Exercising During Commercials
I’m getting up an hour earlier these days. At first I said I’d never be able to do it: I was already sleep deprived rising at 6 AM how would I ever get up at 5 AM? I’d never be able to get to sleep earlier (this is still true), and a hundred other reasons why it wouldn’t work. And then I tried it, and it does work. I’m still sleep deprived, but that extra hour in the morning is a Godsend. I love it.
I Don’t Have Time to Exercise
Sometimes a small adjustment in how you run your day can help enormously in freeing up some time for things like exercise. “I don’t have time.” I hear that a lot, but if asked, “What’s your favorite TV show?” most people can list a few — hours spent sitting and watching. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some TV, but there’s also no reason you can’t exercise during the commercials. When I was a kid and it was my turn to clean the house, I made a game out of it. I loved TV, watching probably six or seven hours a day then, so missing a show to clean was not going to happen. So I’d clean during commercials. Today there are over 20 minutes of commercial time during each hour of the show. That’s plenty of time for getting things done. As soon as the show broke for commercial, I’d jump from my chair and dash to wherever I’d left off. I’d bring in laundry and fold it while I watched. I’d iron in front of the TV, I’d bring in piles of miscellaneous debris from other rooms and sort it into piles for where it belonged, then on the next commercial I’d go put things away.
If you enjoy TV, consider how much time there is available during the commercials and start using it. Whether for exercise or cleaning, or anything else you need to get done: responding to correspondence, studying, paying bills, grooming the cat – there are lots of little chores and physical activity we need to do, no reason we can’t carry them into our TV room and get them done.
Turn TV Time into “Get Fit” Time
You can turn your TV room into a fitness room easily. A cushy floor mat, if the room isn’t carpeted. A pair of dumbbells or two. Empty bleach jugs make good dumbbells, but be careful if they are only partially full of sand, dirt or water (whatever you use to fill them with something to create the weight), as if the weight shifts during the movement you could injure yourself. Canned food make good homemade weights. I have half pound and one pound cans, heavier can may be too difficult to hold. Go on a scouting expedition around your house and see what you find that could work as weights then store them behind the couch and start using them. Twice a week or three times, consistently, and you’ll start noticing a change within a short time – usually in a month or six weeks definitely.
Grab some Extra Minutes and Get Started
I wanted to get up an hour earlier so I could work out in the mornings. When I exercise first thing, nothing else interferes. No matter what comes up, it doesn’t take away from my fitness program. Unexpected calls or invitations, traffic jams, “There’s no bread,” yells my son who still thinks it’s my job to keep the pantry stocked, so I need to run to the store, nothing ruins my day’s plan to ride my bike or lift weights. The consistency of a regular exercise program just makes me feel good – you might find it does the same for you, and if you have had a difficult time finding time – make time. Grab some extra minutes during commercials on TV, get up earlier, find whatever works for you. Write it on your calendar, make a date with yourself, and get started.
Here are fifteen quick tips to get you moving:
1. Don’t get intimidated by the prospect of a daily exercise regimen. You don’t have to run a marathon. You need only get your body moving each day. Once you tone your muscles, you’ll naturally find yourself wanting to do more challenging workouts
2. Reframe the way you think about exercise. Begin to think of each workout as a gift you give to yourself instead of just another “should,” “ought,” or “must.”
3. Make sure you enjoy your exercise program. Some people like classes. Some people don’t. Choose what’s right for you so it becomes something you actually look forward to.
4. Make sure your workout is convenient. Schedule it for a time of day when you typically feel the most energetic. Have your gym bag packed and ready to go by the door or in the car.
5. Make your workout weather-proof. If you run or walk outside, get the right workout gear so weather conditions are never an excuse.
6. Make sure you’re doing it right. One reason for wanting to quit exercising is injury or pain. Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program so you know you’re safe in the workout you choose. And check in with trainers, too, if you’re working on equipment at the gym or trying a new sport.
7. If you’re having a low-energy day, tell yourself you have to exercise for only ten minutes. That will get you moving, and once you’re in the exercise groove, you’ll usually want to finish your workout.
8. Go with friends. Start a group for walking, running, or training. The camaraderie (and peer pressure) can do wonders for your daily motivation.
9. After a really good workout, write a few notes in your journal about how good you feel. Use it as a reference the next time you don’t want to begin.
10. Start with small goals. If you want to run for 30 minutes, for example, start by walking fast. When you can do that, make a goal to spend those 30 minutes running for one minute, walking for one minute. When you build on these smaller goals, you’ll be running in no time. And you’ll give your confidence a boost, too.
11. Recognize that some days it will be easier to exercise, and some days you’ll have to struggle through the workout. This has to do with a lot of factors, including mood, hormones, the glass of wine you had last night…Take the pressure off by understanding the fluctations. And exercise anyway.
12. Try behavior modification tapes. Mike Brescia has a good one for exercising at Momscape.com: This audiotape is not self-hypnotizing or subliminal. You’ll hear every message, but these messages are subtle and, for many people, effective.
13. Use a visible reward system. The effects of exercise are cumulative and long-term, so sometimes it helps to see your results on a daily basis. After each workout, put a big red star on the calendar as a symbol that you completed the day’s workout. Take photos of yourself every month in your workout gear so you have a visual record of your results, too.
14. Get to the bottom of your exercise aversion. For women, if it’s the run-of-the-mill gym you can’t stand, try a women-oriented fitness center, such as Curves. This is a fast-growing fitness phenomenon, and many women feel like their workout becomes a 30-minute vacation–like a girls’ night out at the exercise machines.
15. Be gentle with yourself. Take a day off at least once a week. And if you do skip a few workouts, don’t beat yourself up, but do get right back in the routine. The fewer consecutive days you skip, the more likely you’ll be to make your workout a lasting gift you give to yourself