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Finding time to exercise

''I don’t have time to exercise''

If there’s one excuse I hear from people more than any other it’s that they don’t have time to exercise. Sometimes this is people who don’t exercise at all and that’s their reason for doing nothing, or sometimes this is my clients who didn’t manage to get all their training sessions in that week. Either way, I hear this one a lot and want to offer some advice on overcoming this barrier to exercise.

Nowadays the majority of us lead extremely busy lives. Whether that be long working hours, juggling multiple jobs, looking after the family or a hectic social life, finding time to exercise is something we all struggle with from time to time. Even me – and I work in a gym!! The problem is that your busy life is never going to change and the number of hours in a day is never going to change either. So YOU need to change. Waiting for a perfect convenient exercise slot to just pop up regularly in your day is like waiting for the pile dirty laundry to wash itself – it’s extremely unlikely to happen unless you take action. So it’s about MAKING TIME for exercise, rather than FINDING TIME.

Most of the time, saying that you don’t have time for exercise is simply an excuse, it’s not a reason. It’s easier to put up a barrier and convince yourself that you haven’t got time rather than get down to the gym and do something about it. So how on earth are we going to overcome this barrier? Here’s my top tips for making time to exercise in your busy life and quashing those little voices and excuses in your head which are working against you.

  • Diarise your exercise time: Put regular slots in your diary so that other appointments don’t get in the way. At the start of each week I add my training sessions in to my diary so I know exactly when i’ll be working out each day.

  • Have regular exercise time: if you have regular days/times when you exercise, you know that when that time comes, it’s time for exercise, no excuses. Your body and mind will be ready to go.

  • Get up early and exercise before the rest of your day get’s in the way. 6am might be a scary time for the alarm clock to go off but your body will thank you for it and you’ll be set up mentally for the day ahead.

  • If you don’t have time for a full workout, simply exercise in the time you have available, even if it’s just 20 minutes. A mini workout is better than no workout. Simply up the intensity to make the most of it.

  • Book a training session with a personal trainer or a class at the gym. Knowing that you have booked and paid for a session will decrease the chances of excuses creeping in and keep you accountable.

  • No time to get to the gym? Then why not exercise at home? You don’t need lots of fancy equipment to get a good workout. Body weight exercises can be extremely effective and challenging.

  • Exercise in your lunch break: take your gym gear to work and go for a run in your lunch hour, or get together with some colleagues and do some circuit training outside.

  • Build exercise in to your daily commute: walk, run or cycle to work rather than drive or take the bus. Park further away from work or get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.

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