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I don’t have much free time. How can I fit in exercise?



Make the most of your day

Maybe you have many demands on your time. Think about ways you can fit exercise into your busy schedule. Organizing your day to include exercise is key.

Graphic: 'Ask Yourself'


  • When do I have breaks during the day? What do I do during my spare time?
  • Sometimes it can be hard to make time for exercise. Some kids say:
    • "I’m in school all day and have a lot of homework at night.”
    • “I work a part-time job after school.”
    • “I babysit my younger brothers and sisters when I get home from school.”
  • Can you relate? What gets in the way for you? What could you do?

Graphic: 'Learn More'


Get some ideas that have worked for other kids


Plan ahead

  • When short on time, plan ahead. Think about when and where you will exercise and the type of exercise you might be able to do.
  • Plan activities with friends.
  • Write your exercise schedule in your calendar or set exercise reminders in your phone.
  • Pack sneakers, exercise clothes (anything comfortable will do), and a water bottle in your backpack.

Add it up

  • Work toward 60 minutes of exercise over the course of the day. Every little bit counts! Short bouts of exercise can give you an energy boost during your busy schedule.

Pick activities

  • Brainstorm ideas for fun activities. What activities could you do?
  • When picking out activities, aim for moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise.

Moderate Intensity Exercises

  • shooting hoops
  • playing Frisbee
  • social dancing
  • yard work
  • walking to class
  • skateboarding
  • playing on the playground
  • recreational swimming
  • brisk walking
  • bicycling (5-9 mph)
  • walking the dog
  • housework
  • shoveling light snow
  • swinging

Vigorous Intensity Exercises

  • jumping rope
  • karate
  • running
  • soccer
  • swimming laps
  • wrestling
  • squash
  • jumping jacks
  • shoveling heavy snow
  • ice hockey
  • handball
  • high-energy dancing
  • bicycling (more than 10 mph)
  • basketball game
  • field or roller hockey