Today is the day we discuss a major barrier to health: not having enough time to exercise.
You might hear it all the time or even say it yourself; we’ve all been there.
It is one of the biggest reasons people cite for not being able to exercise, and therefore never reaching their maximum health potential.
My goal in this article is to go over a few simple, but key factors that can help you get to the bottom of this issue and master your time.
If you constantly find yourself saying that you don’t have enough time to exercise: you owe it to yourself to read this article.
When people say they don’t have enough time for something, it is usually because they would rather spend their time doing something else.
That is as point blank as it gets and understanding that is critical to your success.
Rest assured I’m not here to tell you that you aren’t trying hard enough or that you are being lazy.
This blog is about maximizing your results while minimizing the effort you input; practically the definition of trying the least while still reaching for your goals.
So, I want you to banish the whole mentality of working yourself harder, spending more time on your goals, and working yourself into misery.
Wanting to do other things instead of exercising isn’t your fault, but coming to terms and accepting this is critical if you want to experience the benefits of exercise (which are almost infinite and can improve basically every area of your life…so you should) without making the process miserable.
Analyzing Your Day
Two pieces here: seeing what you do during the day and seeing how your motivation and energy fluctuates.
Let’s Be Honest
As a quick exercise for yourself, in order to really see if you honestly don’t have time to exercise (meaning you don’t have an extra few hours scattered across the week), we need to take account of what you are making time for during your day.
The simplest way is to write down what you do during the day and approximately how long you did it, for any major activity.
We aren’t trying to micromanage your day, just to be aware of where your time is going.
This can be a major wake-up call.
This exercise was just a side-note for you to be aware of. Now onto another major issue.
Your Daily Fluctuations
Do you typically try to exercise after work and instead find yourself on the couch at home, too tired to move?
At the end of a long work day, your energy starts to slump and your motivation drops along with it.
Trying to fight your body’s natural energy curve is futile. Once your energy and motivation drops, you will most likely find yourself wanting to vegetate for the rest of the night.
Again, this isn’t your fault at all.
If you don’t have the energy for it, there is no use in trying to fight your body and bend it against its will.
Instead, let’s learn how to schedule your exercise time when you have better odds of having the energy and motivation, right after we minimize the time needed to exercise.
Minimizing The Time Needed
Most people are stuck in the “go big or go home” mentality.
For some areas of life, like your performance at work, that mentality might increase your value to your employer and produce higher quality work.
But, when applied to exercise, the odds are that you will start strong, then rapidly lose momentum and burn out before you have formed the habit of exercising.
The real goal is to work on achieving consistent progress, which in turn snowballs and brings you closer to your goals each step you take.
Once you are ready to take small steps in order to create the life-long habit of exercise, where do you start?
Most people are surprised when they find out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend as little as 75 minutes of “vigorous-intensity aerobic activity” each week and “muscle-strengthening activities” 2+ days per week.
Meaning 20 minutes of intense jogging, running, swimming, biking, etc. for 3-4 days per week and 2 days of strength training which could involve a home body weight workout for 10 intense minutes.
But, even that much exercise isn’t our goal right now.
Putting It All Together
Our goal is to get you moving more than you do now.
Doing so will start forming the habits of exercise and put you on the path towards a healthy life, starting today.
So, now that you know not to schedule exercise during low energy points in your day and that all you need to do right now is to start, let’s formulate an effortless plan together that you will start immediately.
- Pick a time during your day when you have energy, feel motivated, and don’t have to pull teeth to exercise.
- Spend that time, even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes, to move vigorously.
For most people that time could be right when you wake up in the morning, before you shower (no more worrying about getting sweaty during the day and having to shower), or even just during weekends to start out.
Whenever the mood strikes and you feel like exercising, do it!
The exercise could look like 10 minutes of basic jogging in place. Throw in some squats, push ups, and supermen (and any other basic exercises) for some strength work as well.
Even if you feel like exercising, but only have a few minutes, use that time and motivation to benefit your health by doing something like a squat (or any other exercise) Tabata (20 seconds of squats, 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 4 minutes or less depending on your time restrictions).
There are tons of options, so take some time to research something that appeals to you, then be ready to do it when the time comes!
Build Your Habit
The challenge is simple: find a time during your day when you are likely to have high energy and motivation to exercise, then exercise.
Utilize your high energy and motivation to fit in even a few minutes of exercise, which will then lay the foundation for your long-term exercise and life-long health.
You have to start sometime and somewhere, so make that time now and start with the few minutes you can afford.
If you still need a push, get out of your chair right now and perform a 4 minute squat Tabata of 20 seconds of squats, 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 rounds.
Seriously, try the squat Tabata and see how you feel!
Now you don’t have to feel bad for wanting to relax after work instead of exercise, but you still have to invest in yourself and your health.
Make the time today and thank yourself tomorrow.
P.S. If you want guidance in finally making exercise a life-long habit, with little effort, contact us to get start ASAP.