“I would exercise, if I could just find the time!” If you have ever found yourself uttering a phrase similar to this one, keep reading.
Most people say the number one reason they do not get regular exercise is lack of time. It makes sense. The world we live in today runs at a much faster pace than it did 50 years ago. Interestingly, though, consider that as the pace of our society accelerated, the incidence of obesity was simultaneously on the rise.
So what has changed in the last 50 years? In today’s world, we have more obligations, responsibilities and distractions than the generations that came before us did. Statistically, we spend more hours at work, in front of the television and using the computer than people did 50 years ago. We also have more leisure activities and the means to enjoy them.
Indeed, we have the same amount of hours in each day as we did 50 years ago. The difference is, we just choose to use them differently. Our children spend their afternoons playing video games instead of playing outside. As adults, we have replaced active, calorie burning time with computer and TV time. Not only do we have hundreds of television channels to choose from, we don’t even have to get off the couch to flip through them anymore.
So in this hurry-up, internet-surfing world that we live in now, how do we find the time to exercise? Each of us has only 24 hours in each day. No more, no less. In order to exercise for 30 minutes a day, you must take a 30 minute block of time from the 24 hours you start with.
You see, it is not about finding the time to exercise. It is about making the time.
We make time for important appointments like the doctor, a haircut, or parent-teacher night. Why not schedule yourself an appointment for exercise? Block off the time, in writing, so that something does not come along to take its place. In reality, what you are doing is assigning exercise a high priority by putting it on the same level as your other appointments that you don’t intend to miss.
You say you just don’t have a big block of time in your appointment book? Break up exercise in to smaller pieces. Can you walk around the field at your daughter’s soccer game, instead of just sitting in the car or on a lawn chair? Can you do a few arm curls, push-ups or sit-ups during a commercial break? Can you cut out a half hour of television three days a week and take a walk in your neighborhood instead?
Once you get into the habit of making the time to exercise, you will find that you had more flexibility in your schedule than you thought. So don’t wait for the time to find you, start now by making the time for exercise.
copyright 2006 Jennifer D. Wetmore, DPT