We get it; you have a lot on your plate.

Between work, school, family, friends and the many other demands on our time, most of us end up with packed schedules all too often. So when you’re having an especially busy week, where does “working out” fall on your priority list?

Is it a “must do,” no matter what, or is it the first thing to get bumped as your day planner starts filling up?

There’s no two ways about it: sticking to a regular exercise routine requires a bit of planning, and a solid time commitment. Whether your aim is to lose weight, build muscle or reduce stress via exercise, progress will be very slow or nonexistent if you can’t dedicate regular time to achieving your goals.

However, there’s another reason that working out deserves a special place high on your priority list, even when you’re busy: Exercise is “me time.”

These days, you hear a lot about “self care” and “treating yourself” as components of good mental health. Although these principles may sometimes get misinterpreted to mean overindulging too frequently when eating, or partaking in excessive spending, there is absolutely truth to them on a basic level. No matter how busy your schedule becomes, neglecting to take time to do what’s good, healthy and enjoyable for you will inevitably cause problems.

That’s a major reason why devoting a regular pocket of time to doing a type of exercise you enjoy is so important. Yes, consistent physical activity can help you lose weight, build muscle, and all the other commonly known benefits. However, regular workouts can also serve as a mental retreat, a mini vacation from stress, a healthy indulgence that’s just for you, and no one else. It often happens that many of the demands made on our time come from others: spouses, bosses, children, and others. Although all of these areas of life are important and cherished, also prioritizing regular increments of time to yourself is just as crucial. After all, you’ll be better equipped to be a great spouse, employee, parent or friend when you’re taking good care of your body and mind.

A trap that many of us fall into is the guilt mindset. When there’s so much to be done, and so many people and projects relying on your time input, some women feel that taking time for themselves is selfish. This is simply not true; while it’s important to fulfill commitments, it’s also important to take good care of yourself. Even if it’s just getting to one or two outdoor boot camp classes a week, or regularly making that Saturday morning Zumba-style dance workout, you owe it to yourself to indulge in a bit of healthy, productive “me time.” Your body, your mind, and the other people and responsibilities in your life will all benefit from it!

Fitting regular exercise into a packed schedule can be tricky.

At Bootique Fitness, we’re here to help! We offer classes in the mornings, evenings and on the weekends in various areas of San Diego, from Mission Valley and Hillcrest to Mission Bay and La Jolla, so you’re sure to find a slot that suits your schedule. Contact us to arrange your trial of one of our personal training group sessions or our dance-style cardio classes. We’re sure you’ll get hooked on the fat-burning workouts and encouraging, fun atmosphere—and it might just help you move “me time” in the form of exercise up your priority list!