So, are you one of those people who will tell me you don’t exercise regularly because you don’t have time? To that I say, “BS!” Sorry, but it’s true. I am going to prove to you that you DO indeed have time to work out regularly. Let’s get to it.
I have had several clients tell me that their only choices for working out are pre-dawn before anybody wakes up or after 8:00-9:00pm after everyone else is in bed, and neither of those options are very agreeable. These people have jobs, kids to take care of, and a life to live. I get it, it’s not easy. But it’s not impossible either. Plus, you do not have to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn or wait until night time to exercise. You just need to prioritize a little, and get strategic and creative with your time. You have to MAKE the time to exercise, just like you make time for everything else you need to do.
First of all, let’s make sure your idea of regular workouts is on target. This does not mean you have to work out for an hour every single day. A regular exercise routine should include 3-5 days per week at 30-60 minutes each, depending on your goals. If that still sounds like a lot to you, I’m telling you it is possible. Remember too that a little exercise is better than no exercise.
Shuffle Your Schedule
Take one day to write down everything you do, and how long you do it for. You need to be precise here, so include everything. This will include working, shopping, driving, cooking, cleaning, eating, watching TV, doing laundry, reading, scrolling on your phone, checking Facebook, checking Instagram, checking Twitter, looking at Pinterest, and anything else you do. Now really look reflectively at your log. Are you using your time as wisely as you can? Are you wasting a lot of time doing things that you don’t have to do? I am betting if you add up all of the time you spend doing things that don’t absolutely need to be done, you will find a significant chunk of time.
If you spend a total of 30 minutes looking at all of your social media accounts, even if it’s not in one sitting, you need to think about that. Do you really need to spend 30 minutes? Will the world stop if you don’t? How about cutting it down to 20 minutes? You still get your fix, but now you have an extra 10 minutes in your day.
How much TV are you watching? Most people watch at least one to two hours of TV every night. Can you cut your TV time in half? If you watch two hours, cut down to one. If you watch one hour, cut down to 30 minutes. Now you have 30-60 minutes extra.
Just by cutting down those two things, you will score time to work out. If you haven’t yet, keep going with your log until you have a 30-60 minute block of extra time.
Now it’s time to shuffle your tasks. You may not want to work out at night during the time you used to spend watching TV. Instead, move some of your day-time tasks to night time. During that new open day time, do your workout. Then do the tasks you moved from the daytime, during the TV time you cut out, and end your day with the TV watching you left in to relax before bed. Lots of tasks can be moved to night time, like cleaning, laundry, going on your phone or computer, etc.
Don’t Use Your Children as an Excuse
If you don’t like the whole idea of cutting activities and schedule changing, you can try a different tactic. Maybe you think you can’t work out because you have one or two or three or more children to care for. And maybe you think that if you took time to exercise and didn’t focus on their needs, you would be a bad mother. Oh the mom guilt. I understand it, and it will never totally go away, but you have to take care of yourself too. If you aren’t healthy, you can’t take care of everyone else. You can read more about mom guilt and exercise here.
So if children are your obstacle, there are a couple of things you can do. One is to include them in your workout. You can play outside, go for a walk, play a physically active game, or do a DVD together. Kids need exercise too, and that way you are still spending time with them.
Another thing you can do is enlist some help. Let the people who are close to you know how important it is for you to get some exercise time in. Ask them to spare 30 minutes of time to watch your kids while you exercise. Grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles, and neighbors are all great sources of free child care. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Lastly, you can do something to occupy your children while you get some exercise. I know using TV as a babysitter is frowned upon, but doing this a few times a week for a short period of time is worth it. You could also set up a fun craft or game that is new to them to keep them occupied. You will still be around your children and you will get your exercise. When you are done, play with them doing something active. No guilt.
Exercise in Short Increments
Another strategy is to break up your exercise into shorter increments throughout your day. Maybe you don’t have much time in the morning, but could you get up 10 minutes earlier to do a short set of strength training. If you work, make your lunch break a 15 minute walk and use the rest of the time to eat. At home, do 10 minutes of cardio moves in your living room with or without your kids. There’s a 35 minute workout! You do not have to do it all at once to get the benefits. Any exercise is better than no exercise!
If you are still skeptical and sitting there saying, “Nope, I do not have time to work out,” please email me so I can help you set up a system. I know you can do it, and it is my job to help. Let’s get started!