The most common barrier concerning exercise I hear from clients is that they "don't have time" to workout. It does not matter if they are stay at home parents, working parents, non working, single, married or retired. Somehow, there is never enough time. Everyone shares this predicament. It leads to broader subjects but today, the focus is exercise. I can't add minutes to your day but I can help you incorporate "exercise minutes" into the day. Think of each exercise minute as a vitamin- a pill you take to improve health.
1. Know that every minute that you exercise counts toward a healthy body; as conversely, every extra cookie we eat adds unwanted pounds. Taking ten minutes to walk or perform stretches or planks, benefits you. Track minutes on the cell phone, fitbit or calender and give yourself credit. Just like pennies, those minutes add up!
2. Where to find those minutes? As a single working parent, I know I have to exercise whenever I can. While my son is at soccer practice or warming up for a game, I'm walking/jogging. During the games, I'm cheering from my yoga mat. I may be waiting to pick up my daughter from school and walking laps in the parking lot. Perhaps, you took a friend to a doctor's appointment, walk as you wait. Folks often bring a book to read as they wait- bring walking shoes as well. Or, there might be a spare 20 minutes before dinner. Better yet, exercise while watching TV.
3. Make excuses to walk. Park farther away at the grocery store. Take the stairs whenever possible whether you are at a hotel or office. When shopping at multiple stores, try walking to as many stores as possible rather than driving. Meeting a friend? Suggest meeting at a park to walk and talk, then go to lunch. It makes exercise enjoyable. Excessive sitting is the worst enemy for good health.
4. Tools: Keep a gym bag packed in the car. Perhaps, something will open up in your schedule and you can go to your gym. Weather permitting, walk or run outside. Pack exercise shoes, workout clothes, spare underclothes, exercise tubing, and a yoga mat. You are ready to go!
5. Reframe Your thoughts. It is so easy to avoid exercise-this becomes a habit. Good health begins with our thoughts. Stop repeating past statements that are negative and damaging. Reframe thoughts to positive statements which can change our entire physical self and outlook. Our mindset frames our mental state for positive health. Examples include: "I did it!" "I am so glad that I walked ten minutes today." "Using the exercise tubing helps me get strong so that I can be healthy to take of family." "I am exercising because my health is important and this 'ME' time is valuable." "Every minute I spend on taking care of me, helps those around me, because I am able to be give them my best self." Each positive statement is a vitamin for wellness.
Even 10-15 minutes of exercise during a lunch break energizes us, releases endorphins, reduces stress and clears the head. We are better equipped for the rest of the day. With practice, "exercising anywhere/anytime" becomes a lifestyle/behavior change that incorporates fitness into the day, whatever the schedule. The sum of our exercise points adds up over time and we become stronger and healthier.