10 May Exercise for Busy People. How Much is Enough?

So is being ‘busy’ really a good enough reason not to exercise when we know that the alternative is; the likelihood of lethargy, lack of energy, weight gain, depression and health problems, not to mention a general dissatisfaction with the way you look and feel.

I get up early and exercise most days. It’s not only a habit, it’s a non-negotiable part of my working week – it is my time, my meditation, it makes me feel fit, healthy, strong and positive. Do I bounce out of bed to an alarm thrilled at the prospect of pounding the pavement? Definitely not! Regardless of what is going on in my life or how busy I am or how much pressure I am under, I predictably get back from a run or from the gym or from a yoga class and feel centred, clear, relaxed, happy and ready to tackle the day.

For busy women with competing priorities, obligations and ‘stuff’ to do, it’s easy for exercise to be pushed to the bottom of the list. After-all, there are only so many hours in the day, right…? WRONG! Whenever we don’t REALLY want to do something like exercise we can think of so many reasons not to. Can you relate to any of the following?

–          “I’m too busy”

–          “I’m too tired”

–          “I have to leave for work early”

–          “My kids get up early”

–          “It’s cold outside”

–          “Gyms aren’t really my thing”

–           “I don’t enjoy exercise”

–          “I hate to sweat”

–          “I have bad knees”

–          “I’m too fat”

–          “There’s no point, I never see any results”

There are so many ‘excuses’ we make and stories we tell ourselves as to why we aren’t moving and shaking despite knowing how important movement is for our overall health. Ultimately these stories and excuses add up and disempower us. If we really want something then we will make the time.

The solution in reality is so simple…just start. Some is better than none.

So how much do we need? Thirty minutes of moderate intensity activity most days will do it. Moderate activity means you can still talk, (perhaps not sing) while exercising. Okay you are not going to light up the night sky but thirty minutes of moderate exercise is a great start to achieving considerable health benefits. Of course if you are keen to take it to the next level, schedule some regular, vigorous activity for extra health and fitness outcomes.

What about when 30 minutes is just impossible to find? You can also raise your heart rate and reap huge health benefits just from incorporating a small amount of exercise into your everyday life. A few shorter sessions of incidental activity is a great way to do it. Things like walking your dog, walking with a friend, taking the stairs over the lift, walking to the bus stop, walking to the shops or scheduling a ‘movement’ meeting with a colleague are all great options. Simply by changing your mind set and scheduling exercise in like you would an appointment or a meeting means you can move a little more on those days when you just can’t find that 30 mins or 1 hour of dedicated work-out time.

There is no supplement, superfood or pill you can take that will benefit your health as much as regular exercise.  I promise you it will improve every area of your life and help you be at your best. Every one of us needs to re-organise and re-prioritise our lives so that we put ourselves and our health first. If we don’t have our health then we don’t have anything.

Rightio, time to schedule in that exercise. What is one positive thing you can do over the next week to increase your movement? Stuck and unsure of what to do? Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for my help. I would love to help you get moving.

“The hardest thing about exercise is to start doing it. Once you are doing exercise regularly the hardest thing to do is stop it.” Erin Gray


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