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Finding Time to Exercise

Exercising During Commercials

I'm getting up an hour earlier these days. At first I said I'd never be able to do it: I was already sleep deprived rising at 6 AM how would I ever get up at 5 AM? I'd never be able to get to sleep earlier (this is still true), and a hundred other reasons why it wouldn't work. And then I tried it, and it does work. I'm still sleep deprived, but that extra hour in the morning is a Godsend. I love it.

How do you Present Ideas to Yourself?

So why did it take me so long to "just do it?" Probably the way I presented the idea to myself. Notice I used words such as "never" and "already" as in "I'm already sleep deprived." I kept telling myself it wouldn't work, that it was a bad idea and until the first time I actually tried it, I secretly believed when the alarm rang, I'd just turn it off and go back to sleep. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy getting up early. Mornings are my best time of day. I'm the most productive in the morning so it makes sense to give myself an extra hour.

I Don't Have Time to Exercise

Sometimes a small adjustment in how you run your day can help enormously in freeing up some time for things like exercise. "I don't have time." I hear that a lot, but if asked, "What's your favorite TV show?" most people can list a few -- hours spent sitting and watching. There's nothing wrong with enjoying some TV, but there's also no reason you can't exercise during the commercials.

When I was a kid and it was my turn to clean the house, I made a game out of it. I loved TV, watching probably six or seven hours a day then, so missing a show to clean was not going to happen. So I'd clean during commercials. Today there are over 20 minutes of commercial time during each hour of the show. That's plenty of time for getting things done. As soon as the show broke for commercial, I'd jump from my chair and dash to wherever I'd left off. I'd bring in laundry and fold it while I watched. I'd iron in front of the TV, I'd bring in piles of miscellaneous debris from other rooms and sort it into piles for where it belonged, then on the next commercial I'd go put things away.

I'd move from one room to the next, carrying things that belonged there with me, and returning with things that did not. Eventually the house was clean, and hadn't missed my programs.

If you enjoy TV, consider how much time there is available during the commercials and start using it. Whether for exercise or cleaning, or anything else you need to get done: responding to correspondence, studying, paying bills, grooming the cat - there are lots of little chores we need to do, no reason we can't carry them into our TV room and get them done.

Turn TV Time into "Get Fit" Time

You can turn your TV room into a fitness room easily. A cushy floor mat, if the room isn't carpeted. A pair of dumbbells or two. Empty bleach jugs make good dumbbells, but be careful if they are only partially full of sand, dirt or water (whatever you use to fill them with something to create the weight), as if the weight shifts during the movement you could injure yourself.

Canned food make good homemade weights. I have half pound and one pound cans, heavier can may be too difficult to hold. Go on a scouting expedition around your house and see what you find that could work as weights then store them behind the couch and start using them. Twice a week or three times, consistently, and you'll start noticing a change within a short time - usually in a month or six weeks definitely.

My first exercise equipment was a pair of dumbbells, a one pound and a five pound set. You don't have to have a fully equipped home gym to exercise at home.

Push ups are an incredible exercise, men's and women's style. No special equipment needed, just get on the floor and start. Standing squats (pretend you are going to sit in a chair, then stop at about or before chair level, and return to standing straight). There are even books written for exercising on the commercial breaks. I put together a page with a few of the books I've found which present this concept such as "The Commercial Break Workout: Trim and Tone Two Minutes at a Time" by Linda Buch and Seth Anne Snider-Copley.

Grab some Extra Minutes and Get Started

I wanted to get up an hour earlier so I could work out in the mornings. When I exercise first thing, nothing else interferes. No matter what comes up, it doesn't take away from my fitness program. Unexpected calls or invitations, traffic jams, "There's no bread," yells my son who still thinks it's my job to keep the pantry stocked, so I need to run to the store, nothing ruins my day's plan to ride my bike or lift weights. The consistency of a regular exercise program just makes me feel good - you might find it does the same for you, and if you have had a difficult time finding time - make time. Grab some extra minutes during commercials on TV, get up earlier, find whatever works for you. Write it on your calendar, make a date with yourself, and get started.

Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, and author of Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss. Visit to learn how she lost 80 pounds over 20 years ago and kept it off, and how you can do the same.



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