I had one of those conversations again the other day. About fitness.
When someone said that they knew they ought to do more exercise. Only they said it in the same tone of voice that I use when I talk about tackling the ironing.
My friend Andy Romero-Birkbeck who is also a wellbeing coach said recently that talking to people about wellbeing essentially just means telling people stuff they already know. It’s true. Most people have a reasonable knowledge about what is good for them and what is not. We know that exercise is good for us for a whole range of reasons.
It isn’t that we don’t know, it is that we choose not to.
We create our own reasons for not doing so.
I can’t run because I have bad knees.
I can’t go swimming because the local pool isn’t open at the right time.
It is too expensive to join the gym.
I don’t know how to work the equipment.
I don’t have the right trainers.
It is the adult equivalent of the dog ate my homework.
But the most often used reason for not exercising is not having the time.
Often said by people who have the time for stuff that you might argue is less important than their physical health.
It’s not about having the time, it is about making the time. And we make time for what we see is a priority.
That is why there are more people down the pub than in the gym.
I talk to so many people who don’t make their own self-care a priority. Exercise is part of self-care. It’s about deciding that you will make the time.
For those who are genuinely time poor, there is always something that you can do, if you choose to make it enough of a priority. HIIT training in particular is proven to be highly effective and you can do it anywhere. Buy a second hand bike on ebay. Follow an exercise video on YouTube from the comfort of your living room. Take the stairs, ditch the bus. Do what you can with the time you have.
Be your own priority.