More often than not, the most significant challenges associated with exercise have nothing to do with the exercise itself. It’s the psychological barriers that we create that make it more difficult than it should be.
“How do I motivate myself to get off the couch and go to the gym?”
“I don’t have time to go to the gym for an hour, plus driving time and showering afterward.”
“I know exercise is good for me, but I can’t commit to doing it for a long time every day.”
Changing Your Perspective
If you struggle to integrate an exercise routine into your daily schedule, maybe you can change your perspective on what a workout session looks like.
Instead of one big session at the gym, what if you broke it up into mini-workouts throughout the day?
A few minutes now and a few more every few hours can add up to a significant amount of time engaging in physical activity and will be just as beneficial as one long session.
It’s Easier To Get Started
You don’t need to go anywhere. You might not even need to change your clothes.
When you have this grandiose idea of exercise as this intense and sweaty ordeal and a considerable time commitment that requires special equipment, it’s no wonder you have trouble getting motivated.
What might happen if you instead focus on moving your body a little more throughout the day?
Anytime you’ve been sitting down for a while, stand up and walk around for a minute or two. Park your car a little further away from the store entrance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do a few pushups or jumping jacks during a commercial break.
Get your heart rate up for a couple of minutes, then go back to whatever you were doing.
You Can Be More Productive
When your schedule is packed and you’re trying to get everything done, adding a block of time for exercise can seem impossibly frustrating.
But if you are sneaking in mini-workouts here and there, you can squeeze in just as much total time being active without it taking away from other responsibilities.
You might even notice that these little spurts of activity give you more energy and help you make better decisions. Rather than draining and exhausting you the way a long session might, these brief workouts can give you a stimulating boost.
You Don’t Need Much Time
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that every adult should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week.
How those minutes are spread out doesn’t seem to matter very much. You could do three 1-hour sessions each week. Or five 30-minute sessions or thirty 5-minute sessions. Or whatever works best for you.
It will be much easier for many people to do multiple bouts of 5-10 minutes than to find an hour all at once.
And with each mini-workout, you can mix it up and try something different. This time you do a few pushups, then go for a short walk in a few hours. Tomorrow morning you do some yoga stretching, then jog in place in the afternoon, and a few minutes of core exercises in the evening.
It all adds up, and it’s all good for you.