It’s common for people to feel stressed out and overextended on a day-to-day basis, with less time and energy to accomplish all the things that are important to them. Whether the problem is work stress, a long commute, financial difficulties, or an overcommitted schedule, the woes of existence can add up and crowd out much of what makes a life well-lived.
One important facet of a well-balanced life that falls to the wayside far too often is making time to exercise. While many people at least tacitly understand that exercise has remarkable health benefits and stress-reducing capabilities, finding the time and space within a hectic schedule can still keep exercise on the backburner for most of us.
If you’re someone whose life feels out of balance, but you’d still like to make exercise a priority, here are six ways to create more space in your everyday.
1. Start Small and Aim Low
Far too often, the good intentions that lead to a commitment to make a change can be overzealous thereby resulting in a fast burnout. If in the past you’ve joined gyms, signed up for fitness boot camps, and otherwise gone all-out in an attempt to become a regular exerciser, and then find yourself giving up after a week or so, the problem may lie in your approach.
Instead of going for broke, start small and aim low. Keep your expectations realistic by only committing to a small amount of exercise at first. Strap on a pedometer and just notice how many steps you take in a day. Whenever you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike to the post office instead of driving your car. Volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog. Set yourself up for success by setting the bar low, and you’ll be much more likely to stick with exercise.
2. Take a Time Inventory
Starting right now, commit to taking a two-day time inventory and keep track of how you spend every bit of your waking time. On average, Americans watch 25 hours of television a week and somehow still manage to be on social media three hours or more a day. By taking a time inventory, you’ll be able to see just how much usable time you have in your daily life that could be reallocated to more meaningful activities like exercise.
3. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking can seem like a time saver, but in reality, doing only one thing at a time will keep you on task and on track much more effectively. In much the same way that doing a time inventory will reveal to you the ways in which your schedule can accommodate exercise, ceasing to multitask will help you become more efficient, which will also open up windows of time and energy that can be re-appropriated for exercise.
4. Make Your Commute Your Workout
Depending on how far away you live from your workplace, turning your daily commute into an opportunity for exercise is a simple and straightforward way to easily make more space in your life for exercise. After all, you already have to get yourself to work every day.
Whether it’s a bike ride all the way to the front door or a 2-mile walk to the train, turning some aspect of your daily commute into an exercise routine will not only save you money on transportation costs, but it will also benefit your health.
5. Do It First Thing
You can’t undo the first things you accomplish in a day, which is why many people find exercising first thing in the morning to be essential. It may not even take rising an additional 15 minutes to an hour, either, if you’re willing to forego some other part of your morning routine that may not be as valuable.
Do you watch television? Read the paper? Consider skipping something in order to exercise before you head out to work, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy fitting in a little exercise can be.
6. Do Something You Like
Creating more space in your life for exercise can be as simple as choosing to do something that you want to do. When you get your exercise via an activity that you enjoy and look forward to, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make room for it. Whether it’s a hip-hop dance class, a walk in the woods, or an intense racquetball game with a good friend, do something you like, and your life will accommodate it.
Exercise will keep you happily and healthfully in your life, but only if you engage in it. Make more space in your life for exercise today by following these six easy suggestions.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
My main acceptance in life would be that “change” itself is a constant and regardless of opinion it is inevitable. Making peace with ones self and accepting the things we CANNOT change is key to living a full and happy life. Within those experiences we grow as people and learn.
What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I have learned to appreciate all of my imperfections as it makes me who I am as a person and in reality “perfection” is all up for interpretation. In return I have taught myself to replace the old methods in dealing with situations and problems with ones that will deliver or elicit positive responses and solutions.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
I believe my core values or the personal rules I have set in place for myself and chose to live by have brought nothing but reward to my life as it has created my known presence to be one of value and those things remind me daily of my standards set if ever I were to steer off course.
We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
Over analyzing every situation would definitely be a not-so-perfect quirk about myself, leading my mind to wander with thoughts of what-if’s, that usually are just that, “what-if’s”. Along with spontaneity and positivity it creates my not-so-perfect, but awesome self!! 🙂
“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)
Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?
I love my positive outlook on life and the huge heart I carry with me daily filled with nothing but compassion for others and a willingness to always be learning something new.