I had lunch with a former work friend yesterday, and we got to talking about fitting in fitness in our busy lives. She said she wanted to work out more, but just could not find the time. She followed with a good list of other priorities that always seemed to take precedence. You know the usual ones… work, parenting and personal energy level. All were legitimate obstacles to exercise.
I rattled off a few ways that I had combined exercise with other activities; running on the treadmill while watching sports on TV; taking a 30-minute walk during lunch hour; isometric exercises in the car; taking the stairs instead of the elevator. None of these required any tradeoffs. The exercise overlapped with other activities I liked or had to do anyway.
These are only starters. They will get you into good enough shape to get past the initial pain and start seeing and feeling benefits. It takes a couple of months (not days) so be patient. You will also find new food that you like to replace the old “convenience” diet. I did not really eliminate too many types of food, just reduced the overall quantity and avoided the obviously fattening stuff.
The real difference for me in the last 2 years has clearly been in goal setting. Without specific measurable goals to strive for, I floundered most of my adult life in fitting in fitness. I played soccer as a weekend warrior and that was about it. Now I have a date with a 26-mile run on December 5th and the last 5 months have been about training to finish that race with pride (and raise money for cancer research in the process.)
I am far from perfect. I have plenty of doubts, lapses, aches, pains and mornings when I wanted to stay in bed. I have researched and networked and bought more equipment than I ever thought I would for a sport that you THINK would only require a good pair of shoes. I have occasionally fallen off the healthy diet and jumped back on again. Right now I’m battling an IT Band leg injury and not giving up until I figure out how to fix it. The overarching goal gets me through it all.
So this is my question to you my friends… what are you willing to trade for your health? Don’t answer right away. Think this one through and don’t let the usual excuses block your thinking. It may be as simple as picking one small goal, announcing your intention and setting a date for completion. There is no Jedi mind trick to force you into doing something you don’t want to do. You have to really want it.
Action overcomes excuses, and success will lead to more success. Trust me… at some point, it won’t feel like a tradeoff at all.