I’m amazed at the number of people who continue to ignore the loud and clear messages our bodies send. On one hand, we claim to value our health, but on the other we continue to destroy it with terrible choices, habits and behaviors… and excuses.
What’s the number one excuse for not working out? Survey says: “lack of time.” Sure, we’re all busy managing our different worlds and rushing around here and there, but I can assure you that there is someone even busier than you are who is working out right now. One of my favorite lines is from the great Zig Ziglar: “You have 24 hours each day. During that time, you do those things that you deem most important.” If you look closer, you’ll discover that you do have the time to work out.
Start by controlling your controllables. Stop wasting time and energy on things you can’t control, and ask yourself what you should be doing today rather than what you’re comfortable doing. Here are a few healthy changes we can all make:
Wake up earlier. Sleep is definitely important for overall health and weight loss, but try hitting the sheets just 30 minutes earlier so you can get up and work out before your day starts. Working out in the morning has numerous benefits, including regulating appetite and boosting energy, plus an A.M. sweat session ensures that your workout is checked off first thing each day instead of falling by the wayside despite your best intentions in the evening.
Curb your media appetite. For just a few days, record how much time you spend browsing the Internet, checking email, watching TV and playing video games on your computer and phone. You might be surprised at how much time you spend on Facebook or playing Angry Birds. Just a few minutes here and there can add up to an hour or more each day. Cut out some of that screen time and you suddenly have a chance to squeeze at least 10 or 15 minutes of exercise into even the busiest day.
Be an active TV watcher. When watching TV, make a point of doing some jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials. A little exercise during the commercial breaks can add up to almost 20 minutes of fitness for every hour of TV you watch. Instead of sitting in a chair when on the computer, try sitting on a stability ball, and take frequent breaks to stand up and move around.
Make it part of your routine. One reason it’s so challenging to fit exercise into a busy schedule is because we’re not used to doing it. Heck, it takes time to brush your teeth in the morning, but you do it, don’t you? The key is to start making some form of exercise – whether it’s walking the dog, doing 10 minutes of yoga or going for a bike ride after dinner – a daily tradition, just like showering or hitting the coffee shop on the way to work. That takes the process of working out away from willpower and into habit.
Remember, exercise gives you energy and keeps you healthy to keep going in that busy life of yours. So don’t think of it as another to-do to squeeze into your already busy schedule. Instead, think of exercise as maintenance for your health and a way to de-stress and do something for yourself.
Is anything on your to-do list really more important than your health?
Robert Custer is a motivational speaker, adrenaline junkie, world traveler and adventure enthusiast with over 20 years of leadership experience in health, fitness, wellness and nutrition – he shares his views on living well at betterfitnessdaily.com.