The No Time To Spare Trap
Ask most people if exercise is important, and you’ll get an overwhelming yes. Yet it often gets shoved aside as other details in life vie for your time and attention. This is especially evident when you consider that less than 10 percent of adults in the country regularly engage in physical activity.
The question I often ask my clients is, “How can you make exercise a non-negotiable priority?”
If this seems like an impossible task, you may need to reevaluate your standards and priorities. Your life may be chronically overscheduled. Can you continue living this way? If so, what price are you paying? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you happy? Do you feel good? Ironically, many of my overscheduled clients attribute the fact that they don’t work out to laziness, when in reality, they are truly too busy! If time is rare and precious, then you certainly cannot afford to be sick. All the more reason to invest in making time to take care of yourself. Not enough time to get a “real” workout in?
Don’t get caught in the “All-or-Nothing Trap!”
I know I’ve talked myself out of exercising because I didn’t feel like I had enough time and I figured “it’s not worth it.” Over the long term, even the tiny amounts—5 minutes here and there are worth it! Here are some fun facts about how the little bits go a long way:
- 5 minutes of taking the stairs at work twice daily/five times a week = 43 hours of exercise per year!
- 10 minutes of walking three times per week = 26 hours per year
- 15 minutes of dancing in your living room one time per week = 13 hours per year
5 Tips To Make Exercise Fun
1. Find an activity that you love. Exercise does not have to be a chore. If you like engaging with others, consider playing a team sport. If you love to dance, turn up the music, and get your groove on.
2. Keep it diverse. Maybe you want to try a variety of activities, like rock-climbing, swimming, belly dancing, or yoga. You do not need to dedicate yourself to just one sport.
3. The Mind-Body Connection: If you are a multi-tasking exercise enthusiast-download an audio book or your favorite music to your cd or ipod.
4. Invest in some comfy exercise clothes. Workout attire need not be fashion show material, but it is important to wear clothes that breathe and allow you to move. I know this sounds silly, but I love my yoga pants. Having good gear often inspires me to practice.
5. Enlist a buddy, a friend, co-worker, family member or personal trainer. Working out with someone else can be really motivating. Plus, it will keep you consistent. Most people who have a hard time showing up for themselves will not miss an appointment an someone else.
My Challenge To You
Make a commitment to making exercise a non-negotiable priority. I invite you to email me your solid commitment for the next two weeks. Notice the barriers that get in the way of taking care of yourself. Be solid! Unrelenting. No excuses! You now know that even 5 minutes a day adds up.