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5 things to do when you “just don’t have time”

Almost... lunch... time...

Saying that you ‘just don’t have time’ is a common excuse for those who are avoiding working out and getting in shape. As a general policy, I would say that it’s almost never true that a person has no time ever to exercise. People who make statements like that are almost certainly wrong.

But what about on a particular day? Even for the most scheduled of us, there are some days in which our obligations run away with us.  It is in these instances that we should take care of our higher obligations first and exercise later and fit in exercise when we can.  Here are some ways to still treat your body well on days when you are running from sun up to sun down — and then some.

Do Something!

Something is better than nothing. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing. This is especially important to remember when you are pressed for time and can’t seem to fit a workout in that day. Having a lot on your plate is not an excuse to forego all activity together. This is especially true if you work at a desk job. Do something. Do anything. Even if it means going for a walk on your lunch break. Even if it means dropping for 10 push ups in the restroom. Remember: this is your body we’re talking about. Letting other obligations get in the way of its health is a mistreatment of it.

Don’t let the gym contain you

Gyms are great tools, but they are inherently limiting. Ideally, your fitness should not be confined to a set time or space. This is especially true when you dedicate time in your day to getting to a gym. On jam-packed days when you just can’t get there, don’t use that as an excuse not to exercise! If you lift weights, find something around your house you can pick up. If you are a runner/cardio person, jog in place or do jumping jacks. My personal favorite are push ups. You can do push ups any time, any place. Same with squats, sit-ups. Even though it may not be as intense as your usual workout, you’re doing something, and that’s good for your body.

Integrate exercise into what you’re doing

Most of the above exercises mentioned can be done in a small amount of time. If you’re telling me that you do not have 30 seconds of down time in anything that you’re doing today, I’ll call you a liar. Sometimes you have to look for that opportunity, but it’s there, I swear. Do as many push ups as you can before you have to stir the stir-fry. Walk to the grocery store instead of drive. Instead of hopping on Facebook when you need a mental break, get down for some curl-ups. I guarantee you you have at least thirty seconds of down time in your tasks to get some blood flowing into your muscles.

We don't have the time to talk about time!

Prioritize!

You  may not have time in your day to do squats, push ups, lifting, and your 5 mile run, BUT you might have time to do one or two of these things. If that is the case, then pick the one that you most want to improve and dedicate a smaller amount of time to working on that skill. For me, it’s my upper body strength. So when I am feeling pressed for time, I will minimize or reschedule the rest of my workout and take what little time I have to drop and give myself 10.

If all else fails, reschedule

Whether its later that night or the next day, your last course of action should be to reschedule. Don’t call the workout a lost cause because your day is busy. Find another time in your day — even if it’s right before you go to sleep — to commit to your body. If you’re about to pass out from exhaustion when it’s bedtime, then find time in the next day. Don’t sacrifice the time you’ve committed to your body!

That better post I was promising…

So I had a bit of a rough week last week.

Or, rather, I should say that the last half of it or so was kinda rough. I was very anxious to hear back about the Internship of My Life, and I was supposed to hear back from it Friday.

I was not rejected, but the response I got was not satisfying, delaying this process of admission even more rather than giving me an answer.

It was on Monday that I had a realization that even if I got the internship, it was highly possible that I would be placed in a town in the middle of nowhere, and I would be facing the same kind of loneliness and boredom that I did last summer. I am very much afraid of that. Like… whoa.

Anyway, those were sort of the operative things going on in my life, not to mention that I had stuff due for my classes and was almost unable to focus on anything past Friday.

So, I was kinda stressed. And where did I turn?

Yes, the ice cream.

If we remember from a previous post, ice cream has never been a big vice of mine. There’s a point which sweet things just make me nauseous, and I don’t enjoy them as much.

But sugar still ups the dopamine-thingies in the body, so eating ice cream, even if I don’t like it that much, still makes me feel better. So, yeah, I had quite a bit of ice cream last week.

It’s pretty depressing to think that you have at least somewhat handled your stress eating problems and then to  realize that all you’ve done at this point was replace the potatoes and salty things with something that you don’t even like as much.

Needless to say I was — am — frustrated. The ice cream and the stress are likely the reasons why I didn’t lose much weight this week.

Of course, the thing that I really need for stress is exercise, and that’s the one thing I really can’t do. Sure, I could go swimming or rowing or lift weights or some such, but… I dunno. I feel like it’s not the same. I do TKD because I intrinsically enjoy it, and I feel like exercising out of obligation or to intentionally relieve stress would only add to it. Maybe I haven’t really given it enough of a chance, but the reason why doing TKD is stress-relieving for me is because I like it so much. There is the added exercise component to it that does help, but I feel like doing something I don’t enjoy just to get rid of stress would be counter-productive.

Finals are around the corner, and I can only imagine my anxiety and stress will increase. I have taken to doing pushups when I get cravings, so perhaps that will help. I don’t know for sure, but I know that, along with potatoes, ice cream is now off the menu.

Gina