Don't let the social and school events of late summer sidetrack your fitness goals. Here are six ways to fit fitness into your busy lifestyle:

  1. Make morning work for you. Get up half an hour earlier than the rest of your family for workout time that won't be interrupted.
  2. Family time = workout time. Looking for ways to spend more time with the kids and get some exercise, too? Investigate family outings that require physical activity, such as hikes through local parks and forests and 5K events that raise money for charity.
  3. Save commute time. Instead of heading home during rush-hour traffic, tote your exercise clothes and equipment to work and walk, run or bike near your office after working hours. By the time you've finished your workout, the traffic jams will have disappeared!
  4. Eliminate TV time. Do you really need to watch so much TV, anyway? Tape your favorite shows to watch on the weekend and use the time to exercise.
  5. Make a date. If you meet a friend for coffee every week, try bringing a bottle of water to the mall to sip while you take a few laps around the stores. Or if your book discussion group usually meets for drinks and high-fat meals, suggest a vegetarian restaurant to host the discussion for your latest read and follow up with an after-dinner stroll.
  6. Think frequency, not duration. It's easy to convince yourself to skip workouts when you dread a long time commitment. Instead of scheduling three 45-minute exercise sessions each week, aim to complete five 20-minute sessions of physical activity instead.