When it comes to excuses for getting out of doing something, “I don’t have time” is a favourite. What’s great about it is that it’s not easy for anyone to question how busy you are in a polite way, and it’s a handy little excuse for not being able to exercise. But do we really lack the time, or is that just an excuse?
How much time is enough?
Starting an exercise programme will mean rearranging your schedule to allow time for it, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Shorter workouts are worthwhile too, and they’re easier to slot into your daily routine. I write 10/15 minute programmes for clients which they can fit into busy days – no equipment is necessary, I use them myself and they’re simple yet very effective.
Studies have found that short bouts of exercise can help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease in the same way as longer exercise sessions – so the lack of time excuse starts to lose its allure.
In order to change your schedule to accommodate exercise, you must be motivated to do it, and everyone’s motivation is different. The reality is that people who exercise don’t necessarily have more time than you, they have just determined that what they’re getting out of exercise is worth more to them than whatever else they could be doing.
Scheduling time to exercise is just like anything else, such as watching TV, working late, or an appointment with the Doctor or Dentist; but unless it’s a priority for you, you’re never going to make time for it.
Admit the truth
Do you really lack the time to exercise? Or, do you fear failure, or just not know where to start, or what to do?
If I commit to exercise, how can I realistically accommodate it? For example, will I need to get up earlier, fit it in after dropping the kids at school? Make a list of all the times you could exercise, no matter how short.
When You’ve Committed to it
Practice, Practice, Practice – Set up a simple workout schedule and practice it for a month. Then, reassess and see how you’re doing. Do your workouts fit well with your current routines? Practice is how you determine what will work and what won’t.
We sometimes worry so much about getting the perfect amount of exercise that we end up doing no exercise at all. It’s tough to let go of the idea that long, sweaty workouts are the only ones that really matter. In the midst of our busy lives, we have to make some changes, and making time for exercise, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes, is your first step to ensuring it becomes a permanent part of your life.