The number one excuse that people give for not exercising is they don’t have the time. I’ve got two things to say to that. The first is bullshit.
Yep, you heard me right, I’m playing the bullshit card. We all have time to exercise, but we don’t all make it a priority. I use the time excuse as my reason for not becoming fluent in Spanish, but it’s not true. I have time; I just don’t put that task at the top of my list. Remember, excuses only satisfy the one who makes them.
Practical Ways to Find Time for Daily Exercise
The second thing I want to say is that even if you’re going to stick with the time excuse, we can fit exercise in to your day without you having to make any great adjustments to your schedule. There are things we can do to increase our fitness without stressing us out to find more time or forcing us to wake up at 4:30am. Because remember, getting the proper amount of sleep is important, too. So, what can you do? You can:
- Do wall sits while brushing your teeth. Two minutes twice a day can really add up to some shapely quads.
- Complete some calf raises as you wait in line at the grocery, pharmacy, DMV, etc. I should give you fair warning that I do these on a regular basis and am incapable of wearing knee-high boots now because of my beastly calves. For me, it’s totally worth it.
- Add a bonus workout while you are walking your dog. Fido needs to be walked anyway, so you might as well get some benefit from it, too. Along with keeping a decent pace, I add five sets of ten burpees to my morning walks with my pup. But the options here are limitless. Walking past a bench? Bust out some incline push ups or dips. Walking through a park? Take advantage of the pull up bars. You don’t have to be able to do pull ups to use a pull up bar. You can do negative pull ups, toes to bar, knees to chest, or even improve your grip strength with a dead hang.
My view while performing my morning burpees.
- Add some exercise to your meal prep. While you are waiting for the microwave to go off, see how many lunges you can perform before the buzzer sounds. Warming leftovers up again tomorrow? See if you can beat today’s total.
- Park on the top floor of the parking garage or on the far side of the parking lot to get in some stairs and extra steps. But, please, make sure you keep your safety your number one priority. If it’s late, the garage is unlit, or you don’t have a buddy to accompany you, go ahead and park as close as possible.
- Add some exercise to your TV time. When the commercials come on, bust out some squats, pushups, or lunges. You remember the drinking games you played in college? Well, how about switching it up to a healthy alternative? Pick your favorite show and make up some rules. For example, if you’re watching The Big Bang Theory, every time Sheldon says “Bazinga,” you owe 25 squats. Do you prefer Game of Thrones? Then every time someone dies, perform five burpees. Just imagine the workout you’ll get during the “Red Wedding” episode!
- When you get a phone call, get up and walk around. Few of us are tied to our phones by cords anymore so we should take advantage of this. Take a walk or, better yet, do some walking lunges.
- Exercise while you are at your child’s sporting event or piano lesson. This allows you to get a good workout while setting a great example for your children. Run around the field or bring a trainer if you need some time in the saddle
Triathelete Steve Armes trains at his sons’ soccer games, track meets, and water polo matches.
- How about switching up your commute? Instead of driving to work, you can take public transportation. The walk to the station and back can add up if you’re doing it five days a week. And if you live in a city like mine, there’s a chance that biking might actually be faster than driving. Seriously, on high traffic days I can make the commute to work faster than the cars and on low traffic days it only takes me an extra two or three minutes than them. Totally worth the trade-off to get some exercise in and breathe some fresh air.
- Set an alarm on your work computer that goes off every ninety minutes (or whatever time frame works for you) and get up and do something. Depending on your office atmosphere, you can get up and walk the hallways or do a plank under your desk. My office is secluded enough that I practice my handstands on my exercise break. Plus, this break can actually increase your productivity.
- Perform Kegel exercises at red lights. And Kegels are not just for women. Having a strong pelvic floor helps with urinary incontinence and can help men with erections.. Does just reading Kegel make you blush? You can tighten your glutes and abs during the red light instead.
As our nation, and the world, gets fatter we are going to have to start making exercise more of a priority. The above suggestions are not intended to take the place of a regular workout regimen, but rather are just some sneaky ways you can get some movement in on those days when exercise just isn’t your priority.
Do you have any sneaky ways you get in exercise? Please share some of your secrets in the comment section.