Between classes, clubs, practices, studying, meetings, eating, sleeping and socializing, who possibly has time to exercise? Let's look at it from a positive perspective. Did you know there are 1440 minutes in a day? Wow, that’s a lot of minutes! Did you also know the excuse I’ve heard most often for not exercising in my 20+ year career is time, or rather lack thereof. Each of us has 1440 minutes in a day and some of us can and do fit physical activity/exercise into our day. It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s how you choose to spend that time.
First, let's differentiate between physical activity and exercise.
Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles (i.e quadriceps, biceps, pectorals) that burns calories. Exercise, on the other hand, is a subset of physical activity. We still move and burn calories but it’s done so in a planned, structured, repetitive way in an effort to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness—body composition, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance and/or strength for instance. A group fitness class, a personal training session, a 5k, a HIIT session or regular lifting routine are all examples of ‘exercise.' On the other hand, walking to class, taking the stairs to your room or bustin’ a move at an SYR are examples of physical activity.
Again, back to the time factor—The key to health and well-being is to MOVE! Here are some strategies that may help:
- Write exercise times down in your planner. Research shows that if you write things down, you are more likely to stick to or remember them. Just think of it as an appointment with yourself.
- Exercise at a time of day that works best for you. If you’re not a morning person, getting to the gym at 6:30 a.m. isn’t going to work for you long term. On the other hand, if you find yourself making a million excuses to not exercise at the end of the day, you may need to strategize a time during the day.
- Enlist a friend to workout with you. Being accountable to someone else helps us stay accountable to ourselves.
- Listen to music while moving. You’ll tend to increase the intensity as well as duration of your movement.
- Move more throughout the day. Take the longer route to class, always take the stairs, park further away, deliver a message face to face vs. via your phone!
- Wear a tracking device so you have a tangible result of your activity at the end of each day. Research has shown that 10,000 steps/day can have a positive impact on your health.
If you’re not sure how to begin, feel free to contact me in RecSports. I can help get you started and literally moving in the right direction!
Just remember, you are never too busy to move for your health! So, how are you going to spend your 1400 minutes today?