So many people tell me that they can’t work out because they have too much on their plate already, and it’s “one more thing” to add to an already packed day.
I get it. I have two kids, a busy day job, a side hustle, partners, friends, and family. Yeah. Not atypical of anyone these days. But, I work out almost every day.
How can I possibly have the time to exercise with everything else I have on my plate? Well, here’s the thing. My body is no different than anyone else’s body – it craves movement. So I make time.
It’s not easy. You’re never going to hear that I leap out of bed ready for my workout, and feel #blessed for every day I get to move my body. I mean, I do feel grateful that my body is capable, but I am still not a morning person.
But I schedule it. Just like any other appointment I need to keep, I schedule workout time with myself. Whether it’s first thing in the morning with my Beachbody on Demand app, or running, I put it in my calendar on Sunday afternoon with all the other weekly commitments I or my family have.
Not only do I schedule it, I also think about the time in relation to the rest of my day. A half an hour is two percent of my day. I could be falling down an internet rabbit hole during that time. I could be frittering away yet more hours on Candy Crush. I could be making myself feel bad I’m not living a fabulous Instagram-worthy life. If you’re saying you don’t have time to work out, look at your day. Take a quick inventory of where you spend your time now, and think about what you can let go. I bet there’s more stuff you could let go than you care to admit. I know there was for me.
I also think about what else that half hour is doing for me. Almost counter-intuitively, I know that half an hour of vigorous fitness is going to give me MORE energy. Yeah, you read that correctly. Excessive gives you energy. So that half an hour of my time that I’m giving is making it easier to face that seemingly endless to-do list. I’m not going to bore you with a science lesson, but simply put: your body produces endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals that act as natural stimulants when you exercise. Exercise promotes more restful sleep. Exercise helps your body regulate stress and stress hormones. All of these things work together to, you guessed it, give you more energy.
There’s also a question of mental clarity. A tonne of studies have shown that exercise may increase focus on intellectual tasks. Which means that in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise is also “brain food”.
For me, all that stuff matters. But it doesn’t matter as much as my two biggest reasons for living a healthy lifestyle: my kids. I have the chance to show them what healthy and strong looks like. And that it’s a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
Does this mean I’m perfect? Not by a long shot! My workouts are often surrounded by folded laundry I haven’t moved off the coffee table. The breakfast dishes might sit a bit longer in the sink. I may not get to that email straightaway. It’s about balance, after all!
What does your day look like? Where do you think you could fit in some activity – either by yourself or as a family? I’d love to hear from you!