I ran into an old friend this past weekend at an event; someone who is like an aunt to me, having known me practically my whole life. She asked me “What do I need to do to look as fit as you look?” I asked what she was doing for exercise, and she responded, “Well, that’s the problem…I’m not exercising. It’s just a struggle for me to do it.” So I asked a simple question, “Well, do you watch TV?” Her sheepish reply was that she did. I suggested to do a simple set of exercises during commercial breaks of her shows to get a work out in. “I never thought of that! I’ll have to start doing exercise in the evening during the news.”
Now, I have variations of this conversation many times with friends and associates. They admire my fitness, and ask what they need to do, but when I mention the need for regular exercise, they say some variation on the theme of not enough time/too busy, etc. But when you think about it, are there pockets of time that you can set aside to exercise? Are you really working/studying/taking care of your family from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed? I suppose some people do, but in my experience, it’s rare that this is the case.
What it comes down to is making exercise a priority, and from their turning it into a habit. For me, when I first made a commitment to be active everyday, this meant going to the gym or going for a run immediately after work. This meant maybe I got home at 6:30 instead of 5:30. What did I really miss out on? Watching a couple of re-runs and not having time to play video games. Big deal. As the weeks went on, exercise became a habit for me, so that I did not want to miss it. If that meant I had to wake up early to hit the gym, then I did it.
Now this isn’t to say you should remove any of the things you enjoy doing to recreate. There’s nothing wrong with watching TV or playing video games. But if you make it a priority to exercise first, then you’ll find you have plenty of time to watch TV or do whatever else you need to get done.