As many as half the people who start training drop out again within six months – and the most frequent reason given is lack of time. If we looked closer, we’d probably see that in most cases it’s more a matter of managing the time available than having no time at all. Let’s have a look where can you find time to keep yourself more active. Here are some small steps to help structure your life and give you back control.
Active transportation: Could you walk or bike to school or work? If you take the bus, could you get off a few blocks earlier and walk the rest of the way? When you go to the mall, could you park your car in the furthest corner of the lot and walk the extra distance? Could you take the stairs instead of an elevator?
Exercising cues: Could you remind yourself to exercise a little more? People use cues and reminders to make it a bit harder to forget about exercising. For instance, they keep a pair of walking shoes in the car to be ready whenever they find a few minutes to walk. Or they take their sports bag into the office to remind them to finish work on time and get to the gym.
Make it social: What about making exercise a social activity? Is there a badminton club or hiking group in your neighbourhood? Or could you initiate a lunchtime walking group at work? Even if you just all walk to a restaurant a bit further away and back – it all helps make exercise social. The routine on one side and the support of a group on the other may be just what you need to help you stick with a new activity.
Active TV watching: Could you get active while watching TV? Some former couch potatoes have started to change by just using hand weights (or cans of beans or packs of sugar) while watching TV. Would some yoga or core-strength exercises be something you could do during your favourite show?
Put it in your calendar: Lastly, could you plan your workouts and other physical activity in the calendar? Many people schedule physical activity as they would plan any other appointment during the day. It’s all too easy to change vague plans every time something else comes along—so we end up with a permanent lack of time, but specific plans with times and details make it a little bit harder to skip exercise.