What 100km couldn't do, a string of 3 birthdays, which involved HOURS of shopping finally did. I'm broken :p Finally, the muscles in the back of my knees have given out. I need a rest!
I have rather enjoyed the shopping, especially the choosing an outfit for my sister's birthday yesterday. Neon colours and sparkly shoes....this season suits me xD
So the past three days really have been non-stop. My mother's birthday, followed by my husband's, followed by my little sister's (one of them anyway). All in a row. It's family tradition to give the day over to celebrations, and we're lucky to be in a situation that allows us to do that (summer holidays for the win!).
This in turn means I've had very little time to do the things I'd normally do - run, gym, swim over the past three days. It put me in mind of all of the times people have asked me "how DO you fit exercise in?" or the numerous times I've heard the phrase "oh that's all very well for you, but I don't have TIME to work out".
So how do you go about fitting exercise in?
Other people use strategies that mean even though they have REALLY busy lives, they still get time to fit their exercise routine in.
I'll come clean now - I REALLY dislike people telling me they don't have time to workout. Most people don't have the time to work out, they MAKE it, because they WANT to work out.
So firstly: drop the excuses.
If you don't work out, it's because you don't WANT it enough. Don't tell us it's because you don't have time. You're lying to yourself and that will only lead to internal unhappiness. Be truthful with yourself - do you REALLY want to work out? If not, then don't. You don't need to make excuses.
If you DO want to work out, then ask yourself what's stopping you. Yes, I'm sure there are the occasional days where people really ARE so busy they couldn't possibly work out without missing out on sleep or food but those are only occasional and I can't think of any incidences where that would be truthful. The last time I told myself I didn't have time to work out it was really because I was knackered and fancied just sitting down and playing some WoW having worked for 15 hours straight at marking peak time. It's not because you don't have time - so what's worrying you? Are you scared of committing for fear or failure? Or fear of success maybe? Fear of the unknown? Or fear of boredom?
They're all separate issues and I won't discuss them here, but at least now you know what's holding you back - it's somewhere to go from.
Secondly: It all counts.
Even if you're only making 10 minutes a day of light stretching or yoga at least you're doing something and BUILDING A HABIT. That's what's key. If you don't work out regularly you won't be in the habit for it - one of the biggest barriers to doing it, so break it down, do a little bit each day, do SOMETHING!
When I'm busy during term-time I wake up 40 minutes earlier and go swimming for 20 minutes (or sometimes running for 30). I'll reiterate - it doesn't matter how much you do, but get into the habit and do something. You'll feel tonnes better for it.
Thirdly: Build it in.
You're busy. I get that. So build exercise into your daily routine to become more active. I know it doesn't feel like much but take the stairs instead of the lift. Go to the furthest water cooler from your desk. Walk to work if you can. Walk AROUND work if you can. Stand up whilst you're working at your desk. Stretch whilst you're listening to the news in the morning, or watching TV just before bed.
There are SO many ways just to get that little bit extra in and here's the real secret - once you start being a little bit more active you'll FEEL better. Once you get into the habit and build it into your routine you'll get used to moving around and you'll want to add more in. It's a self-perpetuating cycle. Make it happen.
Fourth: Make time.
Set an appointment up, just with yourself. It's your time to be just YOU. You deserve that much.
Maybe you'll have to get up a little bit earlier. Maybe you'll have to put off bed by 10 minutes. Maybe you won't be watching as much TV at night but remember: before you tell yourself you REALLY don't have time to workout, ask yourself how much TV you're watching, or how much time you're spending reading. Again, if you'd prefer to do that than workout, it's your call - you don't have to workout and you're probably reading the wrong sort of article here!
If you're anything like me, you might feel like you're not including your partner. Maybe they feel a little left out, or you don't get to see them much as it is - can they workout with you? Maybe you can go for a walk after dinner together, or, as it used to be for me I'd do a home workout and hubs would just chat away to me whilst I was jumping around of my own accord. If you WANT it badly enough there is NOTHING stopping you from achieving the body, the fitness and the mindset that you want to achieve. I've heard stories ranging from severely disabled people to people who have to workout with their kids attached to them to get it done.
You don't feel like you have that extra urge to get it done? You don't feel that you can do the whole "heroic" workout thing? Don't underestimate yourself. You'll get what you work for when you want it enough.
Fifth: Work at it.
Yes, working out is a commitment. You have to decide you want to do it and you have to stick to that resolution. It's not magic, you don't just wake up one day with fully formed habits and the skills to make it easy.
It takes work and dedication to achieve fitness and to achieve the body, or abilities, or mindset that you want to achieve. Maybe you don't want to put that in? Well, don't then. I know I used to be the sort of person who'd say "sheesh, why do people put all that effort into working out. Aren't they happy with themselves?". The truth was, even though I kept telling myself I WAS happy with the way I looked and the habits I had I never was. I was miserable and eventually hugely overweight. As someone who puts a bit of effort into maintaining a regular workout schedule now I'm 20 x happier than I was - I use exercise as a lifeline.
There are a million apps to help you structure your workout, thousands of places offering FREE advice on how to workout, techniques to use, workouts to try - my favourite workout apps for instance are all free (and can be found here), I also have a series of "how to" articles, which can be found here and a series of "want to but you're scared" here (for example). Wikipedia, loads of blogs out there - we live in a time of information. Commit and get your results.
If you're a regular reader you'll know that one of my favourite sayings is: "you don't get what you wish for, you get what you work for" - so what are you going to work for?
What do you think? How do you manage your workout schedule? Anything I've missed out? Leave me a comment :D