People say that they don’t have time to exercise, but actually this as a really poor excuse. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll usually find that they don’t want to find the time.
Making time is all about prioritizing the various things that are going on in your life, and recognizing which things are really important.
Without question, your health and well being is one of the most important things.
And the great thing about exercise is that is it has so many knock on effects that you’ll notice in your personal live that actually CREATE time. If you start to exercise regularly, you’ll notice that you have more energy, you sleep better and you have a more positive outlook. All of this helps you to be more productive so that you get power through chores and whatever life throws at you in a more efficient manner.
If you’re struggling to make time for exercise there are several things you can do:
- Book time – Have a look through your busy schedule, and block out time where you could exercise. If you’re really busy you might have to look a couple of weeks in advance. Make it a recurring appointment and be really picky about moving it for anything. This might sound like a challenge to fit in around work, but people will come to respect your routine.
- Plan your day ahead – If you’ve got your diary blocked for exercise this is easy, but you should still plan around it so that you don’t create any potential excuses for yourself. What time are you going to eat lunch / dinner? You don’t want to be working out straight after you’ve eaten for instance. Also, if you know that you won’t be able to make your regular slot today, when else could you exercise?
- Have a contingency plan – I typically have three potential spots in my day that I could exercise; first thing in the morning, straight after I get in from work, or later on in the evening. So I know that if I miss my chance in the morning, I can still make it up later in the day. Think about when else you could exercise.
- Have your kit ready – Sometimes you have to be ready to seize opportunities to exercise. Maybe you woke up earlier than expected, a meeting is cancelled, or your partner is going to be late home or whatever. If your kit is all ready to go, you can jump on these opportunities and go out for a run. If you’ve only got one exercise outfit, go and get another one, you don’t want to be missing chances to exercise just because your kit is dirty.
- This applies to equipment as well; if you invest in some home exercise equipment you’ll always have it to hand and will be able to do short workouts morning and night without interruption.
- Don’t let the weather put you off – I’ll use the weather as a very literal example, but this equally applies to other poor excuses. If it’s raining at the time you’d planned to go for a run, so what!? Does it matter if you get wet? You’re going to need to shower when you get in anyway. As Stephen Covey says, you should see it as a positive that it is raining, not only are you getting exercise, but an opportunity to strengthen your willpower.
- Burn calories as you go – Remember, you burn calories all day long, whatever you are doing. By simply moving more throughout the day, you’ll increase the calories your body is burning. For example, take an extra couple of minutes walk whenever you get the chance, or you could even think about wearing ankle weights to increase the intensity of your movements!
These tips will hopefully help you find the time to fit exercise into your day. But remember to be realistic about how much time you can set aside for exercise, don’t set yourself up for failure from the outset.
According to the World Health Organisation:
Adults aged 18–64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
If you really can’t do this, start small and build up momentum. Do pressups first thing in the morning when you wake up, go for a walk at lunch time. If you have to, do air squats in the toilet cubicle for a couple of minutes.
At the end of the day, when we’re talking about your health, you NEED to make time.