Making the Time to Work Out

BY Kiera Murray TIMEMarch 3, 2022 PRINT

One of the biggest challenges to exercising is to convince yourself to wake up early or go to the gym late at night after work. But what if you can strategize your day so that exercise seems as routine and “painless” as possible? Here’s 7 tips to make the time for a workout!

1. Make a Plan. We take on way too much in their busy lives and stretch ourselves out a bit too much. As a result, exercise tends to go on the back burner. We work a long hard day… a good night is one laying on the couch eating food as opposed to running or walking. We also have a problem with getting up in the morning as the average person has to get up at 6:30am to get to work for 8am. That’s a 5-5:30am wake up call to exercise before work and still have time for a shower.

There’s no “good time” for running, but you must force yourself to run… for at least a little! It takes on average 21 days to form a habit. Give it 21 days to run consistently…at the same time, and it will become a more consistent part of your daily activities!

2. Start Easy. You must start somewhere! Remind yourself that any little exercise helps the process towards loving exercise. It also may take time to find the particular sport or activity that most interests you. Try a bunch of new things and have fun with it! Be gentle on yourself when one activity doesn’t work and simply move onto the next. There’s a sport or form of exercise out there for everyone, whether big or small…

3. Join a Fitness class or exercise with a friend. Fitness classes are an easy way to keep yourself to a schedule. If you pay for the gym membership, you have an additional attachment to keeping to your plan… money. If simply motivating yourself to exercise for your health isn’t enough, one might be more motivated if they paid money to exercise. There are thousands and thousands of easily accessible gyms around the country that have multiple aerobic machines as well as weights and weight machines.

Exercising with a friend is also an easy way to keep on your plan. Next time you hangout with a friend… as them to go to the gym with you or simply to go for a walk next to the beach! You can also find exercise programs online to do at home with family or a loved one without spending a ton of money getting memberships for everyone.

If you don’t have an exercise buddy in your life now… introduce yourself to one at the gym! Friends are there to push you and to share in your successes when you achieve great things. Here’s just one study that suggests working with a friend is beneficial for your overall health and success… Those who exercised with a more-capable partner increased their plank time by 24 percent.

4. Reward yourself after you exercise. Exercising is challenging. It’s very important to reward yourself after you exercise. Not only does it increase your motivation to exercise again, it also allows you to feel a sense of pride that you’ve completed your exercise for the day.

There are plenty of rewards you can “give” yourself that don’t necessarily involve food. This could be as simple as allowing yourself to sleep in the next day to taking a bubble bath to planning a night out with your friends! Do something to take care of yourself. Have fun.

5. Walk to short destinations & take your pet out more often. Walk home if you live close! Walking several times a day for short periods of times adds up. You don’t need to exercise a ton in one period of time for it to “count”. If you don’t have much time one day in particular, do something as simple as walking your dog when you get home from work. Walking and playing with your dog for 15 minutes is better than doing nothing!

Wear your pedometer- If you have a Garmin, Apple Watch, or a Fitbit, this one’s for you. Seeing that you achieve your step goal for the day can be very rewarding. As I said above, its so important to reward yourself in some way. Achieving your step goal is something to work toward and reward yourself when you achieve it.

Smart watches have become the new fad trend in the athletic world for not only tracking distance and pace, but also your step goal. If you haven’t heard anything about smart watches it might be worth taking a look.

7. Think positively & be yourself. This is the biggest and most important rule. Be kind to yourself while beginning your journey towards exercising more often. People of all sizes exercise in different ways. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Find what you love. Find what makes you happy.

Exercising won’t come to you right away… unless you just get lucky.. but it likely will take a few tries. If the exercise of your choice doesn’t work, don’t give up! Try something else!

Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier, and to be the best version of YOU.

Kiera Murray’s blog is centered around exercising for beginners, debunking nutrition myths & touching on motivation and mentality. This story originally published in Air U Breathe-Fitness Blog.

Kiera Murray
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