Summer is over, and it's time to hit the books or refocus on work at the office again.

Trying to squeeze regular exercise into your busy life may feel like an impossible task at times. But exercise helps to manage your hectic schedule by improving your mood, energy, sleep and brain power.

Try these four tips to keep you on track.

1. Book it

“What gets scheduled gets done.”— Michael Hyatt

When you put something into your calendar, you’ve made it a priority and are more likely to put in the effort to actually do it.

Don’t just tell yourself you're going to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Be specific and write it down. You're doing an upper body workout on Monday at 4 p.m. On Wednesday, you're hitting BODYPUMP™ class at 5:30 p.m.

By planning a few weeks ahead, you're working your life around the gym and not the other way around.  This will give you a much better chance at making it happen. 

2. Make it convenient

Pick a gym close to work or school so you're already out and about and have the momentum to get there.

Something as simple as laying out your gym clothes the night before or having your gym bag packed and by the door can provide the last bit of motivation you need.

3. Get a gym buddy

Schedule exercise with a friend.

Instead of just thinking you're going to BODYPUMP™ class, think of it as a social event. The anticipation can make it much more enjoyable, and the accountability of showing up so you don't disappoint a friend is a big motivator.

4. Tweak social outings

If you regularly meet with friends for coffee or cocktails, opt for a hike instead. 

You're not adding to your busy day – just modifying the plan to ensure you get in your exercise. The same applies if you're taking a child to an extracurricular activity. Recruit a parent you typically sit with at hockey practice, and go for a walk to pass the time.

The bigger picture

Exercise isn't just about looking good. It also offer health and quality of life benefits, such as:

  • Boosts mood
  • Enhances energy
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves cognitive function

The important thing to keep in mind is, don’t let the distractions of everyday life prevent you from achieving your health and fitness goals. If you don’t make your scheduled workout, try later or make sure you do it the following day. Build momentum by making exercise a regular part of your life. Your mind and body will thank you.