Even the people who are most dedicated to a fitness routine have trouble keeping it up while on vacation or even on a brief business trip. The key to overcoming this commonplace difficulty might be to think of it less as “routine” and more as “fitness.” If we consider it part of our own way of life, then we are less likely to be thrown off by a change in routine. You probably know the feeling. “Just walking isn’t enough,” or “Just a half-mile isn’t my kind of run,” or “I’ve never been able to do yoga outside of class,” or even “It’s not a real workout unless I can bench.”
Losing those strict definitions of what exercise means to you is the key to keeping fitness going when you’re away from your home base. It can be helpful to recall what the CDC says about all we really need: Just a half-hour a weekday for walking, and even less than that for running or jogging. Get that done and consider anything above a bonus. This is a good way to look at fitness when you’re on the road.
Accepting it as Normal
For the other kind of on-the-go, the everyday kind, the ways of working fitness into a demanding career or hectic family responsibilities in everyday life are based on the same idea: don’t be so rigid about what you call a workout.
A dad we know said one of the happiest pieces of feedback he got from his sons came after they concluded their own college football careers. They took about a week off, and then started working out again. “Dad, we just saw from you that it’s part of everyday life,” they told him. Neither of them – nor the dad – insists on the kind of workout they did in their playing days. The important thing, they say, is getting something done. Actor Matthew McConaughey was quoted saying, “I just like to break a sweat every day.” A modest thing to tell an interviewer, but more important, a healthy way to look at fitness without locking into an all-or-nothing attitude.
Once we realize that we don’t have to change into Lycra to get exercise or hit the showers after every beneficial activity, the chances to work exercise into everyday life open up. The famous tip about finding a far-away parking spot is not as superficial as it might sound, nor is skipping the elevator and taking the stairs. Every step has value.
“I’m too busy,” is only as true as you make it. Anyone can find enough time for a half-hour of low-intensity exercise, such as walking. One obvious source, today, is screen time. We could all do with a little less of it. Shift a half hour of that time and attention to yourself. Take a walk in half the lunch hour.
You can do it, and we can help. To schedule an appointment with us at Global Family Medicine, call us at 843.815.6468. We’ll help you get started.