Excuses to Exercise Blog Series #ExcusestoExercise
What is the single greatest barrier to exercise?
Yep, finding time to fit workout. Or the age old excuse “I don’t have time.”
But what does that really mean? It means that we have a lot of responsibilities and a lot of priorities to balance and often exercise is the first to slide off our lists of priorities when life gets frantic. And when life stays frantic, exercise goes from a habit to a permanent benchwarmer on our guilty conscience.
So how do we make time for exercise? How do we fit it in?
Rephrase the Time Question
I am here to encourage you to consider rephrasing the question. How do I make exercise a priority? A habit that I look forward to each day?
When you look at making time and fitting exercise in it becomes just another thing to check of your list but if the motivation around exercise changes, so do you priorities. What if you looked forward to your sweat-session as much as you look forward to your evening meal, TV-time or morning shower.
That’s the key element that I have heard from a lot of successful exercisers, especially those that have overcome the same exact concerns: finding time to fit exercise into a jam-packed, responsibility-filled schedule.
Here are some ideas from my friends, clients, and colleagues who all make exercise a part of their day that they look forward to:
- I watch the TV show Game of Thrones for a half hour while I workout on the elliptical or treadmill. It’s so entertaining I don’t realize I am working so hard.
- I get up at 5 am and go to the gym with my husband in the mornings. I listen to music, run/walk on the treadmill and pretend my favorite Marvel character, Captain America is chasing me!
- I never used to look at myself as athletic or capable of athletic endeavors. Then I found yoga and while I am still a beginner, the practice brings me so much physical and mental joy. I look forward to the stress relief daily.
- I go to Crossfit to get a good workout in that I couldn’t motivate myself to do otherwise. The friends and competitive atmosphere fire me up. I improve myself physically and mentally on a daily basis.
- I walk anywhere and every possible. I take the long route to the mailbox to check for yesterday’s mail in the morning. I get up and walk hourly at work. I walk/hike with friends at lunch or in the evening. And of course, I walk my dog. I look forward to the social time with friends and the serenity of a walk with my pup in the evenings.
So what are the key takeaways from these examples? Each person combines two events into one: TV Time and exercise. Hubby time and exercise. Stress relief and exercise. Self-improvement and exercise. Social-time and exercise.
When you combine exercise with another enjoyable activity you create motivation.
Still Having Trouble Finding Time to Exercise?
Still feel like you don’t have time to exercise? I challenge you to look at what you prioritize and where you spend your time.
- Have a killer commute? Could you park your car and ride you bike or even walk part of the way? Or maybe your lunch break can become your chance to workout.
- Have little kids? What about teaching yourself and them yoga? It’s not perfect, but it’s a lifelong practice you’ll each benefit from. Or a gym with childcare so you can catch a class and moment to yourself? Only have 5-10 minute periods of peace? Try multiple workouts – try on HITT exercise video on YouTube, then a pilates workouts for 10 minutes later in the day and then a walk with the family in the evening.
- Hate to workout in the mornings but that’s the only time you can fit it in? First, let me ask what is so terrible about a morning workout? If you are like me, it’s pure torture then it’s worth listening to your body. Try scheduling your workouts on your calendar – so you look at them at non-negotiables just like the work dinner meeting. Replace happy hour with pals for a pole dancing class – who said cocktails are necessary for fits of laughter??
My goal is to help you brainstorm and open yourself to thinking about the possibilities of putting exercise back into your life as a priority. What do you need to do to motivate yourself to get active again? Leave a comment about how you have overcome finding time to exercise. I love different ideas! Or leave a comment if you are struggling to find time for exercise and we can talk about how to overcome that concern!