“I don’t have time”, “If only there were more hours in the day,” “I wish I had as much time as her, she gets to go to the gym every morning.” According to MyFitnessPal (and almost every health struggling American) the #1 excuse for not exercising is Time.
This may sound familiar to many people and when I was working 60-80 hours a week, this was my number one excuse too! We have so much going on these days that it seems so inconvenient to take time out for ourselves and our bodies to be at the gym or go for a walk. We have “so many other things we can be doing.” Whoa, deja vu! Where have I heard this before? Hmmm….
What I’ve learned about myself is that I get so much MORE accomplished with my day if I don’t turn on the TV when I get home. Not only do I get a lot more done, but I feel better because my To-Do list has shrunk and I sleep better as I’ve expended a little energy instead of sitting in front of the tube! It got me wondering…how many minutes do we spend watching television every night? After a little digging and reading though quite a few studies, I found the latest Nielsen report and the statistics were a little shocking!
According to this report, the average American spends 4 hours and 31 minutes watching live TV every day, and another 1 hour and 39 minutes on their smartphones, followed by an additional 58 minutes on the Internet using a PC. WOW! Does that surprise you? It surprised me! When you total those times all together, we spend approximately 7hrs and 8 minutes a day on TV and/or devices! SEVEN HOURS!
When we tell people, “We don’t have time” to exercise…are we really being truthful? Are we even being honest with ourselves? Maybe, we never considered it. So if you are one of those people who haven’t thought about this, how much time are you honestly spending each day watching sitcoms, dramas, sports, the news, etc.?
On average, we are spending 1,897 minutes per week on TV. The medical guidelines for exercise are 150 minutes per week. Only 150…compared with 1,897! Looking at this from that perspective, we have found ample time to get our exercise in. In fact, 150 min each week is a measly 8% of your TV time….8%!
Think about this…what if you could wave a magic wand and you were given FOUR EXTRA HOURS each day?! What would you want to do with it? What goals do you have in life that you could be working towards? What are you trading (or sacrificing) in your life for your TV time? What could you gain by trading in 8% of that time? Would you be happier? What memories could you be creating with your kids, grandkids or spouse? Would your stress decrease? Would how you feel about yourself change? What impact could a tiny 8% change make in YOUR life?
Every single human being from Bill Gates to Oprah, is given the same 24 hours each day. No more, no less. How are you using YOUR time?
What it really boils down to is that we have to MAKE time for the things that are important to us. In life, our health is everything! So find ways to fit in time to move your body. You don’t have to go all out, spend a ton of money, buy a bunch of gear or get a personal trainer tomorrow. Start small. Take the dog for a walk, wash the car by hand or march in place every time a commercial comes on…in 4 hours of TV watching and marching, you’ll have accumulated about 68 minutes of exercise! You don’t have to become a gym rat but you do have to START.
Doing a little movement daily will make you feel better, give you a number of health benefits and also keep stress at bay.
Remember to keep it simple, keep it livable and keep it consistent! Small changes create big results!