No time? Are you too busy to work out? Doubtful. The most common excuse for not exercising is the same as the most common excuse for not preparing a healthy meal – no time.
Well here at Pete's Paleo we have you covered with our chef-prepared and organic paleo meal delivery service! However, when it comes to your daily fitness and movement, that's completely on you. The lack of desire to workout often times isn't a lack of time, but more so a lack of motivation, lack of enjoyment, negative associations, fear or maybe low self-esteem could all be factors playing a part in your resistance to getting up and go. But today is your lucky day, as I will be sharing with you some tips on how to sneak workout and exercise time into your everyday routine!
12 Strategies To Get You Moving
- "Shift Your Mindset" - Get out of your head! Psychologists suggest that actively speaking against your negative thoughts patterns is a powerful way to support healthier lifestyle choices. For example, anytime you catch yourself thinking, 'I am too busy to work out,' rephrase the thought in more positive, empowering terms, such as, 'I choose to make myself a priority', 'I do have time to be healthy' or 'I am willing to do something active today.' Over time, those positive thought patterns will cancel out the negative ones, helping you to see your available choices more clearly.
- "Plan" - One of the best ways to make time for exercise is to have a written plan. That's right! Place a reminder in your Google Calendar to ping you for that quick workout, and enter it into your computer or cell-phone calendar as a repeat event. This way it shows up daily and there is less chance of you scheduling something during that time. Seeing this schedule in the morning will support you in forming a mental picture of when and how your exercise will take place, helping to keep you motivated.
- "Take 5" - Even if your day is packed with meetings and other commitments, you absolutely can squeeze in five minutes for yourself. This simple act of self-care has the potential to change your life. Start small. A five-minute walk now can easily turn into daily 30-minute walks a few weeks from now. A few desk push ups or walking lunges today could become a more intense body weight mini-circuit before you know it!
- "Watch Actively" - Next time you are binge watching on Netflix, try doing a few miles on the treadmill! Aimlessly surfing TV channels is a surefire way to waste time you could be spending in more active ways. Before you sit down, set a time limit and commit to not watching shows purely out of boredom. When you do watch TV, make the most of it. Do some ball-crunches, planks, yoga poses, squats, lunges or pushups while you’re watching. Keep fitness equipment, such as a kettle-bell, resistance bands and a jump rope, near the TV. Or use the commercial breaks to mix in brief cardio intervals. Run in place or up and down the stairs; do some burpees or jumping jacks.
- "Delegate" - Reassess your household chores: Can the kids do laundry? Can your spouse cook dinner? Better yet, check out the Pete's Paleo weekly menu and place an order! What professional tasks can you hand off so you can get out for a walk at lunch or stop by the gym on the way home? Just because you are currently the one doing certain tasks does not mean you are the only one capable of performing them – delegate and let someone else take over. Look, too, for things that could be done less often, or that might not need to get done at all. This time can be used to go for run, take a walk, enroll in a class or go to the gym.
- "Make Moving Social" - Next time a friend suggests meeting for lunch, dinner or drinks, counter with an active invitation. How about joining you for a yoga class or a quick walk around the lake? Instead of spending time on the phone or emailing back and forth, suggest that you catch up on the latest news over a leisurely bike ride, or bond by trying an athletic pursuit, like indoor climbing, that neither of you has ever tried. What if, instead of dinner and a movie, you took your date/partner/love-interest to a cycling class or a ballroom dance lesson, went on a hike or a picnic, or kicked a soccer ball around the park? The bonus is that research shows that shared activity builds attraction.
- "Personalize" - Part of the reason you struggle to find time for exercise may be because you are not focusing on the right workout for your personality. For example, assuming that running is the exercise you should be just because your best friend loves to run may lead to subconscious avoidance if running is not your cup of tea. Instead, analyze your lifestyle and personality to find a routine that suits you. Once you understand your fitness personality, identifying activities you actually enjoy and squeezing them into your schedule is not nearly as hard.
- "Master the Micro-Workout" - It is a common misconception that in order to get quality exercise you must crank out at least an hour at the gym. More and more research is showing there is substantial benefit to adding short bouts of exercise during your day, all without even stepping foot in a gym. Build in a loop around the block when you grab a cup of coffee, or plan 10-minute breaks at regular intervals to stretch or do a brief circuit workout. Try throwing in random sets of body-weight exercise throughout the day. One hard set of 12 or fewer reps will probably not cause you to break a sweat in an air-conditioned building, but it will be enough to make a difference if done several times throughout each day. It takes less than 30 seconds to do 15 push-ups so having no time is no excuse. Set an alarm on your computer to remind you.
- "Ditch Your Rides" - Whenever feasible, hop on the bus, train or subway, or ride your bike to work or to run errands. If this is not a daily possibility for you, try it once a week. People who take alternative transportation tend to get more exercise than daily car commuters. Your goal should be to maintain 10,000 steps a day throughout your life. The best way to do that is to get a pedometer at your local sporting goods store, or download an app that converts your cell phone to a pedometer. Those wearing pedometers tend to walk more because they create a greater awareness of their steps. Looking for extra credit? Try climbing a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator or park at the fat end of the mall or grocery store parking lot and carry your purchases rather than use a cart.
- "Do It Yourself" - Start doing things by hand instead of letting a machine do them for you. This might include shoveling snow, pushing a lawn mower, raking leaves or hanging laundry to dry. Do away with remote controls and other automatic devices that undermine your body’s energy use. Every moment of intentional movement counts.
- "Take It With You" - When packing for a business trip or vacation, be sure to include your workout clothes. This sends signals to your brain that you intend to make time for exercise. As for what to do? Spend 15 to 20 minutes swimming laps, running stairs, or jogging on the hotel treadmill first thing in the morning. No gym or pool? Ask the front desk if they offer guest passes to a neighborhood gym or try some yoga or stretching while catching the morning news on TV.
- "Enlist A Cheerleader" - What looks like lack of time is often lack of motivation, so consider recruiting emotional support. When you can get excited about something, you will find the time to do it! Nominate a friend, family member, life coach or personal trainer to be your cheerleader and encourage you (positive messages only; no nagging) on a daily basis.
You don’t have to become an athlete overnight to make exercise a part of your lifestyle. It can actually be more effective long term if you commit to making small changes in your daily routine instead of reinventing yourself overnight, because you are more likely to stick with it. Small changes in habits can lead to lasting, permanent change. So think baby steps and incorporate exercise into your life.