December 7, 2012
Who Has Time to Exercise?

YOU do. I promise. If you are currently in an exercise routine then you know what it takes to carve time out of your schedule. That time you carve out is for you: your health, your fitness, your goals, and sometimes your sanity. If you want to be become and remain healthy, exercise is a necessary component of your lifestyle. We are all overworked, overstressed, over caffeinated, and have many roles to play in our lives. We are workers, spouses, parents, and friends. When on earth are you supposed to take time out for you? It may seem like there is never a moment to get in a moment to yourself, let alone an entire workout.

Let’s be honest, if you never take time out for you then eventually you will not have a functioning self to take time for. Exercise increases both mental and physical function. If you make the time to exercise then you can be more efficient in every other area of your life. We all hear of the physical benefits of exercise, but did you know that exercise affects the brain just as much? If you exercise, your brain will learn faster, have more efficient memory, experience less stress, and also have better focus. If you are smart and efficient and you are not exercising, should you take up fitness your brain WILL be more efficient. But how will you find time to exercise? Our days are filled to the brim, already. The secret is to not find the time, but to make it.

In my opinion, the morning is the best time to exercise. I know everyone has a preference but the morning does have its benefits. First off, when you exercise in the morning you get your workout done and out of the way. If you do not do it in the morning you will find yourself having to convince yourself to get to the gym after work. After a long day, you are much less likely to get in a workout.

Second, when you exercise in the morning you will experience fewer cravings throughout the day. Research shows that people who eat well experience fewer cravings after a workout for an extended period of time. Take advantage of this in the morning and you will have less trouble fighting the urge to get a donut with your coffee in the morning.

Third, exercise primes the brain to learn and operate at a higher level. Studies have shown that students who exercise in the morning learn faster, do better on tests, and get more done than students who do not (this was not a selection bias, either. Students were chosen and divided into two groups with morning exercise being the variable).

So you may not be able to carve out 60 minutes of exercise. Don’t worry! A 20 minute workout is better than a zero minute workout. I will write a post next week on being efficient with your workout. For now, choose to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. A wise man once said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” That man was Ben Franklin.

Speaking of wise men, let’s look at two more men who are spoken of as greats: Alexander the Great and Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. Both of these men were busier than you or I, and both made time to exercise. Alexander of Macedon was known to have exercised daily. He was always running, leaping, pushing, pulling, and throwing things. He had a firm belief that his body was to be his servant and not his master.

Think about that… is your body your servant, or does it limit you and control you as master. This mantra helped Alexander create one of the largest empires in history. Teddy Roosevelt grew up battling asthma and irritable bowl. His father once told him, “Theodore, you have the mind but not the body, and without the body the mind cannot go as far as it should.” He proceeded to tell young Teddy it was his responsibility to build his body so that his mind could achieve whatever he could dream of, and achieve he did. He conquered many mountains, wrote many books and letters, and lead a country. Both of these men were busy. Both had many roles to play in their lives. Both made time to exercise. If these guys could have been so busy and still made time to be fit, so can you.

Make the time. Your time is yours. You can fill it with what you wish. Shouldn’t some if it be made to keep you healthy?

Written by Clark Masterson

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