Monday Musings: Fitting it all in: Exercise

I really enjoyed sharing my Monday musings last week so I thought I’d bore you all with more of them this Monday! Hope you don’t mind ;-)

This morning I was up nice and early for my usual Monday workout. I’m usually able to start work a bit later on a Monday so I can get to the gym for it opening at 7am, have my workout, get home, showered and dressed and then have a little time to relax while eating breakfast before making my way to work. CIMG0852

This morning we had a team meeting at 9 so I had to try and figure out how to fit it all in! As it was actually a pleasant morning for a change I headed to the gym at 6.30, parked the car up and ran a loop doing some speed intervals which got me back to the gym just as it opened. That way I ended up doing my usual treadmill speed work outside, and got finished at the gym 30 minutes earlier than usual, cue dashing home for shower and inhaling a ready to eat overnight chia pud for breakfast!


That might all sound a little bit like too much of a faff, but the way my days are scheduled (trying to work a little overtime too) it was easier doing it that way than moving my workout to this evening, plus I really love running before work! This made me think about how much I have to juggle my time to be able to fit in working out.

I also sometimes wonder how the hell we are suppose to factor in all the different kinds of exercise we hear is good for us into such tight schedules. Cardio intervals, strength and resistance training, steady state cardio, yoga / Pilates, stretching, core exercises, the list could go on! I have trouble fitting it all in and I don’t even have children or other caring responsibilities like some others.


I workout 6 days out of 7, not because I feel like I have to, but because I enjoy it: working out makes me feel good both physically and mentally. Sometimes I do worry if I have the right balance between strength training, yoga and cardio etc.


The way I’m managing things now is that my focus is on running (as I’m training for the Great North Run), but I recognise the important of cross training for my overall fitness and wellbeing. I tend to do 2 strength workouts (that also incorporate some cardio intervals) in the form of my Body Pump class and 3,2,1 workouts. I do quick 20 minute yoga podcasts twice a week for stretching and strengthening and a long run once a week (which I kind of count as my steady state cardio). I also do 3 cardio focused workouts with additional abs and core work, 2 of which also include an aspect of running, either on the treadmill or outside (for a total of 3 running sessions a week).


Its actually quite amazing how much I manage to fit in when I work full time! I do have to do quite a bit of juggling, and I am very lucky that my job allows me to work flexible hours. This amount of training does seems to suit me quite well, I feel healthy and balanced and have no injuries so I don’t feel like I’m over training. I see exercise as my ‘me’ time so I guess that helps! Sometimes it has just become too much, for example I used to try and fit in a yoga class and when I recognised that it was just one workout too many, I took a flexible approach and decided to ditch it.

CIMG3645 Wish I had more time to use my foam roller!

I just sometimes wonder of I’m missing out on a particular form of exercise or approach like using a bosu ball, trying Pilates or PHA training. I always wish I had more time for yoga and strength training but I love my cardio and running so much too!

How do you ‘fit it all in’ when it comes to exercise?

Do you follow a specific plan?

Do you try and incorporate different forms of training?

Which form of exercise do you wish you had more time for?


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  • You do manage to fit in a lot of exercise, but I can see how you make it a priority and it doesn’t just happen by accident for you. After my downtime I’m kind of teetering on the edge of getting back into a routine, but I need a massive WOOSH mental push! Even as I start to feel better, I’m still very good (or bad!) at finding other things to do rather than exercise!!

  • You’re like superwoman for fitting it all in! I feel like this past year i haven’t exercised at all, and it’s left me feeling rubbish.
    Since my exams finished a couple of weeks ago i’ve tried to either do a short run or go for a long walk every day and i’m already feeling much better and can’t wait to join a gym next week :)
    I’m lucky being a student because i can really work out any time i want so i need to start taking advantage of that!

