I’m just went through a particularly busy time and, once again, I didn’t find/make time for exercise. I could give you the list of tasks, travel, call nights, etc that led to blowing off my workouts, but it wouldn’t be different from yours.
I know better.
If you haven’t seen it, this is a remarkably persuasive “lecture” (with very cool animation) on why we should make time to exercise.
Here’s what I’m going to do, based on previous experience and a lot of good advice from people who know more than I do:
1. Put exercise on a calendar.
Schedule exercise as an appointment – every day. I personally think call days and post-call days should be exempt (if you are up most of the night). Sleep trumps exercise if you are really sleep deprived. It’s understandable there will be a day, maybe even two, when something comes up that you can’t control …and you miss your workout. But the end result of having a plan for everyday is that you’ll work out 4-5 days a week (instead of 0-2)
2. Put your shoes on.
For most of us, it’s not doing the exercise that’s so hard, it’s getting started. I think the “10 minute rule” is key. Put your shoes on and start your workout no matter how bad you feel or how much you don’t want to do it. If, after 10 minutes, you still feel that way – stop.
3. Just do it.
Self explanatory. Sometimes you just have to make up your mind that the benefits outweigh your desire to sit on the couch. If you don’t like to work out – talk yourself into it.
4. Keep track
Watching yourself improve is a great incentive to keep going. Set up goals for slow and steady improvement and then log what happens. We’re all good at science – think about approaching this as one big “experiment”. When things don’t work out the way you expect, log it. Buy a notebook or find an app you like. Use your log to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
I’m in. For the next month I’m going to set and meet a goal for 150 minutes/ week of real exercise. Join me?