If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Ecclesiastes 11:4 (TLB)
A Time to Exercise?
Are you waiting for the perfect season, non-busy week, or ideal day to begin a fitness routine? Have you found yourself in Scarlett O’Hara’s shoes saying, you “will think about it tomorrow?”
Life is busy. No one will deny that. But, the people who make progress are the people who take steps – today! They don’t wait for their child’s football season to end or the work project to be completed. Instead, they take a step today. Big or small, they take a step.
One common obstacle to making exercise actually happen is that we create an image of what it looks like. We believe that it needs to be done in a certain place for a specific time on a designated day. Maybe you envision working out at a gym as your idea of true exercise. Maybe you see yourself walking 3 miles with a neighbor after work.
These are great forms of exercise, but sometimes it might need to look different.
Routines can be quite beneficial and such repetitive behavior helps strengthen habits. But, what about those crazy days when a meeting interrupts gym time OR the weather won’t cooperate OR our workout gear is MIA or in the laundry basket?
All is not lost! You don’t have to surrender to a cascade of challenges. But, it is helpful to have a list of activities that will get you up and moving, even if time is sparse.
Exercise Tips for a Tight “Time” Budget
Here are a few ideas:
1. Walk and Talk.
Can you plan a walking meeting? Can you get up and move while talking with your manager on your speakerphone? Maybe you can grab your co-worker and take a walk around the building or nearby trail. Walk the stairs or different floors if the weather does not permit an outdoor stroll. Essentially, start thinking about how you can insert more movement into your day.
2. Quick Workout DVD or Online Routine.
If you can’t make it to the gym, maybe you can pull out an old workout DVD to do at home. There are dozens of online workouts that are only 10-15 minutes in length – just a click away! When you’re in a time crunch, you can make the most of the time you do have. Don’t focus on what you CAN’T DO, focus on what you CAN DO.
3. Add a Few Extra Steps to Regular Activities.
If you are running an errand, can you park at the opposite end of the shopping center? If you are arriving home from work, can you walk around the block before you walk in the door? If you are pulling up to Bible Study, can you walk to the end of the road and back before entering the door? If you are headed to the bathroom at work, can you use the stairs to go 1 or 2 floors up? Consider your typical daytime and evening routines, and then choose 1 or 2 ways you can add in more steps without adding more stress.
4. Turn on Some Dancing Music.
When there is a good beat, who doesn’t want to move? Turn up the beat and get your groove on! Did you know that the average 150-pound person will burn 50-100 calories with 15 minutes of moderate dancing!? That’s a whole lot more than the 15-20 calories you burn standing or sitting… like 3-5 times more!
5. Try a High-Intensity Interval Training.
This type of exercise is proven to give you excellent results in less time! It is defined by a series of intense exercise bursts followed by a period of recovery. The ACSM has actually created a printable 7 Minute HIIT Circuit workout you can post anywhere or easily access on your phone or computer.
6. Walk While Waiting for Your Kids at Ball Practice.
We have all seen it – those parents sitting on the sidelines furiously scanning social media, answering emails, and wasting time while their child finishes up ball practice. Be different. Go walk or jog while your child is training.
7. Keep a Resistance Band in your Office or Car.
A resistance band is a great strength training alternative that can be scrunched up in luggage, a drawer, a car glove compartment, or even a purse. This ACE printable perfectly demonstrates 12 exercises and proper form so that you can use a resistance band whenever you have a few free minutes to spare.
8. Refuse to Sit While Watching TV.
If exercise is a struggle to work into your days, insert it during TV time. Commit to moving if the television is on.
Find what works for you
When a work schedule changes, when a child begins a new extracurricular activity, or when responsibilities at church or a community group are added, it often requires us to re-evaluate how to continue to prioritize exercise. If you aren’t healthy and energized, your mental, emotional, and physical energy will suffer.
But, as shown above, it can look different, unique, and atypical. Sometimes it might need to be short, but intense. Sometimes it might need to be those last 15 minutes while dinner finishes cooking in the oven. Other times, it might need to be during your meet-up with a friend. You have a brilliant mind full of creative energy to design new and fresh ways to get moving!
Not only will you experience a wealth of benefits from consistent exercise, but research has shown that general activity level throughout the entire day may reduce early death. That’s right, simply getting up to move more and sitting less may help you live longer!!
According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the 4th leading cause of global mortality. WHO also claims that physical inactivity is estimated as being a cause of:
21% of breast cancer
25% of colon cancer
27% of diabetes
30% of ischaemic heart disease
Many people find that a fitness tracker helps them stay aware of their daily movement and motivates them to get up and move more frequently. This can be especially helpful for those who find it difficult to follow a consistent exercise or fitness routine. If your season in life presents a lot of crazy, busy days with inconsistent schedules, using a tracking method may be an excellent solution for you!
So, what’s the play call?
Your body is the only vehicle you have to walk out YOUR amazing destiny. If you decide to neglect it, today, tomorrow, or next week, the length and quality of your days may dwindle.
We are called to steward that which we have been given dominion over. We are called to a higher level of living than the world. We are called to look different – to be salt and light. If the Team forgoes attention to the physical body, we will lack the endurance to run our race with perseverance.
Will you have what it takes?
Which exercise tip will you commit to trying?