We know the script.
"I want to workout, but I just don't have time."
"I am planning to start working out."
"I should start working out more to get in shape."
Did you just "should" yourself? We do the "shoulds" all the time about things we wish we would be doing regularly or doing better, but we just haven't managed to make it a regular habit yet. Especially when it comes to working out, we get into the "shoulds" when we are struggling to find the time.
I get it. Doing a workout is actually considered like an extracurricular activity these days. It's a luxury if you have the time to go to a gym and do a workout. Work, family, marriage, social life, house chores, our favorite show, social media, or all sorts of other things are beckoning for our time. At the end of the day we are wondering where all the time went! Time is a commodity that is scarce in many of our minds. So the age-old answer comes out of our mouth, "I'm just too busy to work out."
When time to fit exercise is is a struggle, it's good to reframe things in our minds and realize how much movement can become a part of our entire day. Here are some tips on how to do that:
1) Just move more outside of any planned exercise.
Park your car further away to walk more on purpose.
If you are on the phone talking to someone, get up and walk around the house while you talk. Better yet, go outside and walk while you do your phone calls.
Use a standing desk. You automatically move more to stand comfortably.
Randomly do 15-30 squats or lunges in place throughout the day to sprinkle your day with activity.
Find a sport you like to play and work it in. Way funner than going to the gym for most people.
2) Use a screen time app to see how much time is going to social media or emails on your phone.
See if you can devote a portion of that time you get stuck death scrolling or watching video after video to getting up and moving to doing planned exercise.
3) Go to bed earlier.
Seems a little random right? Research shows that people who are deficient in sleep are less motivated and automatically move less. Morning, afternoon, or evening, if you start the day tired you will be less motivated to move or exercise. More rested = more recovered and ready to move.
4) Start small
Many of us want to go from doing zero exercise to doing exercise almost every single day. That becomes an overwhelming commitment that we can maintain or a short time, but when maintaining that standard becomes tough to maintain, we give up all together. Start with 2 days per week of planned exercise. Choose whatever is most exciting to you at first. It shouldn't be forced. If walking or running is more enjoyable to you, then start with that. If cycling or swimming are more enjoyable, then start with that. If weight training is more enjoyable then start with that. If a sport is available that you love to do, then that could be your planned exercise twice a week to start out with. Twice a week is a low commitment that is attainable. As it become routine, then you can add more or do more variety of exercise to challenge your body in different ways. If you are starting from zero, 15-30 minute workouts are totally fine. As long as you put some effort into those, you can make some great progress with that for a while. Working up to 60 minutes or resistance training or other intense exercise is a pretty good sweet spot for many people with a couple days of sport and regular walking and standing mixed in.
5) Do resistance training (lift weights)
Your metabolism will not change if you do not develop your muscle in some way. If you only do cardio then are calorie burn will be mostly limited to just that cardio session. But with weight training, the muscle adaptation keeps your engine burning all day long. We all can benefit from at least 2 weight training sessions per week to stimulate muscle toning and adaptation. Afraid of getting bulky? Don't worry. Two days of weight training won't make your muscles bulky at all. You will just gain some strength and toning.
6) Get some guidance.
Everyone should be coached at least for a time in their life. Some people may benefit from long-term coaching. Some may benefit from learning under a coach just for a short time to give them the tools and confidence to continue on for the rest of their life. Either way, to exercise safely and with the correct approach for your goals, it is helpful to get coached by a qualified professional to help you learn how to move and orient your life around health and fitness, to help these behaviors above stick.
Want help remotely from LinnFit Coaching? Get workout programming and nutrition coaching the the TrueCoach app with me and build this fitness lifestyle on your own time wherever you live in the world. Contact me or set up a video consultation call to see if working with me is right for you!