Excuses - I’ve probably heard them all (hey, I make them myself at times). There are many reasons people feel they cannot make the time to exercise – whether the excuses are truly valid is the real question. With a little creativity and a bit of discipline, you can jump over those barriers keeping you from your fitness and health goals.
The number one reason for men and women not to exercise is TIME (or lack of it). Many of us lead very busy lives and feel it’s just too difficult or daunting to schedule the time to attend a class, hit the gym or go for a run. It becomes an all or nothing situation. We feel if we don’t have the time to travel to the gym, workout, socialize and then shower, why bother! It could take one to two hours a day. Who has that amount of time most days of the week? I certainly don’t and this is my living. But here’s a few tips that could make exercise more conducive to your lifestyle. Current health guidelines suggest adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. Did you know that 30 minutes can be accrued throughout your day? You get the exact same benefits of exercising 30 minutes continuous as you would if you broke that 30 minutes into, let’s say, three 10 minute sessions. Consider doing body weight calisthenics, going up and down stairs at home or work, jogging and jacks on the spot, or commercial break squats and pushups. Whatever you decide to do just keep track of the time spent being active. As long as you accumulate 30 or more minutes of moderate intensity activity by the end of the day – you’re good to go! Breaking it down into smaller increments can make exercise more manageable, more tolerable, and possibly even a little less daunting. Some days it’s easier to convince yourself to sweat it out for just 5- 10 minutes rather than 30.
The number two reason for not exercising is ENERGY (as in, not having anything left to work out, regardless of the time of day). This is a tough one and the irony of it is regular exercise will actually increase your energy levels but you have to get there first. What I find works best for my clients and me, is scheduling workouts into your calendar and early in the day. We’ve all been there, where we tell ourselves we’ll get to it later and we all know, ”later” never comes. Treat your workouts like a meeting or a social date and take it just as seriously. You may be less inclined to blow off a friend or a committee meeting because of the responsibility. Well, just remember, you have a responsibility to YOU. Treat yourself and your “me – time” sessions just as seriously. By exercising earlier in the day, you get it over with, which will not only give you a jump start for your day but make you feel so much better having completed it. It beats having it hang over your head like a dark cloud weighing your mood down. Whether time or energy (or both) are barriers for you, committing to a workout partner or group may be your best bet. Having company will not only make it more enjoyable, but will make you more accountable to show up every time. Instead of having coffee or lunch “dates” with friends or colleagues, try exercise or activity dates. Go for a walk, run, hit the gym together, bike, swim, tennis etc. You become efficient with your time while staying in great shape.
For more articles by Tammy Juco, Fitness Editor, visit http://ridgewood.tipsfromtown.com/fitness/.