The obesity epidemic might have taken off in the 1980s, but many Americans were preoccupied with weight loss exercise, and dieting long before this.

Back in the 1830s, a Presbyterian minister by the name Sylvester Graham touted a vegetarian diet that excluded alcohol, condiments, and spices. Later in the 20th century, Horace Fletcher, a nutrition expert, convinced people that they had to chew food up to 722 times before swallowing to promote weight loss.

man trying to lift weights

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President William Howard Taft also did his fair share of dieting after he got stuck in a White House bathtub. Sources say that the former president adopted a contemporary food plan: low calorie, low fat, and a daily food log to lose weight.

No matter which approach you decide to try, one thing is certain, maintaining a proper diet and exercise regimen is vital for successful weight loss.

Are you joking, you might ask. There's little enough time for work, school, family, and even sleep. Now we're supposed to exercise as well? Yes. But the good news is, if you work smart, you can fit exercise into even your busy schedule.

How do you Lose Weight on a Busy Schedule?

Losing weight is a great challenge anyway, but when you have a hectic schedule full of errands, appointments, and obligations that suck all the time out of your day, achieving your weight loss goals can seem impossible. The good news is, you don't have to quit your job or join a boot camp to lose weight. With the right approach, you can keep up with all your commitments and focus on weight loss exercise as well.

The key to achieving this is planning ahead and ensuring your day is organized in an efficient and smart way. Before you know it, weight loss exercise habits will become second-nature, and you will realize the efforts are totally worth it.

How to Incorporate Weight Loss Exercise into Your Busy Routine

To lose weight on a busy schedule, you have to commit to doing certain things every single day that will set you up for success. Here are some of the things you can do to incorporate weight loss exercise into your hectic schedule.

Become an early riser

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If you're serious about losing weight but time is a hindrance, waking up earlier could be the answer to your problem. It's easier to commit to working out first thing in the morning because, at this time, no one expects you to be doing anything else.

This is not the case if you schedule your workouts later in the day. You might end up missing your sessions due to emergency meetings, urgent deadlines, and other important things you can't afford to reschedule.

Apart from convenience, exercising in the morning has several benefits. First and foremost, studies have shown that you burn more calories throughout the day when you work out in the morning. According to a study by Appalachian State University, you also get a better night’s rest when you work out in the morning. So, get your alarm clock ready and commit to waking up earlier than usual.


Another great way to incorporate weight loss exercise into your busy routine is to multi-task. Multi-tasking works very well if you're confined in an office all day long. All you need to do is to identify different office tasks you can complete while working out.

For instance, if you have to go through some reports, you can do so while planking or squatting. This way, you end up completing each of the tasks without necessarily needing more time. However, you might need a closed door when doing this if you need privacy or simply don’t want to be the weird coworker at the office.

Make exercise appointments


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Sometimes, fitting an exercise routine into your schedule simply means deciding to commit to it. Decide to set aside an hour or two of your schedule and treat it as you would any other important appointment. Would you reschedule a trip to the dentist or cancel an important meeting with your boss?

You need to start thinking about weight loss exercise appointments as if they're just that important. Because they are.

Once you do this, it will be very difficult for you to cancel the appointments easily. It may take time to find precisely the right slot in your schedule. But once you make it a priority, this trick will serve you well.

Take advantage of your commute

If you live a few miles away from your office, you can take advantage of your commute to lose weight. Instead of driving or taking the bus to work, ride a bike, run, or walk to work at least three times a week. You will not only burn more calories, but you'll also have more energy throughout the day.

However, make sure to carry some clean clothes so that you don't show up at work sweaty. If there's nowhere you can shower or change at work, you can run or walk back home instead.

Take exercise breaks at the office

If you spend most of your day at the office, you should consider taking exercise breaks once in a while. During these exercise breaks, you can stretch, lift some dumbbells, do some pushups, and more.

Apart from burning calories, you'll also be able to undo the negative effects of sitting all day, which will prove very beneficial for your back and spinal health.

The Top 10 Weight Loss Exercises for Busy People

If you spend most of your day at work, a couple of hours commuting, and at least six hours sleeping, you’ll probably want to use the rest of your day to unwind. It's only natural to dread hitting the gym after a long day of work.

Luckily, you don’t really need a trainer or the gym to lose weight. You always can exercise in the comfort of your own home or office and get your desired results. Here's a list of some of the best weight loss exercises for men and women that you can do anywhere.

The best thing about these exercises is that they blend easily with all your brief downtime moments. You can do them first thing in the morning, at the office, while skimming through your social media pages, or even while binge-watching your favorite shows.

Wall sits

To do a wall sit, make sure your back is flat against the wall. Once this is done, set your feet shoulder-width apart and about 2 feet out from the wall. Next, slide your back down the wall until your feet are at a 90-degree angle. Hold your position while contracting your abs as long as you can.

The best thing about wall sits is that you can do them anywhere, and you don't need to set up any equipment. This exercise works your core and leg muscles, which makes it a great toning exercise. Increase the amount of time you hold the wall sit a couple of times a week so that you can build muscle strength. You can also build resistance by holding on to something heavy while doing it.

