I know all the experts say that a person needs twenty minutes of exercise a day to keep fit. Some even water that down to three to five times a week for twenty minutes a day. Either way, it seems doable.
But somehow that measly twenty minutes becomes ever so difficult to find once your life takes over. Your original plans to get to the gym change when your daughter gets sick and needs to leave school, and your allotted time to do that quick yoga dvd after the kids have gone to bed becomes better spent making lunches and folding the last of that seemingly endless pile of laundry.
Time gets away from each of us, and its victim is often our health. The need to exercise does not change just because we lead these hectic lives. In fact, the more crazy life is, the more we need to stay active.
So, the challenge is to find the time when there is none.
I have often found myself looking at my planner full of good intentions, only to be left wondering where I’d fit in a run or if I could possibly do a pit stop at the gym. Everything seems so much more important. I mean, after all, isn’t my daughter’s dentist appointment or my faculty meeting more critical than a set of fifty push-ups?
Well, over time I have come to see that, much like life in general, exercising is a comfortable blend of two distinct ideals: an honest self-assessment and your ability to multi-task.
Therefore, if you have one of those lifestyles that barely provides enough time to eat and sleep, try a few of these suggestion to keep exercise as part of your daily routine. Squeezing in even the smallest workouts will make you better by the end of the day, and remember that it only takes a few weeks to generate a good habit. Put in the effort early and it’ll become a part of your new lifestyle.
1. Use the morning: Too many of us say we’ll do it later, and we all know how that story usually ends. Rather than trying to do sit-ups and lunges after the kids have gone to bed and your eyelids are rapidly descending, try getting up early and utilizing those early hours. Most likely, the rest of the house will be asleep, which offers you complete peace to get done what you want. Also, a morning workout gives you a surprising amount of energy throughout the day.
2. Not so leisurely: Sure we all need that down time to do next to nothing, but that doesn’t mean sitting there in a vegetative state staring at the television while drool slides down your cheek. Instead, bang out some sit-ups while Oprah is on or do a few hammer curls during Jeopardy.
3. Don’t stroll the dog: Not too many people get excited to walk old Fido after a long day at work, so rather than just dragging him around the block out of obligation, make him a part of your plan. Briskly walk or jog with your pooch. In the end, you’ll have a healthier you and a stronger dog.
4. Find the waste: If we honestly assess our day, most of us will see that we waste a significant amount of time. If we seek to combine pieces and become more efficient in our regular lives, I think each of us will see that we can somehow steal an extra half hour somewhere to dedicate to our health and fitness. I know it sounds easier said than done, but if we do it honestly, we’ll all find the time.
5. Make tough choices: I know when I was missing out on exercising, I felt everything else was more important, so I placed my physical well-being at the bottom of the list. But, let’s face it, if we aren’t happy and healthy, the rest of life suffers. Therefore, should the time spent on our bodies and minds be atop the list, or at least close to it? Probably. Thus, we need to eliminate the frivolous, seemingly critical things to make way for the daily consistency that will give us a better quality of life. Tough choices for sure, but that is just part of life.
6.Seeks others: We’re all experiencing the same restraints, so find other people at work and get a group together, sort of a lunch bunch. If you feel obligated to others, you’ll tend to keep with it, as no one likes to let the group down. Meet during lunch to walk, or do something immediately after work before running those errands or heading home for dinner. Remember, you don’t need two hours in the gym and a personal training to stay healthy. Twenty minutes of walking the track after sitting at a desk all day will re-energize your body and mind.
7. Redefine exercise: Stop imagining a fit person as that guy on the magazine cover or that girl on the billboard. Those are the true exceptions. Instead, see exercise as any activity that makes you feel better, ones that increase yours self-esteem and make your body feel stronger. Keep it simple, as ideals that stretch beyond reality can rip the motivation from you in a heartbeat.