Some of the great individuals I work with tell me the number one reason they cannot exercise is because they are too busy. Subjectively it might be true, especially when people convince themselves that they are too busy to workout. Objectively, however, this is a myth, and it is a myth you must purge.
Everyone who buys into this myth is only hurting him or herself. “I’m too busy” is a lousy excuse that will only come back to haunt you when you are overweight, dissatisfied with your appearance and end up in a doctor’s office for Type Two Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. You should never be too busy to exercise in order to achieve optimal health, because optimal health should be your number one priority. Why should it be your number one priority? Because once your health suffers, all of those responsibilities you put before your health will be significantly more difficult to manage and in some cases, impossible. When we are relatively well, it is easy to ignore the health of our minds and bodies. A well-state is not a demanding state, which is why we often take it for granted. Sickness, however, is a bitch. Sickness demands our attention whether we like it or not and makes sure we are never too busy for it. This is why optimal health needs to be our number one priority.
In addition to erasing the “I’m too busy to workout” notion from your mind, you should also not fall victim into thinking exercise means having a gym membership, driving to a gym, wearing special gym clothes, having a gym bag, wearing your expensive gym shoes, going to organized classes at the gym and hiring a personal trainer that you meet three times a week at the gym. Those things are nice, but they are not necessary for someone to exercise. Unfortunately, mainstream society has branded exercise as a time-consuming ordeal that involves going to a cool gym and taking organized classes with trendy names while wearing expensive workout clothes…, and then finishing up with a detoxifying green juice blended with a shot of anti-aging protein powder at the adjacent gym café. That ritual is nice and all, but exercise can be a lot simpler and just as effective, if not more so.
You do not need to go anywhere to exercise. You can exercise wherever you are, as long as you have a body and a place to plant your feet. I assume everyone has a body, unless you are dead or have an issue with frequent out-of-body experiences, and I also assume that no one defies the laws of gravity, which means your feet will be planted on some surface, somewhere. That is great news, because guess what? That means you can exercise!
You can go beyond jogging in place, because that gets boring pretty fast, and you can and should get creative with your exercise routine. One thing I like to do is write down a 20-30 minute exercise routine that I will do as soon as I get out of bed in the morning. An example routine might be: “Alternate between jogging in place, jumping jacks, jump rope, squats, push-ups, tricep dips, burpies, flutter kicks, punches, lunges, kicks, balancing exercises, etc.” If you are clueless as to what sort of exercises to use in your routine, you can find tons in any fitness magazine, on the web, or you can ask someone who regularly works out. I will have my written-down routine tacked to my bulletin board, to make sure I follow it exactly. Then, I knock it out! I often do these workouts in my pajamas and usually I do not bother to put on sneakers, because I am a fan of exercising in my bare feet.
If you need music to exercise, I recommend saving a few playlists on your computer ahead of time and make sure the music will play for the duration of your workout. If I miss a morning workout, one of my other favorite ways to exercise is to play music and dance like a madwoman in my living room. It burns a lot of calories, and it’s fun.
If you are the type of person who benefits from more organization and instruction, there are many videos and fitness channels with intense and well-structured workouts that you can access via the internet. My sister is a busy working woman with two kids, yet she swears by a specific fitness channel that gives her a good 15 to 20 minute workout that she can do at home.
Of course you could always go for an outdoors walk or run. Or you could invest in exercise props for your home. These include things like resistance bands, free weights, a jump rope, a mini-trampoline or even an elliptical machine or a treadmill. Personally, I adore my mini-trampoline, and I find that bouncing up and down for 20 minutes is not only a great workout and easy on the joints, but it really lifts my spirits as well.
So no more excuses, you! You can find time to exercise anywhere.