I have no time to exercise (12-hour days, 2-hour commute, four kids, home chores). Looking for suggestions?

No Time to Exercise? Start with 10 minutes…

I have no time to exercise (12-hour days, 2-hour commute, four kids, home chores). I just don’t have time to go to the gym and I’m looking for suggestions?

I can totally relate to not having enough time to workout. I admit that just a few years ago I fell into the same trap myself.

After I stopped competing in bodybuilding and became a father I never had the time – nor the motivation – to keep up with 2+ hour long workouts, 6 days per week, and it didn’t take long for it to show…

One skipped workout turned into a week off from the gym… And I’d keep telling myself:
“It’s ok, I know what to do, and I’ll get back on track on Monday”

But for some reason ‘Monday’ kept getting pushed further and further back and I was always too busy, too tired, and kept procrastinating.

If you’re a parent you know what it’s like waking up in the middle of the night to a crying baby and all the extra responsibilities that go along with it. It’s easy to justify putting off going to the gym and making time for yourself to exercise.

Before I knew it I didn’t even recognize the fat guy looking back at me in the mirror. Here I was with a 40+ inch waist and a gut that stuck out further than my chest. Far cry from the former competitive bodybuilder that I used to be.

Lee Hayward's Lose Your Gut Challenge

What was the turning point to change your spiraling habit?

Lee Hayward:
One day I was watching a YouTube video by Stan “Rhino” Efferding and he was talking about doing 10-minute walks and the benefits of short frequent cardio workouts for fat loss, improving digestion, and improving insulin sensitivity, etc. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you check out his YouTube channel, great stuff.

After watching Stan’s video, it really got me thinking about just how little exercise it actually takes to make a difference.

You see, as a former competitive bodybuilder I was guilty of falling into the ALL or NOTHING trap… Thinking that if I couldn’t follow the perfect workout program and give it 100% – then what’s the point of doing anything at all.

Is it more of a mindset?

Lee Hayward:
Yes, I actually developed a mental block thinking that if I never had 2 hours to go to the gym, or couldn’t do at least 45 minutes of cardio, that:
“I didn’t have time to exercise”.

But that’s a crock of BS… Something is always better than nothing. That’s why these days I keep telling guys that you don’t have to be perfect – you just have to be:
“Good Enough, But Good Enough Consistently”.

Where did you start?

Lee Hayward:
I started incorporating 10 minute walks throughout the day. Literally just putting on my sneakers and walking up the road for 5 minutes and then turning around and walking back. It was so simple, quick, and easy – yet I felt really good afterwards!

I found that just the act of getting my ass out the door was the hardest part. But once I got outside and started walking, I’d sometimes end up going for 15 or 20 minutes or more because I actually enjoyed it and it felt good.

However, I mentally told myself at the start that I just have to go for 10 minutes. And there were lots of times that I literally did go for just 10-minute walks, but about half the time it ended up being a 20-minute walk or more!

This sounds so simple. What did your 10 minutes duration’s look like and when did you fit them in?

Lee Hayward:
This was a Big A-Ha moment for me because it made me realize that even if I didn’t have 2+ hours during the day for exercise, I could still take advantage of all those little opportunities.

10 minutes before work, 10 minutes on my lunch break, 10 minutes after work, 10 minutes in the evening after dinner, etc. This was time that I was probably wasting just sitting on my arse and scrolling through social media on my phone, or channel surfing through the TV.

I kept it very simple and started with just going for 10 minute walks. But then after a month I added in doing 10 minute body weight workouts at home – such as; push ups, bodyweight squats, crunches, etc. Then I got a set of resistance bands so I could add in bicep curls, rows, shoulder presses, etc.

If you don’t think you can get a good workout in just 10 minutes, then I encourage you to try it for yourself… Do a circuit of push ups and bodyweight squats and alternate them back and forth. Literally do a set of push ups, then do a set of squats, rest 30 seconds, and repeat. Keep going for 10 minutes and I’m telling you it will be a very challenging workout that you can literally do anywhere, with zero equipment, and it only takes 10 minutes!

Everyone has got 10 minutes – even YOU… Heck, if you’re here reading this post right now, then I’m willing to bet you’ve been scrolling online for more than 10 minutes LOL

Ya, you are right. What could my first 10 minutes look like?

Lee Hayward:
I challenge you to make time today to get outside for a 10-minute walk. Start with that. It doesn’t matter when you do it, just as long as you do it.

The hardest part of exercising is just getting started, and if you make the task very small (i.e. a 10 minute walk) it reduces the friction of getting started because it will be done and over before you know it. There’s really no excuse. You can even do 10 minutes on a cardio machine. If you have a bike, treadmill, or elliptical at home – that can count towards your mini 10-minute workouts.Once you build the habit of doing short frequent workouts into your routine, you can always expand on them and make them more challenging.

Any closing comments you want to leave me with?

Lee Hayward:
The big take home message here is to let go of the mental block that a workout has to take an hour or more to be effective, because it doesn’t.

You’ll be amazed at how doing mini 10 minute workouts like this can compound over time and make a dramatic difference in your health and fitness. However, it’s not going to be some overnight miracle. Regardless if you workout today, or you don’t, you’re still going to look the same tomorrow.

But just imagine what would happen if you did a 10 minute walk and a 10 minute bodyweight workout each day for the next year? It doesn’t sound like much, and it’s not, but those little workouts can make a substantial difference when compounded over time.

Who knows, doing mini 10 minute workouts could be the start to your “Dad Bod Transformation”, just like it was for me!

Dad Bod Transformation Resident Coach Interview with Lee Hayward from Newfoundland Canada. Lee is a former competitive bodybuilder and one of the pioneers to the online bodybuilding and fitness scene. He started his “Total Fitness Bodybuilding” website back in 1997. In 2006 he started making YouTube videos and in 2011 he was chosen by YouTube’s Next Trainer Program as the top bodybuilding coach that year. These days Lee’s main focus is on helping men over 40 to build muscle, lose fat, and get back in shape with his Muscle After 40 Blueprint Coaching Program.

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you... lee@leehayward.com