey so find out what brings you joy. Consistency is the key.

If you don’t love running or the gym don’t do it.

If tennis is your thing do that, if dancing is your thing, do that, if riding your bike is your thing do that.

It is so important that you find a form of exercise that you love. Exercise and working out is not meant to be a punishment, so don’t let it feel like one.

At Femme Fitale, our classes are challenging but fun, you can have a joke and a chat before class and be a part of a team. You can listen to your body and it’s a safe supportive space.

4. Focus on the benefits

I have been in the fitness industry for a long time, and I find that the difference people feel before and after their workouts is what makes it stick and become a long-term appreciation.

There are days you will feel tired and not in the mood, as you feel about work sometimes even though you enjoy your job.

Even me, a lover of fitness, has times when I don’t want to train.

With anything, if I don’t feel like doing it, I put the timer on for 2 minutes. If you can do it for 2 minutes, you often mind that you can keep going. Those 2 minutes will come and go and you will often find yourself getting into the swing of things.

When creating and thinking of your goal, it is important to look past the physical and aesthetic bonuses. Look on the long-term benefits. Improved sleep, improved health, increased energy, and overall improved happiness. 

5. Don’t quit 

Making the choice to change is easy. Following through with it is the hard point. This quote from Dr Now perfectly sums it up:

“It’s easy to give yourself an excuse not to not do something”

It will be hard to change your routine and find time to include exercise. But it is important that you don’t quit. If you find something isn’t working for yourself, ask why? Find the ‘why’ and find a solution.

Instead of starting your goal with working out 6 days a week, find a better balance. Maybe 3 days a week is more achievable, and you can build up as you go. There is no rule book that says you must do an hour workout each time. Even a 10-minute workout is better than nothing, and this will give you the energy and clear thinking you require to get through the rest of your day.

Change does and will happen, constantly, and our health and wellness are the first things to take the back seat.

Mothers often do come last. Motherhood is such a wonderful rewarding role and often you don’t see the benefits of all the sacrifices you made until further down the track, like when they’re 18 and you can see them living wonderful lives and contributing to society.

Masking sure you show up for it even if you cannot give 100 percent each time helps you stay on track.

14 days to a fitter you

If you have followed me or read an email, you may know we offer a 14-day trial for $5.  Less than a large coffee!  Or a loaf of sourdough wholegrain bread.!

This gives you the opportunity to join our live sessions, access to our recorded sessions, and to our recipes and blog posts which are all about being the best version of yourself.

We offer.

  • Boxing
  • Dancing
  • HIIT
  • Pilates and
  • Yoga

We have classes for 45 mins or 30 mins for those that are time poor.


Sarah Milne, Sheina Orbell, and Paschal Sheeran, “Combining Motivational and Volitional Interventions to Promote Exercise Participation: Protection Motivation Theory and Implementation Intentions,” British Journal of Health Psychology 7 (May 2002): 163–184.


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