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7 Ways to Sneak in Running Time

Boost your running motivation


Updated January 25, 2014

No time to run? You're not alone: Lack of time is one of the most popular excuses for missing regular runs. But when you do take the time to run, you may actually find that you'll have more energy and be more efficient at getting things done.

Take these opportunities to get running:

1. Run Somewhere You Need to Go.

Woman running past storefronts
Michael Schmitt
You can literally "run" some errands. Next time you have to pick up milk or mail a letter, run to the nearest grocery store, post office, or mailbox instead of driving there. (You can walk home if you have stuff to carry, of course.)

2. Hit the Stairs.

Running Up Stairs
Stewart Cohen
It takes about the same time to wait for the elevator as it does to run up a flight of stairs. Instead of wasting your time sitting in front of the elevator, head for the stairs and start running (footwear permitting, of course!).

3. Run With Your Dog.

Running With Dog
Photo by Michael Blann
Instead of letting him out in the backyard, give both of you some exercise by taking your dog (or letting him take you) for a jaunt through the neighborhood. If you don't have a dog, borrow a friend's or neighbor's.
More: Tips for Running With Dogs

4. Break Up Your Run.

Runner outside in fall weather
Photo by Chase Jarvis/Getty Images
Don't assume that you have to run 30 minutes all at once. If you have 15 minutes to run on the treadmill before you start making dinner, go for it. Then, while dinner is cooking, jump on for another 15 minutes. As long as you do the segments in the same day, your body is basically getting the same benefits as if you ran all the miles in one workout.
More: Can I Split My Long Runs?

5. Turn Off the TV.

Woman running
John P Kelly
You can fit in a 30-minute run just by giving up one sitcom -- especially if it's a rerun. You'll definitely feel a lot better and you probably won't feel like you're missing out.

6. Or, Use Your Tube Time.

Treadmill running watching TV
PM Images
If you absolutely can't miss your favorite programs, get in a few miles on the treadmill while you're watching. You can use the commercials to mark changes in your incline or pace.

More: Beat Boredom on the Treadmill

7. Socialize on the Run.

Man and woman running together
Jordan Siemens
Instead of having lunch or coffee with a friend, catch up with buddies during a run. Set regular dates with running friends, so you'll be more motivated to run.

More: Benefits of Group Running
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