Breaking Through Exercise Barriers

The No Time To Spare Trap

Ask most people if exercise is important and you’ll get an overwhelming “yes!”

Yet it often gets shoved aside as other details in your life vie for your time and attention. This is especially true when you consider that less than 10 % of adults in the country regularly engage in physical activity.

The question I often ask my clients is: “How can you make exercise a non-negotiable priority?”

If this seems like an impossible task, you may need to reevaluate your standards and priorities.

Your life may be chronically overscheduled. Can you continue living this way? If so, what price are you paying? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you happy? Do you feel good?

Ironically, many of my overscheduled clients attribute the fact that they don’t work out to laziness, when in reality, they are truly too busy!

If time is rare and precious, then you certainly cannot afford to be sick. All the more reason to invest in making time to take care of yourself! Not enough time to get a “real” workout in?

Don’t get caught in the “All-or-Nothing Trap!”

I know I have talked myself out of exercising before because I didn’t feel like I had enough time and I figured “it’s not worth it.” Over the long term though, even the tiny amounts—5 minutes here and there are more than worth it! Here are some fun facts about how the little bits go a long way:

  • 5 minutes of taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator twice daily/five times per week = 43 hours of exercise per year!
  • 10 minutes of walking around the block three times per week = 26 hours per year
  • 15 minutes of dancing in your living room one time per week = 13 hours per year

5 Tips To Make Exercise Fun

  1. Find an activity that you love. Exercise does not have to be a chore. If you like engaging with others, consider playing a team sport. If you love to dance, turn up the music, and get your groove on.
  2. Keep it diverse. Maybe you want to try a variety of activities like rock-climbing, swimming, belly dancing or yoga. You do not need to dedicate yourself to just one form of exercise.
  3. The Mind-Body Connection: If you are a multi-tasking exercise enthusiast, download an audio book or your favorite music to your iPod.
  4. Invest in some comfy exercise clothes. Workout attire need not be fashion-show material, but it is important to wear clothes that breathe and allow you to move. Having good gear that you love can inspire you to practice.
  5. Enlist a buddy, friend, co-worker, family member or personal trainer. Working out with someone else can be really motivating. Plus, it will keep you consistent. Most people who have a hard time showing up for themselves will not miss an appointment with someone else.