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If you want to fit fitness into your life, make it a priority

Enjoy autumn's colours from the seat of your bike.
Enjoy autumn's colours from the seat of your bike.
RoseAnna Schick/RAS Creative

One of the best excuses for not exercising is not having enough time. The only difference between people who exercise and those who don’t is choice. People who exercise choose to make time for it – simple as that.

Life is such that no matter whom we are, what we do, or where we live, we are all given the same gift of 24 hours each day. No more, no less. Those who exercise have the same amount of time as everyone else, and are just as busy. Yet, they manage to make time for it. So if you want to make exercise a priority in your life, you need to make time for it. Simple as that.

They say it takes three weeks to form a new habit. If you make a conscious effort to make exercise part of your day for three weeks, it should become part of your psyche and routine. With good time-management and daily planning, anyone can fit fitness in. Here are some tips to help make that happen.

Start your day with it: Studies indicate those who exercise first thing in the morning are least likely to skip their workouts. It can be as easy as waking up half-an-hour earlier and spending 20-30 minutes exercising at home – walking, running, strength training, doing yoga, whatever you want to do. Just do it.

Schedule it in: When you’re filling up your daily calendar with meetings, tasks, and activities, add in exercise, too. This will help you take that time more seriously, and not be so quick to sacrifice it when something else comes up. We all get to decide how we spend our time each day. Adding exercise to your calendar might mean saying ‘no’ to something else – and that’s okay! It’s your choice.

Extend your work day: Take your gym bag with you in the morning and hit the gym at the end of your day. If you allow yourself to go home first, there’s a chance you might lose your motivation once you get in the front door. Instead, make it routine to leave work and go straight to the gym. Consider your work day done only after the work-out is finished, too.

At home work-out: If you don’t have an hour to go to the gym or take an exercise class, invest in something to use at home. There are lots of choices in treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and other cardio equipment. Claim a spot near the television and work-out while watching your favourite program. Make it part of your living environment, and part of your daily life. No excuses.

Make it fun: If you dread exercise time, chances are you won’t want to do it. Pick something you enjoy doing and avoid the stigma of it being a chore. Learn a new dance or something you’ve always wanted to learn. Return to a sport you used to love to play. Get a friend to work-out with you and socialize while you're at it. Join a group or team that will motivate you. Plan active family time. Make exercise fun, and you’ll want to make time for it.

Take what you can get: If you don’t have a chunk of time to put towards exercise, do it in smaller blocks. Go 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes over lunch, and whatever time you can fit in during the evening. The benefits of exercise are cumulative, and each minute you put in contributes towards making you more fit. Even 15 minutes once a day is better than no minutes. It all adds up.

Make up your mind to make exercise a priority, and choose to live the healthiest life you can. Realize that while working out may seem like work, and fitting it in may be challenging, it’s definitely worth it. Because you’re worth it.

Simple as that.


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