Everyone knows the importance of making time to exercise, right?
…but also for your business and professional goals.
For example, exercise can:
- Improve creativity
- Increase productivity
- Improve brain performance and cognitive function
- Prevent cognitive decline
- Ease stress
But you know how it goes…you get swept away with the busy of the day.
Wrapped up in the triage of our work, constantly running from one client or organizational “emergency” to the next….and poof….months go by and the most consistent exercise program you’ve followed is the daily lifting of your fingers up and down on your keyboard.
As you know, making time to exercise is something that’s very important to all of us here at Spin Sucks.
So today I’m going to provide a few power tips on how you can make sure you make time to exercise.
You Do Have Time
Before we start, I want to get one thing straight: You actually DO have the time.
I guarantee it.
You have the time for anything your prioritize.
You just don’t make time to exercise.
Those are the facts.
And that’s okay.
We all have something in our life that “goes” when we get super stressed or busy.
And, if exercise is your thing to go….well, then this blog post won’t be helpful for you.
Just accept that not having time to exercise, and the health, life, and work benefits it provides, is a choice you make.
Likewise, when you are ready you can choose to make time for it.
For the rest of you, all of you who say to yourself: “I really wish I had time to exercise, but…”
Just stop. You have the time.
Find Time to Exercise Today
That said, here are tips to help you stay accountable and prioritize exercise (because your body, mind, family, colleagues, AND business success will thank you for it).
Schedule It In
Schedule it in, just like you do any other meeting or event.
And don’t just do it “theoretically,” as in, “I’ll exercise every morning,” or, “I’ll exercise after work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
Put it on your calendar.
Block it off so no one (even you) can schedule something else on top of it.
Set a reminder for it.
Keep it sacred.
You wouldn’t double book two clients at once, would you?
Don’t schedule something during your exercise time.
Exercise IS your client during that block of time.
It is part of your business success.
Treat it that way.
Stop the All or Nothing Attitude
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when trying to start an exercise routine is they think they need to go from zero to hero overnight.
- Can’t spend an hour in the gym, seven days a week? That’s okay. Aim for 15 minutes, a couple of times per week to start.
- Meeting run over and you only have 20 minutes before your next one? No problem do some bodyweight exercises or go for a walk around the block.
- Can’t run three miles? Don’t sweat it, start by walking a half a mile.
The point is, don’t NOT do anything because you can’t do everything.
You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, you just have to move.
Pay For It
This is really key.
You can find a lot of free programs and options, but if exercise is something you consistently struggle to commit to, you need to invest some money.
As humans, we see more value in things we pay for. Even if it’s only a small amount—knowing we are investing in something helps keep us accountable.
I’ll give you an example.
I used to be horrible at stretching…horrible.
I tried yoga. Signed up for free 30-day challenges.
Promised myself I’d spend time at the end of each workout stretching.
But because I didn’t like it, I’d remarkably able to find reasons why I…wait for it… DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR IT.
But here’s the thing, not stretching consistently, improving my range of motion, and keeping my muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints flexible and limber, is counter-productive for my goals in my sport.
I HAVE to do it, and am hurting my success by not.
So I invested in a daily online stretching program to keep me accountable.
After about three months, I had made stretching part of my daily habits, so I didn’t have to pay to keep myself accountable anymore.
Now, several years later I still stretch every night, without fail. And it’s all because I paid for a few months to force myself to make it a priority.
This is the same reason we will all often sign-up for free professional development programs and NEVER DO THEM.
Often you have to make something a financial priority first.
And then the mind and habit will follow.
Find What You Love
If you hate running, don’t run.
If you despise yoga, don’t try to namaste.
Don’t like being in a gym, don’t go to a gym.
Stop putting labels on types of sports or exercise as to what you should or shouldn’t do.
Don’t be afraid to look outside the norm as well. There are so many freaking different exercise options out there.
There is something for everyone.
And STOP choosing activity options because you think it’s “best for weight loss.”
You know which exercise is best for weight loss?
The one you do consistently.
So find what you love, and the rest will fall into place.
Sneak activity into your day.
Be creative and challenge yourself to find unique ways to do this.
- Do 20 air squats every time you go to the bathroom.
- Have 10 minutes between meetings? Do some bodyweight exercises or stretching.
- Challenge yourself to do a certain number of push-ups in a day and do them when you have a few minute transition break or your brain starts to get tired and you need a mental break.
- Set a timer for five minutes every couple of hours and compete with yourself for how many (push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, etc.) you can do in that five minutes. Try to beat yourself each time.
Be Honest with Your Excuses
Finally, and most importantly, be honest with your excuses.
Some days you just really might not want to be active.
Okay, fine…but don’t say you don’t have time to exercise.
Step back and look at the things you did make time for in that day (I guarantee you had the ability to fit 20 minutes of movement in…even if you just did it in your office).
The sooner you acknowledge what your excuses are, the more you’ll be able to catch yourself and prioritize your life to make movement happen.
What are your biggest excuses not to exercise? And what tips would you add to these?