  • It’s always really impressed me how you manage to juggle your exercise, work and grocery shopping along with housework and whatever else – and you still manage to be so incredibly creative with all of your meals too! It’s really quite amazing!!
    Well at the moment obviously I’m not at uni so I can just do as I please – funny though because I still wake up early to go to the gym even though I could lie in all day if I wanted! When I was at uni though I had very full days and would have been too tired to work out when I’d finished so I would wake up early to be in the gym at 6.30!
    I don’t really follow a routine as I tend to do the same intervals on the cardio machines and then every other day I do weights with the cardio. I do want to try and change it up though because I know my body is probably used to this exercise now. I guess I’m just scared to change my routine as I always am with change! I did go to a Zumba class last week though that was different so hopefully I can start feel a bit braver about introducing new things!

  • i love to mix it up – yoga, running, dance and gym sessions. I go to classes and then do whatever I feel like on the days on which there isn’t a class. GNR HERE WE COME!!!

  • Being organised is the only way that I can fit it all in. My PhD isn’t a 9-5 job, its a more whenever to whenever- very long days indeed. Plus a house to run, cooking, cleaning and a Saturday job, life is a little bit crazy most of the time.

    I try and get my workouts done in the morning if I don’t have to be in the lab early. If I have to be in early I go in super early so I can leave early to get in an early workout. Most of the time I split up my workouts (toning and cardio) in the day too.

    Geez! I think all women are super human! :-)

  • I wish my gym did another body pump class, because although I think I get some benefits, I think twice a week would be much better. I know what you mean about fitting it all in- I never know how people with children who work full time manage it. I have a balance- I tend to workout 5 days a week- sometimes 6 but not often, as I an conscious that I want to spend some time together with Andy too. So I have 2 classes in the evening, 2 runs as soon as I get home from work, and a run one weekend morning. I have been doing those yoga podcasts too, once or twice a week as I know I need to work on my flexibility!

  • tam

    I fit most things in. I do Bikram 3/4 times a week and the other sessions are circuits which basically include strength, cardio and toning. I use a mix of equipment bosu ball, trx, weights med balls etc. I also run before a circuit and some times when I have free time like today I parked up by the park and had a quick run. I guess its easier for me, being a personal trainer I have all me own equipment : )

  • I always feel terribly guilty when I post my exercise recaps because I know I only fit so much in because I can dictate my own schedule. Even when I was at University my lectures and seminars were very spread out so I didn’t have to do ‘full’ days as such. I’m very much an early morning exerciser predominantly so I know I’d be able to fit in my runs and some spin classes, with Body Pump in the evening perhaps…actually, my gym offers classes most hours of the day so that would not be a problem, but the sheer mental exhaustion of having to be productive and professional at work in the way you are would mean that something would have to give.

    I definitely wouldn’t be able to have time for friends, family and cooking gourmet and delicious vegan meals as you do. I think I’d end up living on Innocent Veg Pots and relying on coffee to function!

    I’ve always admired how you balance working out with all of your other commitments AND your studies on top of that.


  • I have little time at the moment and just do a manic 20 minute run with a little bit strength training but its getting to the point where im soooo bored. getting into a rut makes excerise such a drag (especially first thing in the morning) when i used to love it. you have inspired me, Im definatly going to look into doing some yoga or pilates at a class.

  • This is a really good topic Laura. I’ve often felt overwhelmed by the amount that I’ve wanted to / felt I should fit in. I guess you inevitably prioritise what you enjoy more on a weekly basis, but I also think that if you cycle through different workout cycles every 6 months or so then you’re going to end up with an overall good level of fitness and health in the longer term.

    Saying that, I still haven’t really found the time to do yoga or pilates, despite knowing I really should, and also *wanting* to. But then there’s the rest of my life too, and something has to give. Let’s just hope it’s not my hamstring (haha! Sorry, bad joke!)

  • It’s all about what feels right for you, isn’t it? I workout before work as the evenings are my time at home with Hubz to relax. I workout once on a weekend but would like to twice, but I need to get my cardio/res balance sorted before I commit to anything else! I’m a cardio monster atm.

    I find not following a plan and just setting aside exercise ‘times’ works for me, that way I just do whatever I feel like when I get up that morning – keeps my routines fresh and my body challenged.

  • Really interesting topic – I struggle with my time management on an almost daily basis. I’m always impressed by how you manage to fit everything in (workout, work, cooking, housework, socialising, shopping, relaxing) and remain so chilled!