Do at least 3 sets of of these of 10 reps each. Each round should be at least 30 seconds for the best results.


Planks are great for weight loss because they work several muscles in the body at once. Start in a modified push up position. Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, with your forearms resting on the floor. Ensure your elbows are aligned with your shoulders and look down. Next, straighten your legs to balance your lower body with your toes.

Ensure that your whole body is straight and your core is engaged while doing this. Hold the pose for as long as you can. At first, you might find it hard to do but keep adding a few seconds to enhance your core strength.

When it comes to planks, the number of sets is really not important. The goal is to hold for as long as you can. For a beginner, we recommend you start with 10 to 15 seconds. However, aim to hold longer for the best results.


To do squats, stand with your head facing forward and your chest lifted up and out. Spread your feet to shoulder-width and sit back and down as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Go back to the starting position and repeat.

Squats are great for people who sit down for long periods because they help you use the muscles that you often neglect. They work the legs, butt, and stomach area. Apart from this, they strengthen the knees thereby protecting them from damage.

For the best results, do 3 sets of 50 reps and add to this number as you go every week.


To do this weight loss exercise, start by ensuring that your upper body is straight and that your shoulders are back and relaxed. Your chin should be up, and your core engaged when doing this. Next, step forward with one leg while lowering your hips until both legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Repeat with the other leg. Do this a number of times.

This is an excellent workout because it engages the glutes, quadriceps, core, calves, and hamstrings. You can try different lunge variations like carrying some weights to increase intensity.

For the best results, do four sets of five reps. You can increase the number as you go to build endurance and get better results.

Chair dips

If you want a quick arm workout, chair dips are probably the fastest weight loss exercise you can do. All you need is a steady chair. Stand in front of the chair facing away from the seat. Next, sit at the edge of the sit and place your hands behind your hips. Lift your bottom off the seat and walk your feet forward.

The further you extend your feet, the higher the intensity of the workout will be. Next, lower your body and lift it back up using the strength of your arms and repeat. Do this weight loss exercise every day, and you will surely notice a difference in your arms.

To start, you can do three sets of 20 reps. Add to this number every week for better results.

Mountain climbers

To do mountain climbers, start in a basic plank position. With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest making sure your toes are off the ground. Keep switching your legs and increase the pace until you feel like you are running in the plank position.

This is a great exercise for your core, biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings, hip abductor, and deltoids. It is also a great cardio workout, which means you will burn a lot of calories when you do it.

To achieve the best results, aim for 3 sets of 50 reps every single day. Keep adding to the number to burn even more calories.

Bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches are a great weight loss exercise that engages your core. To do this exercise, lie flat on the floor making sure you press your lower back to the ground. Pull your navel in to ensure your core is engaged while doing this exercise. Next, put your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders off the ground. Next, bring your left knee towards your right elbow and repeat on the other side.

Keep switching sides. To increase the intensity, make sure you drop your legs almost close to the floor when changing sides.

To start, you can do 3 sets of 20 reps. Add to this number every week for better results

Jumping jacks

This is a great cardio workout that works many muscles in your body. To do them, begin by standing straight with your arms by your side. Next, jump up and spread your feet beyond hip-width while bringing your hands up almost touching each other. Jump up again, bringing your legs back together and arms at the side.

Repeat these movements several times. You can add intensity by holding low-weight dumbbells as you do them.

Since this exercise is easy to do, aim for 4 sets of 100 reps every single day. You can add the number of reps as you go to burn more calories and build resistance.

Jump rope

Jumping rope is probably the most straightforward weight loss exercise. It works muscles as well as your cardiovascular system. All you need is a jump rope. Grip the jump rope handles and place it behind your legs. Turn the jump rope over your head and jump. Repeat the exercise a number of times.

Jump rope is a great cardiovascular workout that engages most of the muscles in your body.

Aim for 3 sets of 100 reps at the beginning and add to this number as you go for the best results.


This is another great core workout. To do it, lie down on your back and bend your knees. Make sure your feet are firm on the ground. Next, place your hands behind your neck. Engaging your core muscles, curl your lower body towards your knees. Keep repeating for best results. If you cannot lift yourself up without lifting your legs, find something heavy to hold your feet down for you.

To start, you can do 3 sets of 20 reps. Add to this number every week for better results.

Get Rid of the Excuses and Begin Today!

As you can see, the only barrier standing between you and your weight loss goals is the excuse you have been making.

Being busy is a great and valid excuse for not sticking to a workout routine. However, if you're really serious about getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle, there are numerous ways you can incorporate a workout routine into your schedule.

Decide to make yourself one of your top priorities and begin making small changes today. And before you know it, you will have overcome this milestone that seems so big right now.

What are your favorite weight loss exercises? Do you prefer cardio workouts or resistance exercises? Tell us a little about your current routine and suggestions in the comments below. Or feel free to ask us any questions about these weight loss exercises.