Getting exercise done
Finding the time to exercise, and maintaining motivation, can be difficult for a lot of people.
Pressure to be at work early and leave late and then be home for kids or with a partner can often wipe out any possible free time and energy to do exercise.
There are a range of reasons why people exercise;
- To be healthy, as guidelines would recommend
- To help with weight loss and maintenance
- To do more than guidelines, and be fit
- To look good
- For fun with friends and play sport
Apart from allocating time, there can be other barriers to exercise;
- Injury or chronic pain
- Intense periods such as exams, increased work demands, young children
- Lack of daylight in winter at either end of the day
- Cost of gym membership
- Business travel
- No interest or a dislike for exercise
When talking with patients I find the most common factor is lack of a routine that would allow for some exercise and lack of experience in types of exercise that might meet the needs of a demanding lifestyle.
I often try and remove barriers and might make some of the following suggestions;
- Try and get the session done in 30 minutes. Some gym goers think they need to find 60-90 minutes to do a session.
- Allocate 2 weekdays for exercise, plus the weekends = 4 sessions. People often can’t get started because that think they suddenly need to find time each day for exercise.
- Try and do some exercise that involves putting on sneakers and walking out of your front door. What I mean is walking, running, cycling that eliminates the cost of a gym and the time required to get there and back
- Try and work towards a balanced routine of cardio, upper body and back and core. Typically upper body and back are tortured by desk jobs and a strong core will prevent a lot of injuries.
- Get expensive sneakers $160-$220 to minimise risk of feet problems
- Try and do exercise with family so that you can tick two boxes; exercise and family time.
- Get some exercise gear for the backyard like a spin bike and some basic weights. This is time efficient and also stops family members complaining you are not at home.
- Go on a diet, stop alcohol for a few weeks and eat well as the package of weight loss, healthy diet and a new exercise program is very powerful for happiness.
My program, which I’ll list below is based on the following;
- I’m 38 years old, not 22. I joined the Army at 22 so can easily compare what I was able to do back then with now !
- I need to get my exercise done quickly
- I love exercise and would do lots every day if I could
- I have to exercise otherwise I go mad
- I have had some minor injuries and should be careful about pushing myself too far
- I want to feel and look healthy, fit and strong
My current routine (for the last 6 months) includes
- 5 runs a week each lasts 25-30 minutes and I don’t run too fast
- 2-4 gym sessions, close to home, for upper body and core that last 20 minutes each
- 1-2 horse rides
- As much incidental walking as possible