As a wellness coach, one of the most common excuses I hear from people about why they can’t: lose weight, lower their cholesterol, be more flexible, or be more active is, “I don’t have time!”.
This excuse, and “yes” it is an excuse, generally comes immediately after this person has given me a detailed rundown of the 6 episodes of “Yellowstone” they watched over the weekend or spent 20 minutes griping about how everyone on Facebook is saying this, that, or the other thing.
Here is the bad news, if you have time to spend hours sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through social media, you have TIME to exercise! The fact of the matter is you don’t WANT to exercise, so you make up an excuse that you are soooooo……..busy with soooooo…..many important things that you simply cannot squeeze 30-40 minutes of fitness into your day.
Sure, we all have days where work, family, and social obligations take up the majority of our day, but for most of us that is the exception, not the rule.
Now, here is the great news, you don’t have to block off 45-60 minutes 4-5 days a week to go to the gym to get some of the benefits of exercise. By simply being active throughout your day you can help improve cognitive function, improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure, and reduce muscle tension and stress. Even doing 3-4 minutes of physical activity every hour can yield benefits.
Let’s say you are awake for 16 hours each day, if you were physically active for 3 minutes every hour, by the end of the day you would have done almost 50 minutes of physical activity! That’s over 5 hours every week! I guarantee you can find a least 3 minutes every hour to do a little something.
This week commit to doing at least 3 minutes of physical activity every hour you are awake!
So, what can you do?
- Sit down and stand up from a chair, repeatedly for 3 minutes (or do body weight squats)
- Take 5 minutes and walk up and down a flight of stairs
- March in place for 1 minute, do jumping jacks for 1 minute, do butt kicks for 1 minute
- Step side to side while pushing your arms overhead for 2 minutes and heel taps with arm circles for 2 minutes
- Take 3 minutes to walk around your house picking up and decluttering
- Or any activity that gets your heart pumping and your blood moving
More is better here so if you can do 5-10 minutes during some hours all the better!
If you have a goal to lose weight or improve your health, you may still need to hit the gym 3-4 days a week for some purposeful workouts in order to reach your goals. But, just think how much easier it will be to hit your goals if you add 30 minutes of activity the other 3 days. Even if you are a total gym rat, extra physical activity during the day can provide a much needed mental and physical break from a sedentary work environment.
So banish your, “I don’t have time”, excuse and get moving! It only takes a few minutes every hour and your mind and body will thank you!