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Health blog series [10]: Overcome "Not enough time to exercise"

Wow and Happy New Year!!?? I'm sure that we all would have thought that the start 2021 would be a lot different to what the world experienced in 2020. But unfortunately, we are back to national lockdowns in many countries around the world so the good news is that our health blog series continues with what we promised to deliver.

Our first topic being a sentence we all must have said at some point in our life: "I don't have enough time to exercise".

People don't avoid exercise because they don't think it's good for them but because they would rather be doing something else.

Why the "no time to exercise" excuse

A working adult spends on average 8hrs a day working and 8hrs for sleeping. Leaving 8hrs for miscellaneous activities so we must find out how we spend that time. Break down:

  • 2hrs cleaning/cooking

  • 2hrs watching TV/Netfilx etc.

  • 2hrs social media/internet browsing

That leaves us 2hrs on average which can be spent, guess where, on exercising! But to better get an image of how we spend our free time we must analyse the usage time on a device most of us have in common, our mobile phone.

I have an Android device which came with an installed application called Digital Wellbeing which basically tracks every app you have used throughout the day. Personally, I consider myself a low to average mobile phone user but the results I found where astonishing. I was spending about 4hrs a day on my phone with most of the time being on YouTube! That's 4hrs just watching videos!!! So to have a better picture search for apps that track your phone usage and understand how much time you spend on your mobile phone and on which apps.

I was spending about 4hrs a day on my phone with most of the time being on YouTube!

Knowing this certainly doesn't solve the problem but what we can try to do is to find a solution.

The solution to exercising

After realising and understanding the issue follow this simple and effective 3-step process which can help you change the way think about exercising.

Step #1: Examine the REAL Problem

It’s NOT a problem if you don’t go to the gym, don’t run, don’t bike anywhere, or don’t do yoga.

It IS a problem if you don’t move your body.

Lack of movement is the real problem, not a lack of exercise. Exercise sounds like something that only fit people do, but moving is something for everyone. Think about it, our bodies have evolved through the course of time to help us with our day to day living and not to be spending most of the day sitting!

Step #2: Re-think what "Exercise" really is to you

The term “exercise” might conjure up images of high-intensity bootcamp classes, endless running on a treadmill, or playing some sort of competitive sport. These are all great BUT they are not the solution to the exercise problem for most people.

Finding a way to move your body can have exceptional health benefits, maybe even more so than an intense exercise will provide.

For example if you think that you've put on some weight and you'd like to lose it don't go immediately and start running in a high tempo for 60 minutes a day. I'm not saying you can't do it but your body will be deprived of energy and you will start eating more than you were eating before. So I would suggest to start with light exercising, maybe 30 minutes per day, so that your body has time to adapt and you feel the positive changes in order to stay motivated.

Step #3: Make one small change Today

I’m all about action steps. If you aren’t moving your body each and every day then I encourage you to follow these actions steps beginning today:

  1. Start Small: Set an easy goal, for example walk daily for 30mins, and try to complete it for 2 weeks. If you think it's easy make it harder or if it's difficult reduce the amount of walking time per day.

  2. Find a friend who might want to start exercising with you or at least tell someone about what you plan to do. Simply saying a goal aloud makes it real and much more likely to achieve and doing it with a friend is even better.

  3. Make a Plan: When can you best schedule exercise into your day? Picking a regular time is the best way to make exercise a permanent addition to your schedule.

If you’re not “exercising” each day because you’re too busy then you are sacrificing your health and longevity.

Exercise is not what many people think it is – It doesn’t have to be sweaty, or painful, or exhausting.

It does require movement and it is something that you can do every day.

Good luck,

Your Sports Officer

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