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August 3, 2021

Finding time for fitness

As a busy mom, attorney and writer,
I often get asked how I find the time to work out. The answer is simple: I don’t find time.
I make time.
In any given day, there are a million things that can take priority over exercise—work, school, kids, binge-watching Youtube videos. It’s easy to tell ourselves that we simply can’t find the time.
After losing 50-plus pounds when I was a teenager, I’ve had an exercise lifestyle for most of my adult life—through college, law school, long work hours, maternity leave and early working motherhood. I’ve found that you can fit exercise into any schedule as long as you adopt the mindset that you will exercise no matter what. With that mindset, you’ll be able to modify the exercise time and type to meet different needs at different stages of your life. It’s a mindset that is applicable to nearly every fitness level.
For example, try doing your binge-watching while on a treadmill. Try taking an hour-long walk during lunch or suggest walking meetings with co-workers (it worked for Steve Jobs.) Be flexible enough that you can work in exercise at any time of day and through any situation. I, for example, have woken up at 5:30 in the morning, ignored a grumpy husband and headed to the gym for pre-scheduled classes. I have jogged with a sleeping baby in a jogging stroller during mid-afternoon nap time. In the evenings after pre-school, I have ran with a toddler who somehow turned into a personal trainer. “Faster, mommy, faster!” she’d yell. I have turned physical activities into weekend social time by going for family hikes or by meeting girlfriends at the gym for a fun dance class.
The key really is to not let time stop you. Make time work for you. Tell yourself that your health is worth the little extra shifts in your activity level. The funny thing is, once you start, you will find that exercise actually finds time for itself. The energy that an active lifestyle gives you will make you more efficient in other aspects of your life, so that the exercise time itself blends seamlessly into your day. So eventually making time for exercise will take no time at all.
Neera Siva is a health enthusiast, mom, patent attorney and writer, in no particular order. She and her family live in Santa Clara County. Check out her website at

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