“I’m too busy” is far and away the most common excuse people use to justify why they don’t exercise. Our lives are busy, no doubt! But if you did a time study of your non-work hours, and you did it HONESTLY, you would probably discover that a good hour or two of every day is spent watching TV, goofing off on the Internet, Facebooking, etc. You can easily build more exercise and activity in your life, without sacrificing your quality Game of Thrones orOutlander TV time! Adding more activity to your life certainly doesn’t require an hour-long daily trip to the gym.
Here are some tips on how to fit fitness into your busy life:
1) Combine it with other activities. For example, instead of catching up with your BFF over a cocktail, meet for yoga, tennis, a bike ride, a power walk, or a hike.
2) Break it into small parts. Can’t do an hour at the gym after dinner? Do two or three 15-minute workouts throughout the day (before work, at lunch, or right after work). TIP: put your workout clothes on before you leave work, that way when you get home you’re WAY more likely to stick to doing your workout.
3) Get an app. There are so many great fitness apps out there. I use one called “Seven” which guides you through a 7-minute circuit routine that works your whole body. Do it twice and it only takes 15 minutes! As you progress, you can move on to 3 or 4 at a time. You don’t need weights or a gym. Just your phone.
4) Exercise during TV. Exercise during commercials! For example during the first break: plank + crunches, second break: squats, third break: push ups, etc. If you watch an hour-long show and exercise during every commercial, that’s about 15 minutes right there! And you still got to watch your show!
5) It’s got to be fun. If you can find exercise that is also FUN, then you will easily find the time for it!
If you are going to wait until you are completely at leisure to begin exercising (i.e. when you retire), it’s going to be WAY more difficult to get in shape. DO IT NOW so you can have a healthy, active and adventure-filled life now, and in your retirement! You are worth it.
Let’s be honest. Even the most active folks don’t always “feel like” working out. This is where the Buddy System works its magic. If you really think about it, you never “feel like” working out, but the reality is that once you do work out, you almost always feel awesome afterwards! Did you know that if you make plans with a friend or work out buddy, then you are 93.6% more likely to keep your workout date*? It is so incredibly easy to flake on yourself, but (hopefully) not so easy to flake on a friend. (If you are comfortable flaking on your friends, well that’s a whole different blog post!) Working out with friends has so many advantages, it creates accountability, gives you motivation, provides encouragement, makes the workout more fun, etc. It’s also a great time management technique, because you have some friend time PLUS a workout in one meeting.
If your current friends don’t work out, then make some new friends! One of the biggest influences on your behavior is what your peers do. Sadly, even as adults, we are still subconsciously very influenced by peer pressure. You might have friends you work out with, friends you go to movies with, friends you go to bars with, etc. Over time, you will gravitate towards the friends who make you feel good, and they are most likely to be your workout buddies. Beware: if you do adopt a new healthy and active lifestyle, some friends will feel threatened or insecure. They will say “C’mon have dessert, one piece of cake isn’t going to kill you!” Watch out for these friends and don’t let their insecurity keep you from making the healthy choices you want to make.
Make a couple of standing weekly workout dates with friends. Maybe tennis every Tuesday after work with one friend, and a long walk every Sunday morning with another friend. Then you have two workouts covered per week. Add a couple more on your own and you are on your way to a life of better health and fitness!
* Note: 76.7% of statistics are made up on the spot.
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