How to Find Time and Motivation to Exercise

Monday, December 19, 2011

Okay!  I realize I need to exercise if I'm going to lose the fat, and keep it off—but how do I go about it?   I'm as busy as the next person—where do you find the time?”  
Sound familiar?  For starters, take a good look at your current circumstances and lifestyle—your work hours, family commitments, and available finances.  Whatever exercise program you come up with, has to fit the reality of these circumstances and resources.  That being said, recognize that your greatest resources are not necessarily time, and certainly not money.  Probably your greatest resource is DESIRE, followed by your VISION of a better you, PERSISTENCE and the COURAGE to try.  People don't always do the things they ought to—but they usually find the time to do the things they want to—that's desire.

Finding Time
     You don't have to worry about finding time, you have all there is.  You need to concern yourself with how you are spending the time you do have.  Unfortunately, for most, there will be a struggle, at least at first, because the culture is working against you—not supporting you.  Your workplace doesn't have a gym, or pay you to keep in shape, there aren't adequate parks or sidewalks in your neighborhood, everyone drives—not bicycles, etc.  That just means, you will have to decide that you are going to exercise anyway.  Make an appointment with yourself, and maybe start something special in changing some of our unhealthy cultural attitudes!  More power to you.

Practical Helps When You Just Don't "Feel Like It"

  1. Think about what you hope to accomplish.  Ask yourself the question—“How great will my life become once I am fit?"  This focuses your mind in the right direction.

  2. Know the benefits of exercise.  It always helps to know the reward.

  3. Find a partner.  Getting into a routine with a family member, co-worker or friend really helps keepyou on track.

  4. Start slowly, and keep records.  Watching your times, strength, speed, etc. increase is highly motivating!

  5. Choose activities you enjoy!  If boredom is an issue, wear a walkman and listen to your favorite book or music, or watch TV while exercising.  You could also switch exercises more frequently, or play games with the time and intensity, if using stationary machines.

Consider Morning Exercise

     Since time is so often desired for other things, morning exercise works best for many people.  Some may find getting up earlier to exercise difficult at first, but later learn to love it.  Here are the reasons:

  1. There are fewer or no interruptions.  This is a huge advantage if you are accustomed to work with many people, or are a mother.

  2. There are no other demands on your time at that point in the day.

  3. The rest of the day is often too busy.

  4. Later in the day you may feel too tired from work and other obligations to give the effort (mental as well as physical) to exercise.

     However, whether you choose to exercise in the morning or later in the day, the important thing is that it fits your schedule so that you can commit to it regularly.  Exercise’s benefits are so numerous that if we could put them all in a pill, it would be the most prescribed in the world! It doesn’t always have to be hard, but it DOES need to be consistent.  First build the habit, and then let the habit build you.  See you in the gym!

Submitted by: Thomas Morrison, Fitness Coordinator, Bradley Wellness Center