On my weekly exercise recap a week ago, Amber asked me how I find time for all the walks I take each week. Instead of answering in the comment section of that post, I thought I would dedicate an entire post to it. Actually, I’ve sort of changed how I live my life in order to fit my fitness schedule, so I thought it would be good to talk about it. So, in general, I end up walking between 4 and 7 days a week. Sometimes these walks are short (.5 miles) or long (6-7 miles). I actually love walking, so I’ve decided that it’s worth making the time for it. Here’s what I do:
- I have a walking buddy. I wrote all about the importance of having an exercise partner here, and I truly think, especially at the beginning, this was important. Having the accountability and a set schedule with her each week sort of forces me to make the time to walk (plus it’s lots of fun!). When I visit my family, we make it a family activity!
- I cook on Sunday so I don’t have to during the week. This is a critical component to my health for the week, and frees up some extra time each week night. I cut all veggies for the week on Sunday, make all lunches for the week, and prepare dinners as best as I can. I cannot even explain how much time this has freed up and how much stress is eliminated because of this! And that alone frees up time for a short walk!
- I download podcasts. Walking 6-7 miles can take a long time, so I like to be productive! I listen to podcasts that are informative or that help with my job. This helps to cut down on other time later in the evening where I might read a book for work or read up on something fitness related.
- I make calls and build relationships during this time. Those headphones that come with the iphone is amazing for this! I try to plan ahead and set “phone dates” with people so I can keep up with them. Not only is this fun and healthy, but it means that I don’t “have to” do this later in the evening. I get two things done at once!
- I’ve adjusted my work schedule a bit. I know that everyone doesn’t have the luxury to do this, so I feel lucky that I can! Since September I’ve gone into work an hour early and cut my lunch hour in half so that I can get out of work earlier. This is great, and essentially gives me a free hour to hour and a half after work that I didn’t have last year! It’s been amazing!
- I just do it. We all only have so much time, and the things we make a priority we just do it. Things that aren’t a priority don’t often get done. So, I’ve made walking a priority because I think it’s healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally.
- I don’t have children. There are obviously lots of people who have children and also exercise (and train for marathons too!), so having children obviously doesn’t prevent one from exercising. However, I am not responsible for anyone else, so I can pretty much go out at any point that is convenient for me. I only mention this because I am answering the question of how I personally find time to walk. I have so much respect for parents who are also actively exercising and staying healthy. I think my parents were great examples of this for us when I was growing up.
So I suppose that is how I find the time to walk. I’ve found a way to work my schedule around so I have the time to walk on top of running, biking, etc… This works for me, but may not work for you. I figured this out through trial and error, so I encourage you to do the same!
Now it’s your turn to share! How have you found the time to exercise? What’s one of your best time saving tricks?