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How Do You Spend The Other 23 Hours?

May 21, 2017 1 Comment

There are hundreds of excuses people use for not getting regular exercise but lack of or not having enough time probably takes the cake. Just within the past week I came across one of the best quotes I have ever heard and quite possibly now my all time favorite. “Do you know what the busiest person and the laziest person have in common? The same 24 hours!” It pairs beautifully with another favorite quote of mine like a fine wine to an exquisite meal. “If it’s important, you’ll find a way. If it’s not important, you’ll find an excuse.” Getting enough exercise should not in today’s day and age be something that’s put off until it’s convenient or the “perfect” time. Mounds and mounds of ever growing evidence supports that a regular AND consistent adherence to exercise is a HUGE counter to the staggering list of preventable ailments and maladies. Yet time becomes this insurmountable obstacle to a healthy lifestyle for many

I Simply Don’t Have The Time

There are 24 hours in a day; 168 in a week; 672 in a month; 8064 in a year. Consider that the average American works 200 hours/month; sleeps 180 hours/month – leaving approximately 292 hours/month for everything else: travel, social time, family time, chores, shopping, etc. Now here’s the good news. No one is saying that exercise requires an hour daily commitment. Even so, that’s only 30-31 hours still leaving about 260/261 hours per month (65/week). See why I have a hard time hearing that excuse? It’s totally invalid and a clear indication of a lack of commitment, dedication, and value for one’s own well being. Exercise unfortunately only gets the priority at the start of a New Year, an impending vacation, wedding, or reunion when time ultimately is at a premium and exercise will fail most. Exercise is but one component of a healthy lifestyle and unless there’s a mindset shift to acknowledging and understanding this, it becomes easy to quickly sweep under the carpet as non-important and skipped until it’s deemed convenient.

Shifting All Priorities

When exercise is looked at as the be all to end all it’s guaranteed to leave a trail of disappointment. Exercise is not enough. Repeat. Exercise is not enough. Too many begin an exercise program, join a gym, hire a coach/trainer and blindly believe that was the biggest, most important decision they had to make. Now they’re exercising and everything is going to be hunky dory and magically improve overnight: weight is going to come off, energy levels are going to improve, strength and endurance are going to improve, etc. That is until the newness of exercise wears off and none of or only a few of the aforementioned benefits come to fruition. Then the mindset shifts to where if exercise is good, more must be better and more exercise is partaken leading to possible burnout or injury/illness. Yes, it’s possible to over do it with the exercise but that’s usually a trait of those refusing to change anything else about their lifestyle except exercise. Most people don’t have that problem for the issue here is really about many not taking or making the time to exercise yet suffer from the same issue the avid exercisers make – what they do when they’re not exercising.

There’s Still Plenty of Time

Make time to exercise – check. Are you making healthy food choices, including but not limited to more home prepared meals and less eating out? Are you getting enough sleep, avoiding late night urge to watch late night talk shows (digital recorders are a great thing), binge watch Netflix, troll social media, or play computer based games?Are you naturally managing the stress in your life by being more aware of your dominant stressors and letting go of the things you can’t control.(hint: exercise provides a great outlet here too!) Are you engaging in behaviors that are obvious to negating healthier choices by keeping alcohol and over indulgence in treats to special occasions? The sobering news for many is that there is no amount of exercise that can erase all misgivings. So if you commit to the absolute minimal amount of exercise, your little progress if any will all but definitely be erased unless a healthy mindset shift takes place. And if by chance you find that you exercise more time than anything else, you’re missing the point of what exercise is supposed to be: a healthy stress for the body to build, repair and maintain health.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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  1. Connie M says:

    Preach it!

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