Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finding time

Oh busyness, how I have a love/hate relationship with thee! I really do like being busy, I feel more accomplished. But then there comes that point of diminishing return where I am so busy that nothing gets done well. And for most of us, the last month of the year becomes just that month. Food to prepare. Presents to wrap. Programs to attend. Family to visit. Exercise to do. Exercise? EXERCISE?

The number one reason most people give for not exercising is "I don't have the time." Now I'm the first to admit that different stages of life lend themselves to having more time (and energy) to engaging in exercise. The time I had when I was single or even newly married was more abundant than it is now with two small children. But for me, exercise takes a priority. How do I find the time? Well, to me, it's like "how do you find the time to shower?" Hygiene is important, so I always find time to shower. Exercise is important, so I always find time to exercise. It isn't always as much time as I would like, but my emphasis is on keeping it a habit so when more time does creep up, I am ready. The biggest key is to set time aside and keep it for yourself. Exercise time is me time...that's why I don't really like to exercise when the kids are around. Inevitably there is a fight that erupts, a toy that needs fixed, or an accident in the bathroom. So ideally I exercise in the morning (not often this time of year), in the evening, or when Andrew is home. But sometimes I do need to pop in an exercise DVD and hope the kids will either join me or need minimal assistance for 30 minutes.

If something is important to you, find the time and set it aside. Do a time budget. Find that block of 15-30 minutes you can have to yourself. Now caution: you cannot find time to do everything you would like to do. It is important to me to exercise, read, socialize, scrapbook...the list goes on. But I cannot be and do everything everyday. I have to place priority on what is most important. Sometimes exercise takes a back seat, but usually it is right up there.

Here's a quick full-body workout you can complete at home with as much (or little) time as you have. Repeat 3 x for just over a 20 minute workout. Add in 10 minutes of walking at another time during the day and you'll have 30 healthy minutes devoted to you!

March, Jog, or Jump in place (1 minute)
1 minute (wall, knees, or regular)
1 minute punches (keep feet jogging if you want to keep your heart rate up)
1 minute squats
1 minute front kicks (add alternating punches to keep heart rate up)
1 minute crunches
March, Jog, or Jump in place (1 minute)

Start by just getting in the habit of exercise. If it already is a habit but you are crunched for time, do this short (or find a similar) workout to get you through until more time opens up.

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