The number one excuse of Americans who don't exercise: I'm just too busy. Health and fitness experts, however, aren't buying it. 

So what are we so busy with?  Work, kids, hobbies, television, chores, friends; almost anything other than working out.  Failure to exercise, however, is associated with an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, depression, and many other diseases.  Make time for exercise, and you'll add years to your life. Read on for eight ways to fit exercise into your hectic schedule.

  • Get up early.  It only takes 30 minutes a day to get a decent workout.  Set your alarm half an hour early, put on your sneakers, grab the dog, and go for a walk around the neighborhood.

  • Make walking part of your transportation system.  Walking provides excellent exercise. Walk to school, a store, or to work.  Park a few blocks away from your office or at the far end of the parking lot. 

  • Fit exercise into your lunch hour.  Virtually everyone takes time for lunch.  Instead of spending the entire hour in the cafeteria or at your desk, grab a coworker and do some laps around the area. Or look into some nearby gyms.

  • Break it up.  Ten minutes three times a day is as good as a solid 30 minutes. Hit the office stairs or run around the block during your break. Do lunges, yoga poses, or crunches.

  • Do a playground workout.  Instead of sitting on the bench while your kids play at the park, climb the monkey bars, chase a ball, or walk the perimeter of the playground.  Walk the track while your kids practice sports.  Push the stroller while you run.  If your kids have time for exercise, so do you.

  • Schedule it in.  You wouldn't blow off a dentist appointment or a client meeting.  If fitness is programmed into your daily schedule, you're more likely to take it seriously and make time for exercise. 

  • Forget the gym, and work out at home.  If you don't have time to drive to and from the gym, grab a fitness DVD, jump rope, exercise ball, yoga mat, hand weights, or any other home fitness equipment and get a total workout right in your own living room. 

  • Stock up. Do the majority of your workouts on the weekend. Plan a hike, family bike ride, or soccer game as part of an active weekend, but be careful not to overdo it.  Regular, consistent exercise helps prevent injuries, strains, sprains, and accidents.