Don’t give yourself an excuse

Don’t give yourself an excuse

Do you work out regularly? Would you like to? Would you rather not work out but think you should? Do you have specific health conditions that dictate you should move more?

“But I don’t have time,” comes the often-repeated refrain. And perhaps you don’t have time or don’t right now. However, you also may be giving yourself a convenient excuse.

When trying to find time for something, it often helps to track what you do for a few days, the more typical the better. I know. In some stages of life, like when you have small children, few days may feel typical. Try it anyway. Jot down what you’re doing in 30-minute blocks or when you change activities.

Consider timing regular activities like folding laundry, ironing an outfit, washing dishes or whatever you do every day.

Once you have done that, look for things you could change to open up time for exercise. Could you skip an hour of television or social media? Could you prepare multiple meals at one time or do some of the preparation ahead of time to free up half an hour each day?

Could you combine some things? Watch something while you put in time on the treadmill? I’ve done this for years. I’m not a television fan, but I run longer watching something than staring at a wall.

Love to read? Pedal a stationary bike while you delve into a good novel or intriguing biography. You may have guessed this is another of my favorites. I also do routine things while I pedal like check email and plan meals.

Work more miles into everyday activities. I like to walk to the barn to do my evening chores. It adds 1.2 miles to my day. By walking to get the mail, I add another half mile to the middle of my day.

I also routinely park at the far end of parking lots to add extra steps, if it is safe to do so, of course.

Exercise a bit while you wait. I often do arm exercises while I wait for stock waterers to fill. I know others that like to do squats while waiting for water to boil.

Make exercise fun so you want to add more to your life. Spend time at a local lake or river in a kayak or canoe. Bike at a bike path. Take along a friend or enjoy a bit of solitude, whatever you need more of.

Make it a family affair. Just gear your pace to what works for your kids. You want them to find exercise fun. It will encourage them to make it part of their lives in the future.

Even if your kids participate in group sports, teach them to appreciate activities that don’t require a team. It will be easier for them to continue as they move into adulthood.

For little kids, combine nap time and exercise time by putting the little one in a jogging stroller or backpack. I always loved this idea but had a hard time getting it to work. It seemed as soon as I got a distance from the house, the fussing would begin. Eventually, I just walked around our block a bunch of times so I could stop when the kids woke up or got grumpy.

Walk to a restaurant. My husband and I got in many miles by getting up early on Saturdays, walking several miles and then stopping for breakfast.

If you want to work in time for workouts, you can do it. It may be small at first or in fits and starts, but the more you do, the more time you are likely to make for it.

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