You may have the best intentions to exercise regularly, rain or shine, but more than likely life can get in the way and put a damper on your routine.

Factors such as time pressures, stress, poor sleep, lengthy commutes or tight budgets can be enough to make your comfortable fitness routine less than comfortable - and maybe even nonexistent.

With Spring just around the corner, now’s a good time to review some easy ways that you can fit in fitness, in spite of bad weather or a busy calendar.

1. Take walking breaks at work. Work can be quite sedentary for many. You need to take control and make some simple changes so you start to burn more calories during your normal work day’s routine. Take a walking break with a colleague instead of a coffee break – a break where you can meet, talk and walk. Be creative by climbing stairs or doing laps around the building if weather permits. Another benefit is that you can reduce stress at the same time and fight the after lunch fatigue so common in the workplace.

2. Get credit all day long. Get yourself a pedometer (a step counter) that you can clip onto your waistband and get credit all day long for all the steps you take. A long term goal is to take 10,000 steps per day. Wearing a pedometer will motivate you to walk briskly whenever and wherever you can - with your baby in a buggy, your toddler on a bike, your spouse holding hands or your dog doing his business. When out doing errands, instead of driving your car around and looking for the closest parking place, park as far away as possible and walk briskly to your destination.

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3. Increase accountability. Buddying up with a friend, taking a class or working with a personal trainer are ways you can increase accountability and the likelihood that you will follow through with your program. I recently started working with a personal trainer and found myself to be energized by having someone else checking up on me, making sure I don’t give up and continuing to challenge myself in new ways. If you have a birthday or special event coming up, ask for a gift certificate to a personal trainer. You may be surprised how much more motivated you can be when accountable to someone else.

4. Break a sweat at home. For those busy times when you can’t get to the health club, you need to have some easy ways to get fit at home. Jumping rope, using hand weights or exercise bands or finding fun exercise videotapes or DVD’s are some examples that work well for my patients. If home responsibilities are getting in your way, consider sharing babysitting responsibilities with neighbors or friends so that you can get the time you need to go for a jog, do some yoga or just take a long, warm bath and re-charge your batteries.

I hope these four tips will give you new ideas for boosting your fitness, even when life is hectic.

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