Craig Harper explains why the time excuse is just not good enough…..
As a trainer and exercise scientist, I am always talking to people who want a ‘better’ body. I’m regularly perplexed by how many reasons people have as to why they are out of shape and why they probably won’t start exercising any time soon. Amazingly, this inactivity rarely has anything to do with them personally; apparently it’s all about time, or rather their lack of it.
Stupidly, I assume that their undesirable body shape and weight may have something to do with their attitude, their laziness, their eating habits or their amazing ability to procrastinate. Graciously, they inform me that I am wrong.
While I wheel out crazy, outdated notions like time-management, forward planning, self-control, effective decision-making and honesty, the would-be exercisers boldly inform me that if only there were more hours in a day, they would be in supreme physical condition.
Of course, I sympathise with them because, as we all know, everyone with a great body has 25 hours in their day, no job, no kids and no responsibilities. Invariably they (the person I’m talking with) are the busiest person in the world and apparently, I just don’t understand their situation. Sound familiar?
Sure, we all have busy lives but the truth is: if we really want to get in shape, we’ll make the time no matter how busy we are. When we get to the point where we can’t find the time to prioritise our health and fitness, then we desperately need to re-assess our attitude, our priorities and out timetable.
Can’t find an hour a day? Don’t need to. Can’t afford a gym membership? Don’t need one. Hate running? Ride a bike, skip, swim, row.
Find exercise boring? It’s not meant to be entertainment. Get over it.
Research tells us that as little as 90 minutes of structured exercise per week is enough to create significant physiological change (providing we train appropriately, intelligently and consistently). To put this in perspective, 90 minutes of exercise per week equates to less than once per cent of our time. Then we consider that the average Aussie watched somewhere in the vicinity of 20 hours of television per week and we start to realise that time’s not the culprit, we are.
Sure time is an issue but is it the issue? Nuh! So why do we say it’s a time thing when it’s clearly an us thing? Well, if we admit that it’s us and not time then we have to get off our butts and actually do something. If, on the other hand it’s a time issue, then it’s something beyond our control. Hey, I can’t change the amount of hours in a day, get off my case!
Maybe we should spend less time and energy procrastinating, justifying and rationalising and just get the job done.
There’s a though.
Aaaah. I feel much better now. Glad I got that off my chest.
Story by Craig Harper
Women’s Fitness & Health Magazine