One of the main excuses people give for not working out is that they don’t have time. And it does take a time commitment, that’s for sure. In addition to the time you are actually exercising there is travel time to and from the gym, changing time, showering time, even stretching time.
So, what’s the best way to get past this excuse?
Don’t try to go from inactivity to working out 5 days per week. You’ll get sore, burnt out, and discouraged. Instead, fit in three 30 minute workouts each week. You have the time. It’s the time you spend hitting the snooze in the morning or watching TV at night (which you can do at the gym if that’s where you decide to work out). Get used to doing that. It takes 30 days to make a habit so stay at this level for at least a month, but don’t feel bad if you stay on this schedule for several. When I started running last summer I focused on getting my runs in and didn’t do hardly any cross training for 5 months.
Every increase is going to be an adjustment to your schedule so don’t add too much at one time. First decide what you need to spend more time on. Strength training? More cardio? Cross training, if you’re focused on a specific sport? Once you know what you want to add, do it slowly. Add one more 30 minute session and do that for 2-3 weeks. If that seems doable and your schedule and body are adjusting well to the increase, add another session.
Make It Fun
Find an activity you really like to do. Don’t step foot inside of a gym if you know you’ll hate it. Don’t run a step if it’s mental torture. You’ll find all kinds of reasons why you can’t fit an activity you dislike into your schedule. But if you enjoy the activity, you’ll want to find a way to fit it in. Remember how much fun rollerblading was when you were a kid? Or jumping rope? Do that instead!
Recruit Your Family and Friends
How much time do you spend meeting friends for dinner or drinks? How about a walk together instead? It’s a great way to catch up and be healthy. I bet many of them are also struggling to fit exercise and healthy eating into their lives.
How many nights each week does your family sit and watch TV? If you take one hour of one night and play a game of tag or catch outside instead, that’ll take care of at least one of your weekly workouts. And you’ll be having fun and creating memories with the people you love. What could be better than that?
As you start seeing and feeling the benefits of exercising regularly, you’ll want to do it more often. It’ll become something you look forward to, something you need to give you the energy to tackle your day. Just get started today!