7 creative ways to get in workouts when being held down by life responsibilities

I asked Quora users what were some creative ways that they have got in workouts, after being bogged down with life responsibilities, and this is what they responded with.

1. Mansour A – “For most of us, life comes with challenges and responsibilities far beyond the gym lifestyle. To create a balance with my other important stuff of life, I have streamlined my fitness activities and I admit that I am still not proficient at it, occasionally I become frustrated not being able to attend to my love for weightlifting. For me, some good ways to deal with the problem are the obvious ones. I quit going to the open public gym about six years ago. It saves in the driving time, potential exposure to wasting time, bro science, supplements!, save $$, etc. Then I decided to build my gym at home using my garage and backyard. The most important thing is that I cook all my meals, no exceptions. I also work from home.”

2. Mike R – “When I get bogged down and it seems like life doesn’t want me to workout. Some of the approached I’ve taken:

  •  Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual and do something that is a workout (pushups, situps, go for a run)
  •  Enlist an ally and commit to meeting up for a workout on a regular basis.
  •  Get a big calendar and put check marks on all the days I workout.
  •  Embrace the non workout days and roll with it and trust that I’ll get back in a groove
  •  Change the workout choice–instead of lifting weights I’ll do sprints for a week
  •  Read up on habits or watch a you tube video addressing how to use your brain to get into good habits
  • Go to Walmart and look at a male near my age who never chose to take care of their health and remind myself I need to stay consistent with my workouts.”

3. Daniel W – “When plans go awry! I had expected to have nearly 40 minutes to work out before the gym closed. I was delayed; I had 15 minutes. Loading plates on Hammer Strength equipment and returning the weights would have ruined any chance of making the 15 minutes I had productive. I chose the selectorized equipment. Lat pull downs with different grips, chest presses, curls, leg extension and leg curls. I got in about 15 sets. Sucking air, a pump and a good sweat too! I had “stuff” at home then but nothing like now. I usually have some equipment or bars ready “to go” or even the chest expander, the Hoist VKR with the multiple options and the Tuff Stuff functional trainer with the dual stacks that I use a bench and preacher curl attachment with is quick to get things done on.”

4. Reuben C – “Workouts are more than just exercise. For me, it’s also a form of therapy. My list below is geared towards long term welfare for regular people. So, if you’re bogged down, consider the below options:

  • If it’s a short term thing, say a couple of days, take a break from the workouts. Don’t add the mental stress of trying and failing to hit the gym. Get the immediate job done, then resume. That said;
  • Take a power nap; for some situations; more effective than a short gym session.
  • Play. With your friends, kid, dog, cat, or yourself. Bounce a ball off a wall and catch it – reaction training and hand- eye coordination exercises . Also stress relief.
  • Walk between some places, if practical.
  • Jog up any stairs, if practical.
  • I carry a couple of strength bands with me everywhere. Very versatile for quick workouts. I have 1 very light, 2 medium-heavy (a pair) & 1 heavy.
  • Isometrics
  • Mid work breaks for counter stretches and toe touches, to stretch out from sitting.
  • Finally, my favourite strategy: if you have a program or a plan, follow it, but reduce the intensity and break up the long session into 2 or 3 mini sessions, if possible. See my point above for the bands; that is how to do it without heading to the gym multiple times.
  • As an addition to the above, I find having a limited amount of equipment at home increases your options a lot. I recommend 1 kettle bell, a pair of adjustable dumbbells and the bands I mentioned. No bench, etc.”

5. Craig R – “I mean I schedule my workouts in as a set time. But I do a lot of calisthenics if I really can’t make it (so body weight exercises). Life throws a lot, but working out is my therapy.”

6. Anthony B – “Personally when i couldn’t afford a gym membership because i had way too many expenses at the time, i took junk and water bottles, filled them up, pressed pulled and pushed them. junk as in, i took a friends old rusty barbell, cleaned it off, tied bags with water bottles around it and lifted it in as many variations as possible. I did the best i could; I did home workouts such as calisthenics. I used Parkinson’s law which states that work expands to fill the time allotted to it, which means i gave myself to do a prescribed volume of workouts in a time interval such as 30 minutes all in the name of health. I’ve used many different forms of resistances such as putting weights, water bottles, etc in my backpack and did squats, push-ups and pull-ups with it. There are many different ways to accomplish a goal; I actually miss those days because i was much more creative and got such a great pump every time i worked out. Where there is a will there is a way.”

7. Dwight W – “I developed what I call the 5-minute workout: Sprints or jumping jacks or running in place, squats or lunges, push ups, leg raises, full situps… done without stopping for 10 reps of each over 5 minutes or done for 30 seconds each exercise for 2 rounds.”

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Written by Thomas Gouard

Im a military veteran; a full-time college student, and a fitness addict. Fueled by inspiration; God's word; endorphins and laughter!


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