Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three Steps to Finding Time for Exercise

What's the biggest reason people don't exercise?  Too confusing/painful/exhausting/boring/tedious etc?  None of the above, actually. 

It's because they don't have enough time.

So why do some people have time to exercise regularly and others don't?  Probably because they don't have full-time jobs, kids, friends, or any other hobbies, right?  Wrong, wrong, wrong, and even more wrong.

Everyone has the same 1,440 minutes each day.  Regular exercisers do not magically find more minutes in their day or make time stand still.  They have careers, families, and mile-long to-do lists just like everyone else.  The difference comes down to priorities.

They value their health just as much as all their other obligations.  Exercise is a priority so they don't think twice about dedicating time to it.  It's included near the top of their to-do list every week.


Finding the time to exercise starts with three simple steps:

1.  Change your mindset 

Find personal value in regular physical activity.  Looking at an endless list of statistics on how it helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, X, Y, and Z might not hit home for you. 

Instead, ask yourself "How will exercising make my life better?"  Seeing your children have families of their own, traveling to places on your bucket list, rocking a body you are confident of, and aging gracefully with your significant other might flash before your eyes.  Identifying this will give exercise more merit.  Watch it then catapult to the top of your to-do list.   

2.  Remove some things from your to-do list

Gasp!  But my life is jam-packed as is.  I'm lucky if I can find time to run to the bathroom let alone a half hour to exercise!

If someone offered you $10,000 to exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week would you make time?  I'd venture to say yes.  You'd probably cut the less important things out of your day.  Suddenly watching your favorite talk show or surfing gossip sites to find out which Hollywood starlet is headed to rehab yet again pales in comparison.

Sit down and seriously look at how you spend your day.  Analyze it hour by hour.  Look for bits of time that are wasteful.  If an activity is not positively impacting you or life will go on as normal in its absence, get rid of it.  Use that time for something more productive for your body and mind.

3.  Do it

Now that exercise is a top priority and you've made space for it, take action!  To quote businessman Joel Barker: "Vision without action is a dream."  Wanting to do it and planning to do it doesn't get it done.  Put on some comfy clothes, lace up your sneakers, and move! 

Exercise does not have to take hours upon hours to be effective.  There is something out there for every age, fitness level, interest, and schedule.  Remind yourself of how your life will be different when you're at your best.  Ask yourself, "How bad do I want this?"

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