Health & fitness

It’s time to make time

‘But I don’t have time’

We’ve all said it at some time for one reason or another. Generally, it’s the biggest barrier to exercise – having the time. You work full time, have kids, have a social life, have commitments outside of work, you want a social life, you want to spend time with your spouse. Other things are prioritised, such as taking care of someone else, cleaning up the house or even just having some down time to relax from the stresses of work and life.

The thing is, we really can’t afford to neglect our bodies. We say we don’t have time to exercise, but really sometimes its more that we don’t have the energy to exercise. When we get a minute to ourselves we’d rather switch off and watch our favourite TV programmes, read a good book or even aimlessly scroll through our phones. Having the energy to get moving after a long, hard day can be tough but I can promise you the positive results far outweigh the pleasure of 30 minutes of Eastenders on the sofa.

We all know that exercise has health benefits – it keeps your heart healthy, helps weight loss and can burn extra calories. It’s great for your muscles and bones, relieve chronic pain and can reduce the risk of certain diseases. But there is so much more to it…..

Exercise has been proven to give you more energy, and can generally make you feel happier. When you work out, you release a protein in your brain called BDNF alongside endorphins, giving us a feeling of euphoria. In fact, it’s a very similar chemical reaction to that which is released when someone smoked nicotine or cannabis – only this is actually good for us!

Mental health is hugely affected by exercise. Longer term, it can help with memory and brain health through increased heart rate, increasing the blood flow to your brain. It can, however, instantly improve sleeping patterns and relaxation, which helps reduce stress and anxiety and keeps you more focused.

Did you know it also improves sex drive? It can increase libido, but also make you more open to having sex simply because you’re feeling better about your own body. Not to mention the new and improved flexibility you will have in the bedroom!

But how can you exercise when you simply don’t have the time?

So you want to get moving, but you really don’t think you can fit it in? There is always a way – trust me!

You might not like that early morning wake up call, but if it means you can fit that workout in and have a bit of ‘you’ time, set your alarm a little earlier – push yourself to be a morning person.

Make it short and sweet. Workouts don’t have to be an hour long, try a shorter session at a higher intensity. Fast but effective.

Commit – sign up to classes, buddy up with a friend who will hold you responsible for your workout or get yourself a trainer. If you’re the type of person who will only show up to something if you’ve pledged your accountability then do it – make yourself accountable!

If the kids are stopping you, get them involved! Make it a game, then can help you get the moves right, try and follow the fitness DVD or even be part of the workout. Child friendly classes and baby bootcamps are a great motivator and also surround you with people you know are struggling for the balance just as you are.

Finally, just ask. Ask the people around you for support, express a need to take time to look after yourself. You’ll find that once you’re in routine and you have the opportunity to exercise the positive effect it has on you both mentally and physically will impact the relationships with those around you. You’ll be happier, healthier and much more relaxed!