“I don’t have the energy for exercise” is what I hear most often from friends and family. For them, exercise is a chore to be marked off a to-do list. There is nothing energizing or exciting about it.
To top it off, exercise takes so much time!
As the days get colder and darker, finding incentive to exercise can be a tough sell. On top of that, most people outsource their exercise to a gym, class or studio. This outsourcing costs at least an additional hour to their already busy day, if not more. There are the rare few that try to get sweaty during their workday, but then they have to return to their desk winded, flushed, and damp.
Does that thought excite you?
Even at my heaviest weight of 275 pounds, being active was never tough for me. My family encouraged Active Traditions which I still maintain today. My least favorite activity is plopping my behind on a sofa right after dinner. Instead, I usually clean, play with the kids or do household chores until I finally succumb to the sofa around 9pm.
Being active is great, but you cannot get fit without exercise. So, we return to the question of having energy to exercise.
Here’s the interesting thing:
- You sleep about 6-7 hours a night
- You work about 8-10 hours a day
- It takes about 3-4 hours to prepare and eat meals
- You (average American) watch 3 hours of TV a night
That is a 24-hour day. Really creative multi-taskers put a treadmill in front of their TV or use an exercise bike while reading a magazine.
Being active is great, but you don’t want to waste your time with activities that don’t energize or excite you!
In order to get energized and excited by exercise, you have to:♥ Sweat more
Most exercise will make you sweat. In order to sweat, all you have to do is raise your body temperature. Eating hot food can make you sweat. Getting nervous can make you sweat. There is even the concept of “hot yoga” which gets you sweating in a heated room before you’ve even done any yoga!
You can sweat without doing anything, especially if you are already overweight. When I was heavier, I hated summertime, because I was always sweating.♥ Have trouble breathing
When was the last time you lost your breath while walking or dancing? I’m a big fan of dancing, because it’s fun and it challenges you mentally. However, if you have been dancing for a while, you may be so used to the movement that you no longer struggle to catch your breath.♥ Get sore
When was the last time you woke up sore the morning after a sweat session? Soreness comes from tearing fibers in your muscles and building up lactic acid through repeated movement. Feeling sore is a positive thing, because it means you have challenged your body in a way it is not used to. Believe it or not, you do NOT have to lift weights to get sore muscles.
Most people devote 4-5 hours a week to exercise, but they are a WASTE OF TIME. Unless you make an effort to move constantly throughout your day, exercising for longer than 30 minutes a day will NOT help you lose weight or break a weight loss plateau. In fact, certain studies have shown that just 5 minutes of explosive activity could be more beneficial for your heart than leisurely walking for an hour.
This is great news for office warriors and cube dwellers! This is a clarion call for busy professionals and multi-tasking moms! Many of these simple tricks are features of high intensity interval training, or HIIT.
Here are 3 ways to get more exercise in less time
- Start with an activity you love. This could be walking, running, dancing, swimming, sports, or any activity that inspires you.
- Do it faster for fewer minutes, or incorporate compound movements. Compound movements are movements that simultaneously work more than one part of your body. You should NOT be able to hold a conversation while exercising.
- Find ways to lift, bend, or squat while doing it. If you can hold weights or resistance bands while doing it, even better! If you don’t have weights or don’t want to get any, you can use cans from your kitchen pantry or even ask your kids to sit on your back or stomach. Get more ideas HERE.