This is the key to exercise motivation.
Ask anyone who doesn’t exercise enough and they’ll tell you that the one thing standing between them and a fixed and passionate exercise regime is time.
I say this with confidence because I’m one of them. When feeling a bit sluggish, I will moan loudly to anyone within earshot that I’d be moving my body so much more, if only, if only, if ONLY I had more time.
You see, organised sport requires regular commitment, which you just can’t make with the erratic hours of my job. And finding an hour for the gym can be so damn tough when the ironing is piling up at home and it’s been an embarrassingly long period since the shower was cleaned. Introduce children (or in my case, pregnancy) into the mix? And the plethora of available excuses increases tenfold.
But that’s all they are. Excuses.
Because time is only one of many barriers standing between any of us and physical fitness. A lack of social support, motivation, and, you guessed it, children, are all recognised barriers for Australians – particularly women – to maintain an active lifestyle.
Funnily enough, there is a common cure for all of these barriers. And it lies in MOTIVATION. The true challenge is finding that motivation; once you’re properly motivated, pockets of exercise time emerge in the diary that simply weren’t there before.
And as the days get shorter, the weather colder and the availability of meals with delicious warm gravy on top increases, motivation can become a foreign concept. A cup of Milo (microwaved so the chocolate goes crunchy on top please), pyjamas, the couch and Netflix seem infinitely preferable to pulling on joggers and facing the outside world.
This year though? I’m not giving into the allure of laziness and the excuse of no time. And neither are you. Together we’re going to team up and get active, starting with these eight creative ways to get moving:
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by VicHealth’s TeamUp (download now via App Store / GooglePlay – or to use online at teamup.com.au). But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
1. Find a buddy who will keep you honest and make a pact.
If you’re anything like me, you’re okay with letting yourself down but you’ll never let a mate down. So grab a friend, compare diaries and lock in one hour every week (preferably early in the morning) where you’ll take a class or go for a walk as a pair.
When your alarm sounds and you’re tempted to cancel so you can roll over and go back to sleep – remember that your buddy may already be on their way there. Are you really going to let them down?
2. Add just a little bit more movement to your work day.
Workplaces, particularly offices, are where healthy habits go to die a painful shrivelled up death. Sitting at a desk all day, or sending endless emails late into the evening, won’t do anything for your health.
Take the stairs instead of the lift (five flights of stairs doesn’t seem like much but if you do it every day, it will make a difference). Or, my favourite, make your weekly catch up with colleagues a walking meeting and get outside for 45 minutes instead of sitting in the boardroom.
3. Forget the boring treadmill and try a team sport.
When your exercise routine is the same every day, then of course you’ll start looking for ways to get out of it. Remember how much fun it was to exercise as a kid? You know, back when we didn’t even call it exercise – it was just ‘play’? The social aspect of team sport is an awesome motivator, as well as a great way to make friends as an adult. So put your big girl pants on, start Googling, find a team and get involved.