Over the last number of years I have seen a number of people quit their gym or health club membership because they just can’t find the time to fit exercise into their busy schedules. ( A side note about me here: I will tell you that almost nothing frustrates me more than hearing this excuse.)
When I ask them if they spend time and money maintaining their car they say, of course. Well, I reply, your body is your only vehicle, if you don’t look after your body, it will not be there for you.
I understand though, between work , dinners, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments…you name it. It’s no surprise that making daily exercise a priority is so difficult for so many and often gets left on the back burner. No exercising causes of our bodies to age in an accelerated manner. Aging is caused by “rusting” (just like your car) and moderate exercise can help with that.
Whether your goals are to lose weight, tone up or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, here are some simple ideas to include exercise in your busy life.
Make a Weekly Schedule
If you look at your week ahead and what you need to get done, find a 30-60 minute window that you can dedicate to yourself and pen it into your calendar or phone. This is now a scheduled appointment, just like all your other appointments-except this one is the most important if you want to live a long healthy life!
Less is more
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym or health club to achieve your health goals. In fact, studies have shown that quick bursts of exercise( aka. Interval training) for less time is more effective at raising your heart rate and burning calories than long drawn out exercise sessions. On those super busy days even just 15-30 minutes of high intensity interval training will benefit you immensly. Think sprint/jogs on the treadmill or skipping, power squats, lunges, or hill intervals on a spinning bike.
Move your Body
Just because you can’t make it to the gym or schedule in your 10k power walk/run, doesn’t mean you can’t still stay active. On days that you can’t get in your workout, find other ways throughout the day to stay active. Buy a home exercise program (Hint: my Ageless Body TM Program includes 3 different workouts you can do anywhere, anytime). During the day take the stairs, walk during your lunch hour or after dinner.
Choose Fun over Boring
If you do exercises that you hate, you probably won’t be very motivated to attend your gym or health club. There are so many different ways to get in a good workout session, so only choose ones that you enjoy. To find out what you might like, get yourself out of your regular routine and start experimenting with the many options that are available to you. Go to a ZUMBA class (unabashedly-my personal favourite, spin class, salsa, bollywood, kickboxing boot camps, the many forms of yoga-even yoga from a chair…get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. When you enjoy your workouts you will stick with them and get more out of them, mentally as well as physically-reaching your fitness goals-yeah!
Set your intentions
This is probably the most important key to exercise and any fitness goals you would like to obtain in life. When you are crystal clear on what you want , why you want it and by when , you are going to be so much more likely to subconsciously take the important steps to get there. When you have clear intentions you will feel far more motivated and will stop wasting time on activities that aren’t serving you well.
Very important: make sure your goals and intentions come from a place of self-love verses self-punishment and guilt.
Also very important: Write your goals down and look at them often. A vision board can also be a great help to get you to where you want to be in life. I’ll write about that in a future article.
Don’t Beat yourself up
One thing many of us are guilty of is berating ourselves when we miss a workout or, for that matter eat things we know aren’t good for us. Life sometimes throws us curve balls, things come up and that’s ok. Just don’t quit! That is when you admit defeat and your self esteem will fall, I promise. It will be harder to restart next time because that little accusing voice inside of you will say “You are going to fail, you did last time and you are going to fail again this time”.
Love yourself. None of us are perfect and tomorrow is always a new day with a new, fresh start.