In the Trenches: Incorporating Exercise Into the Workday

I’m going to talk about exercise this week because, as a small-business owner who works from home, I’ve struggled for years to fit it into my schedule.

Back when I held down a traditional job, I found it relatively easy to set time aside to exercise. My office was across the street from a gym, and I worked out during lunch. The best part was that a couple of other guys went with me, so even when I wasn’t motivated, I had others to push me.

After I was laid off, I started my own business. At first, I had very little to do, so it was easy to motivate myself to exercise. I had an elliptical machine at home, and I used it most days. But then kids came along. All of a sudden, the elliptical had no place in the house.

Then Cranky Concierge started to take off, and my time became more valuable. Exercise started to fall by the wayside. At one point, I hired a personal trainer to keep me on a schedule. But trainers are expensive, and with a growing family, it was hard to justify paying someone to yell at me to exercise.

Now I’m so incredibly busy at work that I find it hard to fit exercise into my schedule. We belong to a gym, but it takes time not only to work out, but also to put on the gear and drive over there. Something else almost always gets higher priority.

I realize that exercise is important, but I struggle to stay motivated. It just seems like there’s never enough time. What works best for you? Any tips?

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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SerenityLMT 1 Like

I felt the same way when I was in public education. Becoming a self-employed massage therapist meant making my own fitness a priority; not only do I need to be strong in order to work, but fit therapists have more credibility with their clientele. Just the change in career has helped, but here's how I manage slumps. 1. I schedule it in. It's non-negotiable, and I don't owe anyone an explanation why I am unavailable at that time. Although, sometimes the time is 5:30am.... 2. Make it social. This is when I see my friends, and we keep each other honest. I'm even incredibly lucky to have the kind of friends who want to run at 5:30am! 3. Register for a fitness event. Anything. A charity walk, a 10k, an obstacle race. Having a stated goal keeps my training on track.

Old Dad
Old Dad

How about a Stationary bicycle with a desk mounted on the handlebars with a place for your phone, keybaord and other essentials? It won't do much for upper body or strength training, but you can burn a lot of calories on such a device while still able to tend to business.


I thought about that.  I've heard of people who use walking desks where you're on a slow moving treadmill all day.  I just wonder how awkward it would be to do that.


Habits are hard to break, right? So why not start a good habit? Years ago (30+) as a thirty-something guy with a traditional job, I fell in with a couple neighbor friends who had gotten into the then jogging/running craze. I pooh-poohed it until I gave it a try, just wanting to get them to cease their crowing about the supposed benefits and my lack of will. Needless to say, once it became a habit I couldn't break it. Resistance training soon followed. Yes, it took a reorganized schedule, rising  before 6AM in time to run at least three miles before leaving for the office, bringing running gear when travelling, going to bed before the best prime time TV shows aired, etc. But it helped immensely in dealing with stress, illness (R.A. which was diagnosed after starting the regimen) and weight maintenance. While I can't run anymore due to joint deterioration, I still get out the door by 6:30AM to walk vigorously for at least an hour. I skip a day only if I'm on international travel (all leisure as a senior citizen) or if there's severe weather, meaning thunder and lightning. Now, if I could just give up the habit of downing salty snacks. Oh, and all four of my now adult kids maintain regular exercise regimens well past the days of high school and college sports. I never nagged them, just encouraged their efforts. I guess they figured if the old man could do it, so could they.


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