How to Stay Active When You Don’t Have Time to Workout

person walking on road towards sunset 3 min read

Some of us are trying to balance school work, social life, and sleep. Others have full-time jobs and kids connected to their hips. Bless the souls that manage to do all of the above and more. Squeezing in a full-blown, muscle group targeting work out to an already jam-packed schedule is not a simple task, and we literally just don’t have time to workout. Sometimes we have to make do by being a little more active and doing mini “workouts” throughout the day.

At Work

Those of us who work regular full-time jobs are spending a third of our day, five days a week, at work. Office workers have even more of a challenge because most of the work has to be done on a computer. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck to your chair all day! Try incorporating these tips throughout your work day:

  • Sit up straight. Having good posture when you sit actually has physical health benefits besides just making you look prim and proper. Sitting up straight helps improve your breathing because your lungs are able to take in more air as opposed to when you are slouched over. Better yet…
  • Utilize your stand up desk more often. Or, if possible, improvise and get a tall table. Standing up while you work helps combat the negative side effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Step away from your computer screen. If you have a job that requires you to sit in front of a computer for most of the day, take a small break every half hour or so to give your eyes and body a break.
  • Do an office workout. When you don’t have time to do a workout, sometimes you might just have to sneak it in at work. The Washington Post has a great article with some workouts you can do at work.
(Image: Arianna Lynne)

While Doing Chores/Running Errands

If you’re already doing something, might as well multitask and do a little more.

  • Walk it out. Time permitting, walk as much as you can when and where you can. At the grocery store? Walk around more than usual instead of going straight for the items you need. Commuting? See if walking is an option.
  • Speed it up. Make a playlist of your favorite fast-paced music and play it while you do your chores. The fast pace will naturally get you pumped and moving around a bit faster.
  • Do some deep cleaning. Those chores you’ve been putting off because it requires some scrubbing? Time to do them! It may not seem like it, but cleaning can give your arms a serious workout.


Believe it or not, there are little things you can do throughout the day at school without drawing too much attention to yourself or losing your focus in class.

  • More walking! Use those stairs. Your calves will thank you.
  • Toe raises to stretch your calves. If you’re using those stairs a lot, you’ll want to stretch your calves a bit. This is something you can do while sitting down. Keep your heels on the ground, raise your toes towards the ceiling, and hold it for 10 seconds.
  • Do leg extensions in your seat. Start by sitting up straight. Extend your legs until they are straight and hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat. If there is someone in front of you, do it at an angle if you need to.

If all else fails…

… And you really, really, want a “real” workout, the last option is to sacrifice another activity. It sucks, but that’s all that’s left to do. You can try to do a quick workout, like a beginner’s cardio circuit, but there’s only

The bottom line is there are days when we just cannot take the time to do a full workout, and that is okay. A little bit of something is better than nothing at all! What are your favorite ways to squeeze in some activity during the day?

Arianna Lynne
Arianna Lynne

Hey, it’s Arianna Lynne, the creator of Yoga With Mimosas. I am a certified POP Pilates and PIIT28 instructor with an obsession for learning kpop dances. I want to help others find balance between life and fitness. You can reach me at [email protected]

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  1. September 2, 2017 / 3:53 am

    Thanks for the great tips! Some are definitely ones that I need to add to my to-do list

  2. September 1, 2017 / 10:59 am

    I work in an office and it’s crazy to think how many hours you sit at your desk not moving!

  3. September 1, 2017 / 10:12 am

    Yes! I loved that you mentioned sitting up straight. Posture is super important especially in a sedentary job. I am going to try that chair workout today! Thanks so much for posting this.

  4. September 1, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Great Post! I am currently looking into getting a portable peddler for under my desk since I’m stuck there all day long!!

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