The new year is a whopping two weeks old and already the numbers of fellow runners I have encountered wearing brand new pristine running gear are thinning out compared to last week. Last week was like a parade of major brand ice white socks, bright yellow and pink fluorescent running jackets, as yet untainted by many hours of sweat and toil. The cheeks were puffed out and red, but there were smiles on faces.
This week, there are much less people out on the sea front in the early hours when I run, and those that are out have more pained expressions on their faces. Their expressions are certainly not matching the brightness of the new clothing as they were last week.
As the new year enthusiasm wanes slightly, my friends, family, clients and those filling up my newsfeeds on social media are offering numerous reasons for it, and many of those reasons and excuses seem incredibly valid. I offer some support, some humour and some cajoling, but I still hear all too often the classic,
“I don’t have time to exercise!”
One friend of mine said to me this week that he certainly did not have time to run as many miles as I do each week. I want to share part of my response to him with you;
“Factually, that is incorrect. You and I have the exact same time every day. Every human being has the same amount of time available to them and ultimately they choose how to spend it.”
I was clearly in Spock mode at the time. My intention is not to convert everyone into running as much as I do, not at all, in fact, there are far more effective ways (and less time-consuming) to reduce weight than endurance running. My aim was to point out that we all have choices and we can all learn how to be responsible for knowing what is most important to us. Then, I gave him a list of ways he could find time to exercise, and I have written a larger version of that for you here today.
There’s no doubt about it, as increasingly busy people our world today throws us increasingly more distractions, opportunities for diversion and presents us with more choices and options for how we spend our time. With increasing demands in our personal and professional lives, our schedules just seem to keep filling up more and more each day. How can we possibly squeeze in the extra time needed to work out? – Simple things like getting a bike to go to work – advice like this one’s pretty good, but it doesn’t end there.
Learn more about motivating yourself to exercise:
Using Self-Hypnosis to Go That Extra Mile With Exercise or Any Physical Activity
Using Self-Hypnosis for Advanced Motivation to Exercise
The benefits of exercise have been proven over and over. According to a new research from UNLV and Harvard scientists, indicates that regular exercise not only helps us to develop key leadership competencies, but it also increases personal self-efficacy. This supports so much existing evidence – exercise and taking physical action is healthy for our mind, our body, our mood, our well-being and so much more besides. The irony of saying “I don’t have time to exercise” is that when you do exercise regularly, you’ll be more effective and subsequently get more done.
So what did I suggest to my friend about how you can find time for regular exercise? The key is to be flexible and make exercise a way of your life. Let it become habit. Remember, it is not just a purely physical thing. Developing the habit of regular exercise becomes a personal journey that requires self-awareness, clarity, commitment and relentless focus and is a very rewarding investment.
You have a super busy week, a really busy schedule, you are busy doing busy stuff that you make Bees look redundant, we know it. Now, did you create your to-do list and attempt to stay on top of the game? Or do you simply keep on finding excuses on how to avoid a walk to the gym because ‘there are other things to do’?
Procrastination is one of the most common reasons we do not exercise, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks. Instead of letting procrastination take over your life, create a to-do list, not just any to-do list – one which is filled with the things that are your major priorities – stick to it firmly and you’ll see that procrastination can just slip away quietly as you engage in your activities, taking effective action. Sometimes your plans can get scuppered, we know that too, but if this happens plan a longer workout for the next session.
Exercise ought to be a priority due to all the good it does you, so work it into your schedule and make it a priority on your list.
2. Use Social Media Wisely:
Social media does not just keep everyone connected and updated on what your friends are having for breakfast or how many miles they ran or what they are drinking in the pub, these days it also helps business owners market their business and engage with their customers. Social media is so integral to our lives these days that it can rob us of our time and inclination to do much else. Therefore, you need to use them wisely and effectively to take care of your health. First and foremost, you have to control the urge to peruse the latest posts and messages, especially those unrelated to your business or productivity aims. Consider permitting yourself to non-business related social media only after your priorities have been taken care of. Better still, you might use it as a reward for after you have exercised.
Just be aware of social media eating your time that could be spent exercising if exercise is a priority to you.
3. Get Up Earlier:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” ― Mark Twain
This quote by Mark Twain gets used a great deal and is interpreted in a wide number of ways. Some believe you do the things you have been putting off and then it is out of the way. Get your exercise done first thing. You do get the added benefit of the raised metabolism for the entire day too – if you exercise in the evening, it might interfere with your sleep. It also seems a shame to raise your metabolism only to then go to be and sleep.
You might therefore schedule your workouts before you get caught up in the roller coaster of the working day. Enjoy some fresh air, have a jog, walk to the gym, go to your local park, swim or cycle, or do some exercises in your front room to a chosen workout video but let your morning begin a little earlier and make space for exercise that way.
