"I want to be active, but I just don't have time."
This was a comment I heard recently from a guy who was helping us learn about a new computer system. It came across somewhere between a comment and a question while we were on a training call. He's a regular guy who works behind a computer most of the day and seemed like he wanted advice from a PT on ways he can stay active, even though he feels he just can't find the time.
This is a recurring theme I'm seeing more and more of. Most of our patients are dedicated members of the work force...at least part-time. If you work 30-40 hours per week, it's tough to find time to take care of yourself. By the time you get home it's late, you have to cook dinner, take the dog for a walk, find time to spend with your family and before you know it, it's time for bed! Rinse and repeat. This is a tough routine to break free from, I know.
If you're stuck feeling the same way and want a way out, here's what i would suggest:
First, write down a list of your health goals. Ask yourself, what needs to be done to achieve each goal. Then, come up with a game plan and stick with it. To increase your chances for success, partner up with a friend or family member and keep each other accountable.
If you're a desk jockey like our computer friend, try these 6 tips to up your activity.
1. When you get to your desk, set a timer for 45 minutes. When the alarm sounds, it's time to get up and walk around for a few minutes.
2. Ask your manager of HR department for a sit/stand work space.
3. Get in your favorite exercise BEFORE you get to work. Try getting up just 30 minutes earlier to take a walk, stretch, make a class or pop in an exercise video
4. Devote at least 10 minutes of your lunch break to doing something active. Some folks like to walk around the office, climb stairs or get in a quick gym workout.
5. Park farther away than usual when you get to the office or the store.
6. If you're on the first floor, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
If you're trying to FIND the time, that could be why you're not as active as you'd like. You have to MAKE time for yourself. You don't have to LIKE it (although that helps) but you MUST make it important otherwise it most probably won't get done.
The healthiest people make exercise a priority. They're the ones you hear about who live to be 100 and still have their independence and do for themselves. I don't know about you, but the next time my alarm goes off at 6 AM I'm getting out of bed and putting on my running shoes. What will you do to ensure that you stay mobile and healthy for years to come?