Life is busy. These days, it seems that goes without saying.
Time seems to fly by quicker than it ever has before. At times, it feels like we are a passenger in Doc Brown's DeLorean Time Machine (Back To The Future Trilogy), hurtling through time, jumping from one year to the next.
January becomes Easter. Easter becomes Winter, which suddenly becomes Spring. Before we know it the shops are decorated for Halloween, the school year ends, and we are wishing each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Ready to go again?
In the rushing waves of time, and day to day busyness, it is easy for our fitness and health to take a back seat, similar to that of the fourth child or lovely Aunt Hilda, banished to the back seat of the 8 seater SUV. Rarely heard, and easily forgotten, as the family disembarks for a lunch stop, "Has anyone seen Aunt Hilda" in between mouthful of sandwiches. "Did we leave her at the last toilet stop".
Does this sound like your fitness and health in today's world?
"I'll get to it if I can" or "I walk nearly everyday...well, at least 3 times a week, except last week. I got just the one in. You know, Little Johnny had baseball practice, and Little May had the dentist, and then I forgot about the dog needing to get the stitches out. But hey, it's better than the week before, I didn't walk at all that week".
If we don't make it a priority, it gets pushed aside, to the back of the line. If we get to it, it's a bonus.
Yet, we don't always get to it. There's always something else - work, school, kids, family, social engagements, social media...
Regular exercise or activity, offers so many benefits - healthy weight control, reducing risk of lifestyle diseases, more energy, improved strength and toning of our muscles, improved mental health, better sleep, just to name a few.
So how do we create more time to fit our fitness and health into our increasing hectic lives? How do we make it the priority that it should be? That it needs to be?
To ensure we are in the best position to receive the benefits offered from regular exercise, we need to prioritise our fitness or health activity, just like we would a solicitors appointment, a doctors appointment or a catch up with friends at lunch. One way to do that is to put it into our daily calendar as an appointment, blocking out a period of time. We make it an appointment - with ourselves.
Example: 11am Monday: 30min Walk
4pm Tuesday - 20min Gardening
7am Wednesday - 30min Weights Session
and it continues each day, each week.
And just like we wouldn't cancel the solicitor, doctor or friends catch up unless we will really had to, we don't cancel the appointment with ourselves.
If we are in the middle of a household task or updating our social media, when the allocated timeslot rolls around, we stop what we are doing and we keep the appointment with our self.
Why? Because we wouldn't ring our doctor and say, "Sorry I'm not going to make it now, I'm just scrolling through Facebook". So we don't do it to ourselves. We keep the appointment.
Another way to make exercise a priority in to our increasingly busy lifestyles, is to always be prepared to have the opportunity to be active.
I will often have a pair of trail shoes and my running pack in the car with me, so if I'm out and about with my mobile Personal Training, and I get a last minute cancellation, I can throw on the shoes and pack, and head to the trails for a quick run to keep up with my own training program. It sure beats sitting around for an hour, wishing I had my shoes with me.
Do you have an old pair of runners? Throw them in the boot of your car so next time you find yourself waiting for an appointment that is running late, you can throw them on, and enjoy a quick walk around the neighbourhood.
At the end of the day, we can't slow down time, but we are still in control of what we do with our time and what we can fit into our days. Now more than ever, we need to prioritise being active.
When is your next appointment with yourself?