“I train myself in the very early hours of the morning when it’s still dark which I find kind of therapeutic and usually gives me the energy to get through the rest of the day,” Says Psychologist Richard D. Roberts from the University of Sydney. I add this quote because it reflects how I feel when I have done my morning training session and feel energised for the day. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, the evidence suggests that activity and exercise actually energises us.
If you’re telling yourself that you are not a morning person, then I support that you do what you believe is right for you. However, do know that who you are is not set in stone and you do not have to adhere to it. You can reinvent who you are and how you lead your life anytime you want to. Become a morning person if exercise is a priority and you wish to engineer more time to do it.
Meditation, mindfulness or self-hypnosis can help you in many ways, including finding the time to work out. “Meditation not only provides a low-stress, low-stakes way to unlock your creative potential, it also unlocks memories of simpler, childhood times, when the biggest cause of anxiety was how to avoid your next nap,” Says psychologist Antoni Martínez.
By lowering your stress levels, Meditation gives you the emotional balance which is needed to be more positive, calm and focused on what really matters to you. Eventually, it may even start to help you find the time to exercise without feeling obliged to be elsewhere or doing something else.
5. Buddy Up:
Joining a workout group or committing to a class is a great way to reach out new people, make new friends, or spend more time with existing friends. It also can keep you motivated, hold you accountable and help you develop a sense of group camaraderie.
Not only does it motivate you to get out of bed and exercise, but there’s the motivation to improve your current fitness level too. Explore clubs, find a running buddy, set times or schedule a regular weekly slot and you’ll find yourself more driven to stick to it and not as easy to offer up excuses.
No need to get stressed about it.
Work relaxation methods into your day too. Get solution focused about what causes the mot stress in your life. Work on that, maybe seek professional assistance. It may seem like adding exercise to an already busy schedule is a daunting task, but you can do it. You can do it much more easily when you are relaxed too. When you do exercise regularly, you’ll notice increased energy and a better ability to deal with stress, increased productivity and a feeling of overall well-being. Those components healthily feed each other – you can get that beneficial cycle started by learning to relax and reducing stress from your life as much as possible.
Don’t sweat the small stuff and ensure that adequate time is taken away from the office to enjoy with family and friends. Plan regular holidays and keep fit and healthy. Just make the time.
7. Learn When To Say “NO”:
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ― Warren Buffett
I was going to refer to this as “Learn to do Less.”
Know what your work and play capacities are. Politely declining to take on more work does not hurt people’s feelings. Both parties are better off, you really don’t have the time and you wouldn’t do a very good job for them either.
Start to work out ways to do less with your day, reduce time spent in ways that are not serving you with joy, satisfaction, love and well-being. Of course, it would be unrealistic to suggest you only ever do those things, because to function we may need to do things we don’t like at times. Look at how you can lessen your load and focus with laser beam precision on filling your day with actions that serve you and your priorities.
8. Grab Opportunities:
Even if you do not want to firmly structure in a set schedule for exercise, work out how you can be more physical and take more physical action in your usual schedule. Use windows of opportunity when they present themselves:
– Walk up stairs.
– Do standing squats at your desk.
– Cycle to work.
– Sit-ups before breakfast.
I often do some pull-ups or some dumb-bell curls in the garage when I go to grab the washing out of the tumble dryer which is in our garage. And look here is a lady with a pilates ball at her desk, doing a squat…..
We may never feel as old as our years, but without exercise and good, healthy eating habits, we can sometimes begin to age before our time. To maintain a healthy mind and a healthy body, you need to keep moving! Your body is designed for action and physical movement. Sitting in front of a computer in work all day long, does affect you. I think stating “I don’t have time to exercise” shows that it is either not important enough to you, or that you need to examine how you are spending your time.
So the next time you think there is no way you can possibly fit regular exercise into your already busy schedule—think again. Get re-organising.
Has some of this resonated with you in some way? One of these pages may well be of use and interest to you:
1. Would you benefit from some assistance in developing a healthier lifestyle?
Coaching with Adam Eason or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason.
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.
Wonderful post as usual.
Doing my best to follow guidlines, with good success I believe, apart from point 3 (3. Get Up Earlier: ), I am still rather an evening liker (actually I love also early morning , and aware of need to sleep earlier ).
Thanks Foued. If we wish to start getting up earlier, we can certainly condition ourselves to do so. A good start is going to bed earlier. 🙂
However, if you get up later and your entire day starts later, then you could just exercise when you get up and let things progress from there – not so easy if you have a job that starts at 8.30am or 9am, but if you are self-employed, you might want to just nudge your entire usual schedule along.
Best wishes to you, Adam.