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Any time we see a super fit celebrity touting their favorite exercise regimen, we think to ourselves, “Well sure! You have a chef, a nanny, and a chauffeur. Of course you have time to exercise!” We view exercise as a luxury that we, the common people, just cannot afford.
That’s because for most of us, time is money. And it comes in a limited supply. On many days, you just can’t fathom “spending” your precious time on anything that isn’t an absolute necessity.
The thing is, exercise really is a necessity. We need it in order to stay healthy. But if your time budget is running low, you need to find ways to “afford” your exercise, just as someone on a monetary budget finds the funds for groceries and bills. Try these five tips to squeeze a run into your busy schedule.
Be prepared. Keep a pair of running shoes – and workout gear, if needed – handy at all times. You might be out running errands, and experience an unexpected thirty-minute delay between appointments. This is the perfect time to squeeze in a quick run at the park. Perhaps that afternoon work meeting ends earlier than expected, and you don’t have to pick up the kids from their after-school club yet. Go for a jog!
Work harder, not longer. If you don’t have an hour to spare for exercise today, don’t despair. Anything you do is better than nothing. You can increase the calorie burn by working at a more intense pace, for a shorter time period. So if you only have fifteen minutes for a run, fill that time with more sprinting.
Run instead of driving. We often say, “ I need to run to the store for a few things”, but then we get into our cars and drive there. Make that a literal statement! Jog to your daily errands, or even replace your work commute with a morning or afternoon run.
Make exercise a family priority. It’s hard to balance work, after-school activities, our own self care, homework, housework, and quality family time. Go for a jog with the kids, and you will kill two birds with one stone. Plus, you will set a great example for your children when you spend quality time on healthy activities.
Make it a social event. We often say to our friends, “Let’s get together for a drink sometime”. Then we spend an hour sitting on the neighbor’s front porch, sipping a calorie-laden cocktail. Suggest going for a run together, and you can combine social time with exercise.
As you can see, many of these tips involve combining your run with some other necessary activity. Get creative and see what kind of solutions you can find. Soon your daily run can be easier to schedule, more convenient, and even more fun than ever.