Ah yes, it’s another fantastic edition (pm edition that is) of Monday Morning Freshness (#3MMF).
The sun is shining, the dog is barking, the kettle on the stove is overflowing, oh and the laundry needs done, You forgot to make dinner, You can’t find the… Sound familiar? For whatever reason, we love to pack our days so full we are too busy to think about, let alone do, anything else.
We rush around like crazy in our daily lives, most likely running late to everything, and collapse in the door at 7pm with just enough time to eat quickly and get ready for bed. What’s our reward? Do it all over again in a short 6 hours. WOHOO! Check out this article from the Huffington Post on being late and ways to help get you on the right track.
Why are here today? To figure out why instead of taking 20 minutes to go for a walk you let your doubts or random tasks hold you back and you start making excuses. “I’ll start tomorrow, I know I have time then,” or “ This laundry has to get done the floors need swept, and the dog has to go on a walk.”
So, What’s Your Excuse?
I hear excuses all the time. Once people find out my background (exercise physiology) they usually feel compelled to tell me how they wish they could exercise but just don’t. I will always come back with a few simple questions. Do you have a day-to-day schedule? Do you have any goals you want to achieve? How could you best incorporate those goals with your day-to-day schedule?
What’s your excuse? Think about it quickly. If I asked you to do something as simple as, go for a walk on your lunch break, what would you say? Would you have an excuse ready? What if I just said, hey, what time could you go for a walk today, this week, or this month? What if I asked you to join me for a 15 minute at home workout?
I can hear your moans and groans now. “If he only understood how busy I really am he wouldn’t be saying that.” WRONG! We are all extremely busy and I’m not here to talk about that. This is about discovering the difference between and excuse and the truth.
The most common reasons people don’t get moving at all is because of time, money, not comfortable being active in public, unsure what to do at the gym, no gym buddy to go with, or just plain bored with the same old routine.
My goal is to take out all the potential problems you see with physical activity and set in motion something that will work. To start a movement that will take you where you want to go in the time you have is what I want to achieve with you.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you more time throughout the day. What I can do though, is try and get you where you want to be by showing you a different way to get up and get moving. I want you to realize the importance and significance of being active is not just to look good for summer, but more importantly, to be healthy on the inside.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends AT LEAST 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (3-6 METS) or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity (> or = to 6 METS) per week. You can also do a combination of the two for the minimum requirements. Although, this (150 minutes) is just to maintain a healthy lifestyle. ACSM recommends at least 300 minutes or more of moderate physical activity if you are trying to lose weight.
Moderate activities (3-6 METS) include: walking at 3.0 mph, cleaning, sweeping floors, mowing the lawn, dancing, badminton, shooting some hoops, golfing, and tennis to name a few.
Vigorous actives (greater than or equal to 6 METS) include: walking at brisk pace (4.5mph), hiking up inclines, jogging at 6.0mph, carrying heavy loads like bricks, sand, etc., soccer, competitive volleyball, and shoveling or digging.
What’s the Point?
I want you to realize that even though you are doing house chores like cleaning the floors or mowing the lawn, it’s still physical activity and still is overall helping you achieve a healthier life. Look at these tasks as a positive in helping you reach your goals versus a bothersome activity you dread (housework or exercise). If you can’t make to a facility that day, you can still feel happy with yourself because you still got moving and did something that day.
If you don’t like going to the gym, that’s perfectly fine too. You just have to start thinking outside the box on activities to do at home or wherever you feel comfortable. Hey, I can’t blame you, gyms can get pretty boring but it all goes back to making a plan, setting your goals, and following through.
Whatever and wherever you are doing your activity, the ACSM does recommend doing it for at least 10-minute bouts at a time. This seems to be the fewest minutes allowed to elicit a healthy physiological response.
*Before starting any exercise or diet routine consult a health care provider. It’s definitely a good idea to also do a PAR-Q evaluation. It’s a short, self-guided form and can be downloaded online and finished by you.
Let’s get this conversation going! What’s your excuse(s)? How can you change this mindset? Do you want to change it? Leave a comment and let’s figure this out together!
Thompson, Walter R., Neil F. Gordon, and Linda S. Pescatello. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Print.