If I had a nickel for every time I heard “I just don’t have time” I would be rich. Maybe not rich but could probably go to Hawaii for a nice relaxing weekend. If you are like the majority of people who “wish” they would have time, this is the day when I will tell you how ridiculous your excuse is. I will not only tell you that, but I will give you tips that will help you to finally stop making excuses and actually do good for your body and mind. I promise it is pretty easy once you see it from this perspective, where you will not have to leave your children with expensive babysitters, get up at 5am or sacrifice your evening family time.
You would probably laugh if I told you that you could get into the best shape of your life (well, not if you used to be a competitive bodybuilder, that unfortunately would require a much bigger dedication) while only sparing 15 – 20 minutes of your day.
Most of the success comes from eating right, exercising and most importantly the right mindset. This sort of lifestyle is a choice that you have to make every day. You don’t take a prescribed course of antibiotics for just a few days of the required 10, do you? It is most likely because you are aware of the damage it can do to your body. Well, that is how your healthy lifestyle should be viewed. It is not enough to eat a salad once in awhile, and it is not enough to exercise only when its convenient. Just like with most things in life, consistency is key. Now, don’t get scared, I will not suggest you do insanely difficult exercise routines, eat 500 calories a day or meditate for 2 hours at a time. Consistency and moderation is what I am going for here.
One of the problems that actually hurt your success is the expectation of things changing and getting better overnight. Rome was not built overnight, and neither will your body and healthy habits. It takes about 21 days on average to build a new habit. Can you commit to 21 days knowing that it will become just part of what you do daily? Like brushing your teeth, taking a shower are things that you just do.
I will explain 5 things that will help you to get the body you want without being able to use any of the excuses you have had before.
#1 Stop Using Your Phone As Soon As You Wake Up
Do you know that majority of people check their phone or tablet first thing after they open their eyes? There are many negative effect of this that impacts your life more than you know. By staying away from your phone you will not only get in tune with how you feel, but you will have extra time in the morning to either stretch or simply enjoying a few extra minutes to spend with your spouse, kids or just drink a cup of tea or coffee in the quiet time of the day. Let your body wake up without the light from the screen. Let it wander, make plans and just be. Can you spare 5 minutes to do light exercise? I bet you can!
Start by doing some warm up movements to gently wake up your body:
Get into a kneeling position and press your hips up and behind so that it resembles the letter “v”. Bend your knees slightly or as much as your are comfortable, and press your chest towards the floor. Shift your weight down as if doing a push up and up. Repeat 15-20 times.
Stand with your feet wide and squat down. Make sure your feet and knees are forward facing. Once you straighten your legs back up lift up one knee, squat again and alternate between your legs. Make sure to do 10 – 15 on lifting each leg.
These 2 exercises will take no more than 5 minutes. You will feel energized and ready to take on the day.
#2 Park Your Car Further From Where Your Usual Spot Is
I am of course assuming that you do drive a car, and not bike everywhere, which would be wonderful not just for your body but for the environment too. Find the furthest parking spot from your office you can and walk to your destination. Do you drive to work? Why not start with parking a block away. It will only take you a few extra minutes but your body will thank you for it. You might even “save” enough calories to have a treat on the weekend.
#3 On A Weekend When Possible Do Something Active With A Friend.
Instead of going to a coffee shop for delicious Frappuccino, which you have saved some calories for by walking further distance from your car during the week, get that coffee or better yet replace it with a delicious nutrient packed smoothie and go for a walk around town, take a picturesque hike, or try a new class together. No time for friends because you have little ones to take care of? Take them on a bike ride. Better yet you run or walk they ride. You will not only be helping yourself to get back into shape but setting a good example for your children too.
#4 Before Going To Bed Or While Watching TV At Night Do A Plank
Start with 30 seconds and build it up to at least a minute. Repeat 3 times. Can you do some lunges while watching TV, waiting for food to cook or right before reading a book? Yes, you can!
Remember to do some gentle stretches before the end of your day. It will help your body relax and heal any damaged muscle tissue.
#5 Stop Checking Your Phone Every Second You Get
I see people on their phones everywhere: At a stop light, while driving (this one makes me angry), while waiting at the doctor's office, while at the grocery store’s checkout line, “watching” kids on the playground, and even right before falling asleep. It looks like technology is really taking over our lives. I don’t want to sound like my grandmother but I started to see the impact it had on my life and how my children were beginning to see me. I am afraid they will come from school with a picture drawing of me with a phone permanently attached to my hand. I want to see more, hear more and be more present. Don’t you?
Little things, little changes can have a huge impact on your life and the lives of who you love and treasure the most. You owe it to yourself to care and strive to be better. No need to take giant steps. Little steps, one at a time. Be healthy, be happy!