To workout or NOT workout, that is the Question

Lately at work there has been a lot of talk about the fact that people don’t have the “time” to be active (exercise, workout etc).  And I’ll be honest some days I agree with that statement; I don’t have time. But I like to look at the other side of things too. We do have time – we have 24 hours in a day. Most people sleep for 6-8 hours, some a lot less; especially if you have a little one in the house. Then we work for 7-8 hours a day, sometimes more; fit in a few meals; chores at home and you can’t forget Facebook, TV ….. SCREEN TIME.

Canadians are supposed to get (adults) 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week – that’s ONLY 30 minutes 5 days a week. Source – Canadian Society of Exercise PhysiologyCanadian Physical Activity Guidelines. Some examples of moderate activities are brisk walking and bike riding.

Now this can be done in 10 minute increments, it does not have to be done all at once. An example of vigorous activities include running and cross-country skiing.

Children/youth are supposed to get 60 minutes each day of moderate to vigorous activity! Does your child/children REALLY get 60 minutes each day ??? Does your child’s school have daily MANDATORY physical education classes ?

If you haven’t seen the ParticipACTION ad’s please do so at this link here. “Think Again” and “There is a Crisis in Canada” and “Living Room” are my favourites. They are important messages, and yes I believe we do have a inactivity crisis in Canada and the US – that’s why I work in the field that I do.

We all make a choices.

Every. Day.

I make a choice to be vigorously active 4 – 5 days a week; mainly running or a Jillian Micheal’s DVD because it’s what fit’s my schedule (at the moment).

A normal day looks like this for me (again, at the moment as I have been a single parent since Sept 2011 but that ends soon 🙂

  • Up at 6:20am: a toddler to feed, dress and get out the door, and myself, of course – I sure can’t go to work in my pj’s.
  • work full-time 8:30 – 4:30 Mon – Fri: this could be in the office or on the road to meetings within a 250 km area.
  • Make dinner, skype with my hubby/Lilly’s Dad because that’s important to us, house chores: dishes, laundry, cloth diapers to wash and stuff, sweep/mop floor, cleaning in general.
  • Workout / Shower.
  • Email/Blog etc.
  • 10pm Bed.

Other:

  • A dog to walk and love (when she’s not being looked after by my parents).
  • Snow to shovel.
  • Weekends – play dates to attend *a must to survive*, chores, playing, reading with Lilly and hopefully a little down time for me.
  • Telephone calls to make (or at least create a list of people I need to call).
  • Running or some form of a workout (DVD).

Somehow I find the time to work out four to five days a week. Maybe because I make it a priority over other things. It may only be for 25-30 minutes but I find the time. Working out is a priority because keeps me healthy and that’s important for my little family. Sitting down every night to watch television is not a priority for me….just a choice I make. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do watch TV, it’s just limited to a few favourites and after I work out.

Sometimes I wonder if people really don’t have the time to be active OR are they just choosing to do other things and being active is just not at the top of their list.

You don’t have to run a marathon to be active – really YOU DON’T.

A few simple things you can do each day:

  1. Go for a walk during your morning coffee break.
  2. Go outside for a “walking meeting” instead of sitting in a board room.
  3. Park your car at the end of the Walmart parking lot. Trust me, it’s okay to walk the distance of the parking lot with a shopping cart of your goods. You’ll just have to walk back to return your cart to the outside storage area and look at you now….you’ve just spent an extra 5-10 minutes walking.
  4. If you take the bus, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the distance.
  5. Every hour, leave your desk and stretch for 5 minutes.
  6. If you stand a lot for your job (retail), walk around the store at a slightly increase speed then normal, once an hour.
  7. If you sit at a desk all day, check out Eyes-Relax. “Eyes Relax is a basic program that forces users to take periodic breaks to rest their eyes”. Then walk outside for 5 minutes of fresh air.
  8. Make a decision to only watch T.V. on 3 or 4 days of the week. Seriously, dropping one day of TV will not hurt you.
  9. Make a goal each week to be active one, two, three, four or more days a week – and stick to it.
  10. Take the stairs not the elevator.

I make a choice to be active. I don’t use “time” as an excuse to not be active. Yes, I have days, LOTS OF DAYS when I don’t want to work out. During most of those days, I push myself to work out because I know it’s going to make me feel great and my health is better for it. I also really enjoy my “rest days” like tonight, when I got to call a friend that I haven’t spoken to in a long time – just what I needed.

Should we really be using “time” as an excuse for not being active?

What’s your biggest barrier to being active daily?

What choice do you make at the end of your day? Watch TV, house chores, classes, hit the gym, DVD workout ?

2 thoughts on “To workout or NOT workout, that is the Question

  1. I totally agree with you–it’s all about what you make a priority!
    My roommates say they don’t have time for the gym…but then they will spend an hour watching tv. They say they need to do this to decompress at the end of the day and it is a necessary part of their routine. I go to the gym to decompress at the expense of watching tv. It’s not a value judgement–if watching tv truly makes them happier and keeps them in a mentally good place then great for them! I’d just rather lift weights!

  2. Most days I prefer to decompress by working out – it just makes me feel great after. Tonight I took a “rest day” and watched tv – but only because my mother was here and I wanted to hang out with her and chat too.
    Good mental health is important …. I know for me, working out is great for my mental health.
    Thanks for sharing Jamie.
    Cheers.

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