No time to exercise? Quit fooling yourself

Having been a personal trainer in Red Deer for more than 12 years, I’ve heard a lot of excuses why people don’t exercise regularly, eat healthy and balanced meals or don’t use a personal trainer regularly.

Having been a personal trainer in Red Deer for more than 12 years, I’ve heard a lot of excuses why people don’t exercise regularly, eat healthy and balanced meals or don’t use a personal trainer regularly.

Of all those excuses, one of the most common is this: I don’t have time.

People who tell me they don’t have time for something always make me chuckle, not so much because I think they’re foolish but because, as humans, we fall back on the “not enough time” excuse to ease the guilt of not committing significant effort to change.

Let’s consider a typical week: 7 days X 24 hours = 168 hours

Sleep is incredibly important, as is time to prepare food, so let’s subtract 10 hours a day right off the top for ample sleep and time to prepare food: 168 hours – 70 hours = 98 hours

The typical work week for most people is 40 hours, but let’s subtract an additional 45min/day for travel to and from work. Let’s also allow for at least two hours daily for family time and recreation (far more than the actual typical average): 98 hours – 59 ¼ hours = 38 ¾ hours

So now you are sleeping well, you have more than ample time to ensure you are eating well, we’ve accounted for the time to get to and from work, and we have made time for your family or that all important TV show.

Maybe we should also deduct some time for chores, paying bills and all those things that keep life on track.

Two hours a day should be quite generous: 38 ¾ hours – 14 hours = 24 ¾ hours

OK, the bills are paid, the house is clean, the family is happy, you are sleeping more than you have in years, the boss is pleased (heck you might even have time for a little overtime) so let’s consider doing something for ourselves.

A regular exercise program will guarantee a higher quality of life. You don’t need to exercise every day but let’s say for optimal results you decide to use an exercise program of some sort three days weekly and three additional days you just perform some sort of cardiovascular activity.

On three days with time to travel to and from the gym let’s give you two hours and the other three days one hour will be plenty of time, so a total of 13 hours: 24¾ hours – 13 hours = 11¾ hours

Now 13 hours may seem like a lot of exercise, and I would completely agree that is far more than what is actually needed to live a long, healthy and fit lifestyle.

By now of course, you should see the visual point I am trying to make.

With more than ample time (more than the majority of us actually use) we have plenty of time to accommodate a very healthy lifestyle.

Even with time for recreation considered we still have more than ample extra time to even make our weekends pretty much obligation free from our routine.

If you actually take the time to closely monitor the schedule of your day, you will be amazed at how much time we waste on a daily basis.

From health, exercise to success, time management is a key factor in the lifestyle you live.

Today use it to improve your health, tomorrow use a little of that extra time to educate yourself on time management.

By applying the principles of time management to other areas of your life you will pretty much be guaranteed success in any of your aspirations.

Final word: 30 minutes daily set aside for exercise will burn an average number of calories equivalent to 18¼ pounds of fat.

If you picked up a book for 20 minutes daily (learning about time management and other topics), you would complete enough study time nearly equivalent to eight college credits a year.

Cabel McElderry is a local personal trainer and nutrition coach. For more information on fitness and nutrition, visit the Fitness F/X website at

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