Many mothers tell me how they don’t have time to exercise. I believe anybody has time to do anything. Like most other things in life, it’s just the matter of two things: organization and priorities. If you are a very organized person, you should have no trouble scheduling an activity into your day. If scheduling scares you, remember that it’s better to do something healthy for ten minutes a day than not do it at all.
I had to face the problem of not having time to exercise when I had my first child. Constantly nursing, sleep deprived, I missed my leisurely yoga sessions! Being rather desperate for some yoga moves, I started practicing for ten-fifteen minutes multiple times a day. And I felt a million times better than I did not doing my yoga!
Three kids later, I still practice some yoga every day. Sometimes it’s an hour and half when the babies are sleeping and my oldest is with a babysitter. Sometimes, it’s just a pose or two, when I am very busy, but still want to stretch and strengthen my muscles. Ever since I became a mother, I learned to spread out such luxuries as meditation and breathing exercises throughout the day, instead of doing these for hours on my yoga mat. I always do a breathing exercise before going to bed and another one when my kids and I go for our daily walk. My meditation sessions have shortened themselves pretty pathetically, because I simply do not have the time to sit for thirty minutes or more. So instead, I meditate for two minutes. Or five. And I think it’s better than nothing.
Here’s how you can fit your chosen exercise regimen into your busy schedule:
1. Write a list of the exercises you want to do. Go crazy: write down every little thing you dream of doing . I want to try mountain climbing, for example, so it’s on my list.
2. Narrow this list down to the three activities you can do in the immediate future. Do not, however, throw away the leftover list with your dream activities, so you don’t forget to try them when you are less busy.
3. Give two days of the week to each of your chosen three activities. If you wrote: “Gym, yoga, running,” for example, then devote Monday and Friday to the gym, Tuesday and Thursday to running and the rest to yoga.
4. Write down the times you can be free. Maybe you need to wake up an hour earlier? Maybe you need to go to bed an hour later? Maybe you need to cut down your TV time by 20 minutes? Maybe you can get off the Internet for thirty minutes a day? You get the drift. If it’s your gym day and all you can do is lift some weights in your family room for fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening, it already is pretty amazing! If it’s your running day and all you have is those two fifteen minute breaks, you can sprint instead of jogging. Hey, you’ll break a sweat! And if it’s your yoga day, do a breathing exercise and my YogaPulse Take Ten DVD, which tones problem areas in ten minutes. Or, you can just do a few yoga poses on your own.
5. If you still think you have no time for exercise, try the “five minutes every hour” approach. Do something physical for five minutes every waking hour of the day. Stretch at your desk. Wear comfortable flats and run to buy lunch. Jump the rope when you get home. Do a yoga pose before cooking dinner. Do another yoga pose right before you eat dinner.
You really CAN find time for physical activity!
What are some unusual ways you fit exercise into your life?