Time is FREE, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. -Harvey Mackay
Are you using your time efficiently? Are you managing your time effectively?
As fitness and wellness professionals we hear all sorts of excuses as to why people can’t come to the gym, don’t eat healthy, or can’t find the time to eat healthy. Are there any of these excuses to keep you from leading a healthy, active lifestyle?
1. “I’m too busy to fit exercise in!” “I’m too busy at work right now.” “We’re re-decorating or renovating our home” “The weather sucks!”
Quite often we hear these types of excuses... and that IS exactly what they are an excuse and a poor one at that. Sure, there are times when you truly are too busy but if you are living in a state of too busy all the time then are you really living? If you are a single parent working 2 jobs to make ends meet; then I'll give you a free pass and say, yep maybe you are too busy... otherwise, read on.
A few examples of individuals who are truly busy but still prioritize time in their lives to be active:
-Former President Barack Obama fits 5 to 7 workouts per week into his week – he makes his health a priority.
- Locally, Tim Bakelaar (owner of Bakelaar Jewellers in downtown Listowel) works out 5 days a week prior to working a 9 to 14 hour day in the store and office AND managing an active social life.
-Sarah Van Allen (co-owner of Van Allen insurance) makes it a priority to exercise 4 to 6 days a week at dynafit, outdoors, or in her home; all in addition to her roles as a Mom, owning a company, raising funds and organizing events for Cystic Fibrosis and enjoying time with friends and family. Sarah says “Even 20 minutes on the Stairmaster is good if you feel crunched for time. It tones your @%% like no other!”
-Our own boss, Chris Kurz, works an average of 14 hours per day while training for his amazing fund raising feats, running a baseball team, and his roles as a legion member and Kinsmen. I’ve never seen anyone prioritize themselves or their workout as much as our boss. He’s certainly a cranky pants if he doesn’t get his workout in!
One thing these people all have in common is that they take the time to organize their days in advance, arranging their schedules to be efficient and to accommodate all of their commitments.
2. “When I get home from work all I want to do is crash!” “I have no energy to go exercise.”
This excuse is often a tough one to overcome but overcome it you must! This excuse leads to a vicious cycle... you have no energy to workout... but you won’t gain more energy until you start treating your body right! This means eating well and moving your body. And I’ve got science on my side when arguing this one!
3. Time Wasting!
This isn’t an excuse we hear but is one we see... particularly in our friends and family. It goes like this...
Family: “I don’t have time to workout.”
Me: “Oh yeah, does that mean you no longer have time to update your FB status, Twitter and Instagram 5 times a day?”
I am sure you see where I am going with this one. It may also include conversations about the latest episode of the Walking Dead or Scandal or whatever other TV shows people are watching these days (I don't know, clearly I'm out of the loop.)
These are TIME WASTERS! Things that you do not need to do... things like scrolling through your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed, watching YouTube videos, etc. I challenge you to track how much time you spend doing these things! Yes, it is fun to watch those videos but be careful how much time you waste sitting on your butt, doing nothing. YouTube (and Letterkenny on CraveTV) can be watched from a treadmill, a stationary bike, an elliptical or even from the stair climber! No Excuses, my friends!
4. “I don’t have time to workout, my kids have sports/dance/music every night!”
Let them be your reason, NOT your excuse!
Is your child old enough to be dropped off at their extracurriculars? If so, drop them off then go do something for you! Maybe you enjoy the social aspect of hockey practice.. here’s a tip: invite those friends to walk with you, or maybe jog, or maybe join a fitness class or do your own! Make it FUN! If your kids aren’t old enough to be dropped off, then maybe try scheduling with your partner/spouse to take turns or come up with a plan of something active you can do while at their practice/class/etc. Maybe you have to get up 30 minutes earlier to get a workout in before they get up... maybe you can workout in your home while they watch morning cartoons because they get up WAY earlier than needed! Find something that works for you to set a good example for your child(ren). Who is going to take care of them in the future if you don’t take care of you? What kind of lifestyle do you want as you age? An 80 year old once said to me and it continues to resonate with me, “I have no pain in my bones or joints and I know that’s because I exercise. It is so hard to watch all of my friends age in pain, but they didn’t exercise.”
5. “My knee hurts.” “My lower back is too sore to exercise.” “Yeah, I can’t do that because my hips hurt.”
If you have pain that bothers you to the point that you use it as an excuse to do nothing then it is time to get it looked at by a doctor! The longer you leave an injury, the longer it takes to heal it.
We all go through ups and downs, and by no means do we expect you to be here 6 or 7 days a week EVERY single week. We do believe in balance and that means being active at least as many days a week as you are inactive. It means that if you head to the cottage or buy a golf membership for the summer that you enjoy yourself and get back into your strength training through the colder months.
In the end, be realistic with yourself. Are you using excuses or do you have a valid reason? I'm too tired is an excuse if it is a daily one... if you were up all night with your sick kid or you've been consistently not getting enough sleep then I'm too tired (on 1 or 2 days) is a valid reason. I hurt my lower back is a valid reason if you are seeking treatment to make it better. As Mark Twain said "Don't wait. The time will never be just right."