Planning for Exercise

“Time” is the number one obstacle or excuse for not exercising consistently.  It seems like we never have enough of time these days to do everything. That “To Do” or “Honey Do” list keeps getting longer and longer.

We all have work obligations, family commitments and social events. Then there are errands such as the post office, grocery store, dry cleaner, shopping in general, and if you have children,  soccer practice or ballet lessons.  For each of these activities you may go to several locations.  For instance,  for grocery shopping you may go to Trader Joe’s for certain things, Costco or Ralph’s for others, and the local farmers market for the rest of what you need.  If there is any extra time you may have lunch with a friend or partake in a hobby, which again requires your time.

The proverbial question is when is there time to exercise?   With all of our numerous, daily obligations taking first priority in our lives, all too often, we just can’t seem to make time for daily exercise.  So we sacrifice our health in the process.  The problem with this neglect, is sooner or later,  you will be adding several doctors’ appointments to your list.

Here is the truth.  Having enough time is all a matter of perception!   Strong priority setting,  consistent detailed planning and life structuring,  and a little discipline will allow you to  accomplish everything,  including exercise, most days.  If you are reading this and thinking to yourself  “he doesn’t know how busy I am”?  Then insufficient time is not your real problem!  Priority setting is!  You don’t have time for exercise because your priorities, hence your life is out of  balance!   Take a little time to reflect and reestablish your priorities.  Get some perspective on what is really important in life.  If your health and well being is not one of your top “three”  priorities in your life right now,  you need to ask yourself why not?  If that be the case your challenge is not time management, your issue is lack of self-care!  Why isn’t your health and fitness a top tier priority?  This issue  needs your immediate attention, and potentially counseling,  because it is a serious character defect.  It is a self-esteem issue plain and simple!

The key to consistent exercise is realistic and strategic planning!  It is imperative you plan your days “realistically” and don’t try to build Rome every day over and over again.

Time management, life structuring and planning of your days, weeks, months and years is an art form!  It takes practice to find a structured way of planning that works for your personality and lifestyle.  There is also a learning curve.  It takes time and practice to learn how to utilize your planning tools and techniques consistently.  I know for myself that punching appointments into my I Phone or Outlook contact calendar doesn’t work for me.  Call me old school, but my schedule is extremely busy, and it changes on a dime each and every day.

I need a way of planning that allows for flexibility.  So with all the high-tech gadgets out today, I still use one of the oldest tools in the book.  I use a BIG wall calendar for planning my months and the year, while I use a leather bound “paper” organizer to plan my days and weeks.  I transfer monthly & yearly events and appointments to my bound organizer at the beginning of each month.  I do the same with daily &  weekly obligations every Sunday.   Franklin Covey may not approve of my planning techniques, but they have worked for over 25 years, and I’m not going to fix what isn’t broken.  I use my I phone for everything else.

It is imperative you find a structured way of planning that works for you to schedule an hour or so each day for physical activity.  Getting fit and maintaining that fitness level is life changing!  In fact, “ALL” research studies have shown conclusively,  people who exercise regularly deal with stress much better than those who don’t.  They are also happier, healthier, and more positive about life in general.  If that  doesn’t grab your attention, you should also know exercisers have stronger and more active libidos!

Ironically, if you choose not to exercise daily you are “cutting out” the one activity, which supports you in  accomplishing all your numerous and varied obligations!  You will have more energy and better rest if your exercise consistently.  Not exercising will shorten the duration and the quality of your life substantially.  Does this sound vaguely familiar?

We all know exercising regularly is important, but knowing what we should do and actually doing it are two completely different things. Talk is cheap.  Taking “ACTION” is all that matters in life, and which produces results.   If you want to look better, feel better and have a more positive outlook on your life, consistent exercise is the answer.  All the chemicals like adrenalin, endorphins, dopamine and neuro-peptides, which are released in your brain and body, act in unison,  to create a euphoric feeling that evokes the thought process of  “I feel good about myself today”!

Exercise doesn’t have to be that dreaded,  daily task!  In fact once daily exercise becomes a part of your lifestyle, you and your body, will look forward to it.  I know this sounds crazy right now, but it is true.  Not only has science proven this, but I experientially know this to be true.  I look forward to my daily workout.  It is the only time during the day my phone is not ringing constantly.  Emails and texts are not pinging every few minutes, nor is my assistant badgering me for answers to questions.  Why is this?  Because I choose to switch my phone to vibrate, listen to my favorite music, and pay zero attention to the constant flow of messages coming in.  I respect and cherish my workout time!  Most days it is the only solitude I get during the day.

We certainly can’t add a few extra hours to each day, but there is a solution to the problem of limited exercise time.  Manage your time better.  Consistently plan and structure your life.   Strengthen your discipline muscle.  Yes, your brain knows how to learn, and can be taught to be more disciplined.  However,  you have to take the initiative! You have to take action! You have to empower yourself and ignite that fire that is in all of us.

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