Health Magazine

Health & Fitness Deal Breaker #1: No Time for Exercise

By Jenny Evans @PowerHousePC


Welcome to a 5-part series on the top health and fitness “deal breakers” we all run into from time to time and what can be done to get back on track in achieving our goals.  Tune in to NBC KARE 11 the first Friday of each month for the Eat, Move & Improve segment where we’ll be eliminating the obstacles one by one.  If you can’t tune in, no worries – I’ll be posting the segments each month!


“I don’t have time” is the number one excuse I hear from people as to why they can’t exercise regularly.  We are all pressed for time, but very often it’s not the obstacle we make it out to be.

1.  The first thing that needs to be addressed is how much time exercise actually needs to take. For many people, the perception is that exercise has to take 30-60 minutes and anything less is a waste of time.  What’s more important than the time you spend exercising is the INTENSITY AT WHICH YOU WORK.  Think about this:  you could work out at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes and burn 250 calories, or work at a higher intensity for 20 minutes and BURN THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF CALORIES.  Which is a more efficient way of working?  Relate the concept to your productivity level at work – sometimes you focus in, work really hard and get a lot done in a short amount of time.  Other times you’re distracted, less motivated, and don’t work as hard – so you don’t get as much done.  Focus on your intensity, not your time.

2. Exercise does not have to be done all at once. A good amount of solid research shows you can break up your exercise sessions into short bouts and still get benefit.  In fact, breaking up your workout can even give you greater benefit.  Let’s say you wake up 10 minutes early and exercise, squeeze in another 10 minutes over lunch, and then finish with 10 minutes in the evening.

  • You boost your metabolism every time you exercise. In this instance you’ve boosted your metabolism 3 times during the day instead of only once.  This means more calories being burned.
  • You could burn more calories. The fact that you’re only working out for 10 minutes means you can bring a much higher level of intensity than if you had to sustain exertion for 30 minutes.  Three bouts of higher intensity means more fat and calories being burned than one bout of moderate intensity.
  • It works better in your schedule. It may be extremely difficult to find 30 consecutive minutes in your day, but finding 10 minutes here and there is much easier.

3.  It must be scheduled like any other commitment or meeting. If you’re waiting for the perfect time to exercise to spontaneously happen during your day, it will NEVER happen.  Considering exercise an afterthought or something that can happen “if you have time later” is quite possibly the world’s worst strategy.  Once each week sit down with your calendar and schedule in your workouts. Every day is different, so be flexible and creative with your options – you may have to break it up into smaller workouts, or do it at a different time of day.

4.  Exercise does NOT have to mean spending more time away from family or friends. You may feel like you already spend too much time at work and going to the gym means more time away from your loved ones.  Who ever said you had to workout alone?  Do it with your significant other or children and make it an important part of the time you spend together.  You could all sit in front of the TV, not talking or connecting, or get out, move, have fun and set a good example.

Tune in next month when we address Deal Breaker #2:  a busy travel schedule.

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