I don’t have time to work out.
This post is not going to sit well with you potentially. So read this next couple sentences carefully.
If you’re content to complain about not having time or energy to workout and you truly think that on summer break or once you retire, or that it must be easier for someone who doesn’t live where you live or work the kind of job you work, or have kids and a spouse or kids and no spouse…
Then stop reading/listening.
This will be a waste of time and it may ruffle your feathers.
It’s B.S. that you’re in your “comfort zone” and its hard to get out of your comfort zone. Because that’s what we say right? That’s what so many employees have said to me. “I’m just not comfortable with that.” And a few woman in pursuit of more energy, their best health, who aren’t willing to be uncomfortable for a while and wrap their mind around the fact discomfort is growth.
If you … were in your “comfort zone” you wouldn’t be looking for change.
Health takes change. Change is hard.
Every professional woman I know – whether it’s a coaching client, a speaking colleague or a fitness professional – dreams it will get easier when she’s making more money, gets a promotion, or has her own business, or maybe has lost the weight.
Guess what? No that’s not how it works. When you get to the next level and the next, every single time it gets harder. You work harder.
Your habits have to be better more consistent.
The life that you have now is the cost of the life you want.
You don’t get to spend hours on the internet playing Candy Crush or watching Netflix late at night. Not if you want energy, great skin, a clear mind and a great mood the next day. If you want to stop aches and pains start sleeping better, the cost is the glass or two of wine you want several times or more a week.
If you want to have a change you have to change and yes, the unknown may not be what you think it will… it may be better!
No matter where you are you can look at any one else- everyone else- and see how much easier they have it.
So I’m going to give you a second chance to bail. You will not offend me.
Why Do Only Some Have Excuses?
But have you ever noticed war vets come back having lost a leg and end up doing marathons. Blind people do triathlon. People with diseases choose not to accept the diagnosis as a prognosis. Even though it hurts, it’s hard, and it gets resistance from everyone around them.
If you won’t start for eight more weeks because you’re going to retire then and that’s when you’ll start, there is a good chance that you won’t. You won’t treat it like a job then either. Like it’s not optional. Like it could save your life or at least put years in your life. Because it won’t be convenient then either.
You’ll be retired. You’ll be free and want to enjoy it.
The devil you do know is better than the devil you don’t.
It’s silly really to talk about time. Which is where inevitably this conversation almost always goes. Blogs and articles go into how long it takes. And how quickly you can really work out. The 15-minute or the 7-minute or the 4-minute workouts are all the rage. But they are no better than anything else if you don’t do them.
So it’s not time.
It’s an excuse.
You have time. You’re just spending it doing something else.
Cruising the internet, supposedly catching up with “friends” not really online at the same time anyway. Watching movies. Staying up late so everything takes longer due to brain fog. You’re making bad choices.
You have time.
If you want to do something you do have time.
The real answer to how much time? In 10 minutes twice a week you can do a strength training workout. In an hour a week you can prepare 3 main courses and a couple sides so you stop eating out.
You choose not to do this. It’s an excuse.
You and I are very good at convincing ourselves our perception is reality.
If you’re going to use it, call it what it is and decide you don’t want this bad enough.
Whatever this is… more energy, healthy weight, feeling sexy and vibrant.
There is something much deeper than not having time or wanting to get out of your comfort zone and it’s not… easier for everyone else.
A vacation is not a trash your body experience for someone who loves herself. So what’s up with that? You don’t really want it.
You do hard things in certain areas but not others? That could be it. You don’t have any ability right now to do more because you’re in a lot of hard things as it is. You’re using willpower up.
That’s OK. I get that.
Instead of Health, Trash?
But don’t trash yourself. Don’t decide, I can’t workout right now and then go and eat out four times and get dessert every time. Don’t stay up late and do something so wasted like cruise the internet. How does that make your life better? If you want to call a friend, try the phone.
Don’t resign to an inability to sleep and then drink wine every night and pass it off as “light” drinking instead of addiction. Whether the alcohol or the sugar an every evening cocktail ritual is probably not your longevity’s best friend – or if you’ve got a weight loss goal or struggle with sleep, there are so many ways that this complicates your health. Inflammation, insulin, influencing your choice.
I don’t have time to workout ? In the face of things like this, turns to I don’t have energy to workout. When you stay up way too late, you’re already way too stressed, of course you don’t have energy to workout.
And no one, girlfriend is going to give you permission or should have to give you permission to delay dinner by 30 minutes if you can’t exercise in the morning.
You have time. You just don’t really want to have to use it.
Get real with yourself.
How much time does it really take?
How much time do you think it takes?
Because you’ve been conditioned your whole adult life going to hour long classes or told you have to do cardio at least 20 minutes or up to 60 to get benefits. You’ve been told that the more time you do the more results you’ll get. It’s just not true.
You’ve assumed that a weight training workout is like that too. That I know because too often I’m asked “How long should I lift weights?”
And that is a question that doesn’t even make sense.
I’m sensitive to the fact that might sound condescending – it’s not meant to – because you’re not to blame. You’ve just been given the wrong impression.
Time has so little to do with effectiveness.
Take two kids who have the same math homework. One gets it done correctly in 10 minutes and the other takes 40 minutes to get it done, with fewer right answers. Is the question how long should a kid spend on his math?
It’s about getting to the right answer.
How Much Strength Training?
For strength training – and that is the fastest way to get the most fit in the least amount of time.
It’s the fastest way – in terms of weeks and months – to see a long-term change in your body.
It’s the least amount of time you can put in exercising to get the most benefits.
I’ll link to some other blog –only and podcast episodes where I’ve shared the biggest benefits of strength training.
If you’re completely crunched for time you can get a full body workout in about 10 minutes.
Twice a week – provided you have good form – use the right exercises – and you reach fatigue according to your beginner/or advanced status and you will have stimulated your muscles enough to change. That’s getting to the right answer.
If you have 30-40 minutes twice a week will you get more benefit? Yes.
You’ll be able to use additional muscles, use more movements. But you’re going to be busy. Even women who aren’t tied up with a job, a family, a commute… make themselves busy. We all perceive ourselves as having things to do. Or we volunteer, care for others, get involved with friends – and that’s all good. You’re going to need those short alternatives too. Mentally you’ve got to stop thinking of them as a waste of time or not worth it.
It’s Not About Time, But…
Just 30-40 minutes twice a week can change your life.
Your longevity, mood, brain health, muscle, bone, disease risk and the expression of genes associated with aging. Yes, you can reverse aging.
Or you can complain you don’t have time now and suffer later. At some point something may make you sick and be your cause of death. The length of that sickness is in your control. You may slip away in a deep sleep. But the problem is we never know.
The quality of your life between now and when you know the answer stands to benefit or deteriorate based on what you do every day.
I don’t know the answer to… what is more important to you?
But that is the question you have to ask when you say you don’t have time. Somewhere in the cycle of your 24 hours you have time you’re choosing to spend in another way that is getting in the way of your exercise.
I’m going to link to strength training resources in the show notes. There are dozens of options in YouTube to watch.
If you want support beyond five minutes for consistent progressive exercise the STRONGER 12 week program is open while I’m recording this podcast. It’s 12 weeks for a reason. It takes at least 66 days to make a habit – and I’ve guaranteed I’ll have you beyond that. I want you hooked! In a regular habit, feeling so good you don’t want to stop.
STRONGER II is also open (but it is a bigger time commitment and I don’t recommend it if you’re short on time or just trying to get hooked on strength training – keep it simple).
Resources about time: