Finding time for health: A busy girl’s guide for getting off the couch.
“I don’t have time” is the most commonly cited reason for why people don’t work out consistently. Especially in Metropolitan Australia, where our jobs demand long hours and a $10 steak special after work with colleagues is far more interesting than a Body Attack class.
While I am no time management guru I do know, working in the health and wellness arena, that lack of time is never an excuse- rather working out what you waste your time on during the day and knowing when you sweat best is the answer to exercise no shows.
Generally the biggest time vacuum tends to be email and facebook checking – this time could easily be recovered and potentially buy us at least an hour, if not two, of quality exercise. In fact, consistent, borderline obsessive email checking appears to be endemic in this day and age and one that inhibits our ability to tackle a host of tasks.
What do I suggest? Allow for a twice daily email check in, where you dedicate your attention to reading and responding. This prevents haphazard continual browsing throughout the day and you will be surprised at how much time you save in the process.
The next step to getting your daily exercise in is knowing when you are more likely to commit to a workout. For me, I know if I don’t get up earlier in the day, I just won’t exercise. For others, the prospect of an early alarm is enough to send them into a deep coma.
Here are some simple steps for unlocking your workout mojo:
1. Acknowledge your own energy system. Work with your natural energy cycle. If early mornings aren’t your cup of tea, but you are able to sneak out for an hour of power at lunchtime then do it! A client of mine hates exercising but knows that the number one thing she hates, more than exercise, is sitting at her desk. Thus a lunch time reprieve is the perfect way for her to get her sweat session in!
2. Walk in your lunch hour. Or organise an office touch football team or boot camp session. You can save money on a personal trainer by dividing the costs with a team and you will arrive at your desk with a deeper focus for the rest of the day.
3. Become a weekend warrior. Workout on the weekends! Kill two birds with one stone and get the friends together. This way you can stop your social outings being a food fest, save money on expensive drinks and get the benefits of exercise all in one. If you manage to exercise on both days then you only need to fit in at least two more sessions throughout the working week for a wholesome four- day- a-week training regime.
4. Don’t run if you don’t like running. What is your exercise style? Don’t sign up for the marathon if you like short bursts of activity. That being said, if you have tried yoga and haven’t found your Zen, STOP! The biggest deterrent with exercise is thinking that if you haven’t developed a full on sweat and your heart hasn’t pumped through the roof then you are wasting your time. This is just not true. Movement, not sweat is the aim of the game. If you love dancing, dance. If you like long walks – go for it. Consistency is vital over random bursts of one- off spin classes.
5. Make yourself accountable. Book in for classes, pay for a gym membership, and rope in a friend. Anything that makes you feel more accountable for keeping commitment. Think – what limiting factor can I put in place that will stop me from not ignoring exercise?