Americans lead busy lives. Between work, family obligations, maintaining a social life and trying to find some time for yourself, it can be hard to fit going to the gym into your schedule. Still, it's important to recognize that exercise is among the most important factors in ensuring a healthy heart for yourself. This, of course, begs the question: What in your busy routine has to go?

Surely in order to fit in exercise with all of these other time-consuming priorities, something must have to be sacrificed, right? Wrong. There are numerous ways to fit exercise into even the busiest of daily routines. If you know that you need more physical activity in your life but are struggling to find the time to get out and get active, try these three tips for exercising on a busy schedule:


The American Heart Association recommends that adults perform at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every week in order to maintain a healthy heart. That equals 30 minutes per day, five days a week. While this may seem like a tall order, it's important to remember that these minutes don't need to be taken from a necessary activity. On that note, dessert presents the perfect moment to get some exercise in. Instead of eating sugar- or fat-intensive foods each night after dinner, take a brisk walk around the neighborhood for thirty minutes before you do the dishes. Not only will this give you the cardiovascular exercise that you need, but it will also boost your metabolic rate and help your body digest dinner. Plus, by cutting out those detrimental dessert foods, you're killing two birds with one stone.

Divide and conquer

It's easy to look at your daily schedule and think that it's just about impossible to find 30 uninterrupted minutes to work out. It's important to remember here that those minutes don't have to be consecutive. If you can only find a few 10-minute periods during your day, those moments are still going to be better used on exercise than on anything else. If you have 10 minutes in the morning, use them to hop on the treadmill while you watch the morning news. If free time opens up during the workday, hit the nearest stairwell and get some steps in. It doesn't matter when you're working out as long as you're getting the recommended total.

Think outside the box

You don't need to be dressed in bright clothing surrounded by trainers to get a workout. In fact, Healthline has reported that everyday activities such as dancing, stretching regularly and even sex can have benefits for your cardiovascular health. The range of possible activities that can be used as exercise seems to be constantly broadening. While scheduling a workout can be a hassle, finding 30 minutes to focus on heart health each day is well worth it.

For more on exercising for heart health:

How Does Exercise Affect Heart Failure Risk?
Another Reason to Exercise: Reduce Depression, Improve Heart Health
Basic Guidelines for Aerobic Exercise