No Time for Exercise - We're Not Buying It!
When it comes to excuses for getting out of unpleasant tasks, "I don't have time", is one of our favorites. What's great about it is that no one questions how busy you really are and, when it comes to getting out of exercising, no one question your decision. But do we really lack the time or is that just an excuse?
How Much Time Is Enough?
Starting an exercise program means rearranging your schedule to allow time for it, but it doesn't require that much time. When you learn to exercise efficiently, by combining your strength training and cardio through multi-joint exercises, you can maintain weight and good health and are more likely to stick with your exercise program more consistently.
Getting to the Bottom of Things
Turns out, if you want to change your schedule to accommodate exercise, you must feel a need to do it. People who exercise consistently don't necessarily have more time than you, they've just determined that what they're getting out of exercise is worth more than whatever else they could be doing during that time (sleeping, having lunch with friends, shopping, etc.).
Unless you make exercise a priority, you're never going to make time for it. We could give you a hundred reasons why exercise should be important to you, but you're the one who has to decide if it really is important to you. And if it's not, why not?
If exercise isn't a priority for you and you'd like it to be, take some time to go through these steps and answer a few questions. Getting insight into why you do what you do (or don't do) is the only way to change things for the better.
Admit The Truth
Do you really lack the time to exercise is there some other reason you're not fitting in workouts? Start by exploring your perspective on exercise and whether it's really a priority. Next, consider other reasons you why don't exercise to get clear on what's really stopping you.
Ask yourself: If I commit to exercise, how would I accommodate it? Sit down with your schedule and see what you come up with, reminding yourself that you're not committing to anything just yet. Maybe you could get up earlier for a strength workout or use part of your lunch hour to take a brisk walk. Make a list of all the times you could exercise, no matter how short.
What routines would I need to change in order to exercise? With your previous list in mind, what would have to change if you used that extra time for exercise? For example, for morning exercise, you would have to gather your exercise clothes the night before and get up earlier than usual. Go through each step in your mind or, better yet, practice one day to see what would have to change if you did this on a regular basis.
What kind of exercise would be appealing to you and how often? If you were to wake up in the morning and exercise first thing, what type of exercise would you consider? A quick walk outside? A group class? Personal training? How many days of exercise would you be willing to commit to? Forget about how many days you should exercise and concentrate on how many days you will exercise.
Practice, Practice, Practice. Using all the information you've gathered, set up a workout schedule and commit to practicing it for, say, two weeks. Then, reassess and see how you're doing. Do your workouts fit well with your current routines? Is it working or do you need to make changes? Practice is how you determine what will work and what won't.
Too often, we worry so much about getting the perfect amount of exercise in that we end up getting no exercise at all. It's tough to let go of the idea that long, sweaty workouts are the only ones that 'count,' but in the new world we live in, we have to make some changes in how we live. Making time for exercise needs to be a permanent part of your life.
At Personal Best, we can help you figure out the ins and outs. Even if you're not ready to make a definite commitment, you owe it to yourself to give us a call and let us help you figure out a solution. There are lots of solutions and alternatives that you may not have even considered. We're happy to help.
*This article was prepared by Len Glassman, Nationally Certified Personal Trainer and Owner of Personal Best Fitness Center in Garwood, New Jersey. Personal Best is a personal training & pilates studio specializing in functional, goal-oriented training for all ages and abilities. Len can be reached at 908-789-3337, or you can check out Personal Best's Website at www.pb-fitness.com