“Yes, but I’m just too busy to exercise,” I always hear. But not too busy to read this! Everyone’s busy running around on a hamster wheel these days. It’s reached competitive levels of busy-ness and it’s exhausting just talking about it. But sometimes there’s too much talk. Honestly it’s not as hard as you think to fit some exercise into your life. Your attitude and all that procrastinating can be a huge barrier, stopping you from really getting on with it.
That barrier is often also where, without realising, you’ve put yourself in the pecking order of life. Listen to your own voice. “But my husband goes to the gym after work” or “My kids need their tea”. “My boss needs this email”. But how urgent is it really? And why are their needs greater than yours? YOU deserve to be healthy and have some time out. Just take 20 minutes out of your day and you’ll come back more productive, engaged and energised.
What are we busy doing… really? Apart from work, lots of things that distract us aren’t 100% vital – they’re often just habits, distractions, or ways we tell ourselves we’re ‘relaxing’. Scrolling through social media is one huge time-guzzler! Create little slots for exercise. You don’t need to be in the gym – it’s often a huge mental effort to even leave the house. Multi-task, that’s our forte. If you suddenly find yourself a spare 20 minutes while something’s in the oven, grab that slot! Put the kids in the living room and work out in the kitchen. If you can leave the house for a run around the block, a quick HIIT session in the bedroom, I swear people will hardly notice you’ve even been gone.
Changing a few habits and associations can adjust your mindset. These might be tiny tweaks to your routine, and you may not launch straight into exercise, but they might get you closer to thinking about it:
Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you usually would. Leave your alarm clock on the other side of the bedroom. That way you can’t hit the snooze button and roll over for extra zzzs. Leave a crack open in the bedroom curtains - daylight is nature’s best alarm clock. Don’t dive straight into the shower when you wake up. You’ll feel too clean to start any exercise. Ditch your dressing gown and get your gym kit on instead. Pile it up by your bedside at night so you can be dressed for fitness first thing.
Likewise, when you come in from work or the school run, put on your trainers instead of your slippers. Tie your hair up. Instead of turning on the kettle or the telly, or scrolling mindlessly through Instagram, put on some music or walk outside. Don’t just sit down with a cuppa and let your energy slump. Keeping mobile will distract you and put you in a more active mindset.
If you can’t swap a social commitment for exercise, combine them. Sign up to a fitness class or a run with a friend. It’s fun to try new things with someone. They can also give you a kick up the backside if you try and bail out! And try to keep exercise varied. Instead of sticking to your usual run, spin class or swim session, switch it up. Trying something new can shake up your routine and kick-start your mojo.
Anyone can be a busy bee…the queen is actually in charge and gets stuff done!