Finding Time for Exercise

Daylight savings time is coming up quick and many of us live in an area where we have to set our clocks an hour earlier!!  I ? it.  It means warm weather is soon to be upon us and it will be light outside earlier and I can get my morning walks outside again and not worry about getting run over, instead of getting on the treadmill.   While I love it, many are not pleased with Daylight Savings Time.   They see it as a time when they lose an hour of sleep, and are terribly unhappy about it.  Me, nah, cuz I get up before dawn anyway and I plan for it and make sure to get a few things done ahead of time so that I can try to get to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each day for a week or so to lessen the draggy feeling you get for a few days afterwards. In other words, I create time ….sorta.

Now,  on to what I really want to talk about.  Making time for exercise.  I have spoken with dozens of women over the last few months and so many of them have told me that their number 1 struggle is finding time to exercise.  For many years I was the same way.  I would tell myself I was just too busy. I had a job, kids that I had to cart around and take care of and I did volunteer work.  Not gonna pussyfoot around it.  They were excuses.  If I had been honest with myself I could tell you that neither exercise or even just movement in general was not one of my top priorities..thus I never found the time to do it.  When I finally decided to make it a priority, I still struggled to find the time because my schedule really was crazy and I was at a loss as to what to do. I finally got creative and learned how to create time.

The set up:

The first thing I did was go through each day and write down a 24 hour schedule of events for each day of the week with as much detail as possible.  Then I needed to see where I could “find” time so that I would be able to get my exercise in.

So then I did these 5 things and low and behold I had more than an extra hour each day to exercise and to do some other things I enjoyed.

  1.  Quit hitting the snooze button.  Did you know that the majority of people who do use the snooze button will hit the snooze 2-3 times? That is 18-27 minutes right there folks!!  Holy Moly!  Stop hitting that button.  I promise you, you are really not getting any sleep that is beneficial to you….if you really go back to sleep at all.   Now, I realize if you hit that button more than once it can seem pretty daunting.  Start with eliminating one of your snoozes for a week and then the eliminate the next one, and so on and so forth.  Even better, get you a clock that does not have a snooze.  That way you have to get up, or oversleep.
  2. Prep Clothes for the next day.  Getting your clothes laid out or hanging up for work and getting your gym bag packed for the next day.  Depending on how much time you spend trying to decide what to wear and gathering it up, this could create 10-20 minutes.   Look at that, if you are a snooze hitter, then at minimum we already have 20 extra minutes, and could possibly an extra 45 minutes, and we are only at number 2!
  3. Shower/Bathe in the evening –  if you already shower/bathe at night then kudos for you, we will have to find you some time somewhere else.  The average shower lasts approximately 10 minutes, so when you add in drying time and waiting for that water to warm up that could give you another 15 minutes.  Bam we are up to a minimum of 35 minutes!!  WooHoo!  That’s enough for a quick warm up, a 20 minute workout and a cool down in the mornings at home!
  4. Schedule your Social Media time – Cutting out a bit of your social media time by scheduling it may be a game changer  According to Neilson Females 18+ spend 26.41 hours a week on media!!! That is almost 4 hours a day!  Many of us spend more time than we realize on our phones, tablets or computers on social media and reading and answering email.  I have been known to be guilty of it myself.  I have found that I am waaaaaaaay more productive and have a lot more time to get things done when I actually schedule my computer/social media time just like I would any other thing during the day.  This includes checking email.  If you work out of the home, chances are probably only allowed to have your cell phone out during breaks and lunch.  Use those times to check your social media.  Give yourself one specific time of day and give yourself an allotment of time for checking email.   It is super easy to get caught up in silly emails or to click through the rabbit hole of websites from an email or from just reading a blog.
  5. Cut out some TV time   While cutting out some social media time may be a game changer, this right here could actually be THE game changer for many people. Especially those who would rather workout in the evenings.  How many hours a day do you actually watch TV?  According to Neilson The average American adult watches from 3- 5 hours a day depending on age bracket. So, even if you watch below that average can you cut out 30-45 minutes a day?  If you cut out 30 minutes a day then at the minimum there is 1 hour a day we have created.  And I still have number 5 to give you!!!

Once I found my extra time, I needed to decide when was the best time of day to get my exercise in and where.  Was it going to be at home or at the gym?   Morning, Afternoon or Evenings? It ended up being a hodgepodge of days.  Sometimes it was mornings and sometimes it was evenings.  Then the biggest deal of all was I scheduled my workout time like I would any other appointment, meeting or event I was planning on attending.  I like schedules and rituals….most of us do.  They are comforting.  Streamline your morning and evening rituals and schedule your exercise time just like you would anything.   We keep doctor’s appointments because we want to get well, dentist appointments because we don’t want our teeth to fall out, hair and nail appointments because we like to look good.  Keep your exercise appointment because you want to look good and feel good and still be able to get around well as we age.

BONUS:  Here is a trick that will give you more sleep time, (because you will fall asleep quicker as well) as well as better quality of sleep so that getting up earlier is much easier.  Heck, you may find that you actually do not need as much sleep as you think and may actually gain even more time in your day….I did.  You have heard me say it before and I will say it many times more.  Turn your electronics (including your TV) off a minimum of an hour before bedtime, 2-3 hours is best. Or if you just absolutely cannot turn them off, have a blue light filter like f.lux for your computer, blue shade for your kindletwilight app for android devices, or wear blue light blocking glasses.

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