    I work 5 days a week from 9-5.30 (similar to you I guess?) and sometimes get a wee bit overwhelmed with trying to balance all my priorities in life and give everything the attention it deserves. I often have to remind myself that I can only do my best, and if that means cutting a run to 3 miles instead of 6 in order to spend some quality time with my boyfriend, then that’s just fine. We’re not superwoman afterall, and aslong as we’re striving to achieve a good balance then that’s all we can do :) That said, goodness knows how people with children or greater work responsibilities cope with it all!

  • I definitely think that this is something that needs a lot of thought, especially if you work full time and have a house to maintain too!

    I prefer early morning workouts too, but hate getting out of bed early, so I vary my workout times across the week. I love classes, because they’re a set length and all the thought behind the workout is already done.. I just turn up and do it! I also love classes that combine strength, cardio and core stability (e.g. kettlercise, fusion classes)…

    Thanks for sharing that article, it’s really interesting and has given me a new insight into my exercise routine. I might have to blog about this too!

  • Deisegirl – yes, it does take a lot of effort to keep it up. I’m sure you’ll find that mental push to get you back into a routine. I’ve found that its so routine for me now its just like brushing my teeth!

    Sarah – oh yes take advantage now while you have the time, hope you enjoy the gym!

    Nicky – thanks! it is hard work fitting it all in but I manage it somehow. I think trying out new things is great, if I hadn’t tried out body pump I would be missing out so much!

    Emma – that sounds like such a brilliant approach! and yes GNR here we come indeed!

    Jemma – I can totally relate to that, sometimes just keeping on top of cooking and cleaning is stressful enough!

    Maria – I agree, I wish I had another body pump class I could attend on a Thursday evening. Me and James are pretty good at making sure we have our ‘me’ time. We are even going to bring back date night!

    Tam – I was hoping you would comment! Yes I guess its much easier for you as you can workout as part of your job!

    Jess – thanks :-) I just try my best but I’m sure you would manage too if you were in a similar situation x

    Alice – sometimes changing it up can be so refreshing! I’ve completely changed up my routine a few times over the last year and honestly it has worked wonders for my motivation!

    Alison – haha, well if you can fit in a bit of yoga hopefully the hamstring won’t go, or at least I guess thats the theory! I’m trying to do that and change things up regularly too.

    Alex – completely, yes its all about what works for you, sounds like you have an excellent approach in place!

    Bronagh – yes I usually work either 9.30ish to 5.30 ish or 7.30 to 4 so when I workout early I start late and when I work out in the evening I start early. It is a bit of a juggling act and I do sometimes get stressed – I think being ultra organised (like monica from friends) and multi tasking really helps me! I think your so right on your priorities, I get to spend plenty of time with James and my family thank goodness!

    Bexx – glad you enjoyed the post! I wish there were more morning classes at my gym as they would be perfect for me – I agree its good to be just able to go on auto pilot when in a class!

  • Fitting it all in is tough! I love loads of different kinds of exercise and I want to do it all. Most of the time my work is flexible, so some weeks I manage to get a good balance – maybe 4 runs, strength work and yoga. Some weeks I have to prioritise and at the moment I’ve been concentrating on getting my runs in. Lately though I’ve been thinking that I need some more strength workouts.
    I love it too though – so it’s hardly ever a chore!

  • Hi laura! Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying hi! I’m looking forward to reading more of yours :D

    I try to stick to a specific plan, working out 6 days a week and alternating between strength and cardio, but if I can’t get my full workout in, then I do it in random spurts throughout the day, usually for 15 minutes at a time, whenever I get a spare moment. With it being summer now, though, it’s a lot easier to find the time. And I definitely like to switch up my workouts… not only to keep my body guessing, but because I get bored and lose motivation otherwise.

  • I too wonder whether I’m hitting the right balance – I want desperately to fit everything in, but there’s only 7 days in the week after all!

    I’m training for my half marathon/marathon too so running is always in the back of my mind. But I try as best as I can to include yoga/stretching, ab work and upper body weights at least once a week.