There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Can you schedule 30 of them for physical activity?
I just watched a twenty-minute YouTube video about the single most important thing we can do for our health. Exercise. Here is the link for the video. I highly recommend sitting down with a cup of tea and checking it out.
After you watch, if it strikes a chord, pull out a piece of paper and write down first, how much you are exercising on a regular basis. Be honest with yourself. Next, look at what your goals are for exercise. A simple 150 minutes a week (for adults, and hour a day for kids) is enough to significantly impact your health. That’s the minimum. And it’s not that much. The doctor who narrates the video (Mike Evans, MD) figures that it’s half an hour a day out of 24 hours. You can do that, right? Though everything seems a trade off these days can you afford not to do it? And if you know that your health goals require more than half an hour a day of exercise? Start slowly and continue to reassess every few weeks how you might be able to make it happen. Some is better than none. Always.
Once you take a hard look at how much exercise you’re actually getting, if you’re not exercising as much as you would like, make a complete list of what gets in the way. Once you’ve exhausted the reasons, take each one and brainstorm 3 creative ways you can get around the problem. Here are a few examples.
Problem: I like to ride my bike for exercise but the baby is too young to put in a bike seat. She’d probably cry the whole time anyway.
- Buy a stationary bicycle.
- Get a trainer (stationary mount) for bicycle and turn it into a stationary bike.
- Put on headphones while baby is sleeping, set up a video monitor to keep an eye on her without worrying about hearing the regular monitor then DANCE for 30 minutes to my favorite oldies mix.
Problem: Since I turned 40 my knees bother me if I walk for more than 20 minutes.
- Walk for 20 min twice a day.
- Walk for 20 min a day and then go to the local community center and swim for 45 minutes 3 days a week.
- Go for acupuncture to treat knee pain.
Problem: I hate exercise.
- Sign up for some classes that sound like fun…maybe tap dancing, kick boxing, ice skating?
- Join a hiking group (look online for meetup, in local paper etc.)
- Get a Wii.
And finally, make a schedule. Put exercise on there as if it’s just as important as an office meeting, hair coloring appointment or date night. If you need to sign up for a class or make plans with a friend, do it and be accountable. Schedule things around exercise time, after all, what’s more important, really?