I don’t have a lot of free time. I’m a mother of two very busy boys, working on my own business, and without the privilege of family neither on my side nor on my husband’s side living remotely close to help a hand. I’m not complaining or looking for sympathy but meerly pointing out that this is a reality for many people. This post is especially for those who can identify with this reality: over-worked people, single-mums or dads, parents who don’t have family close at hand…
It’s easy to fall in the trap of not having enough hours in the day to take care of our own personal wellbeing but we owe it to ourselves to allow some “me” time to unwind and to get some exercise.
The 30-minute challenge
Even with my schedule I have no excuse to say that I can’t give myself a 30-minute slot to enjoy a run three or four times a week. If you are in a situation where time is limited, could you not find a 30-minute slot to get out of the house and get some fresh air, whether it is a walk, cycle, run or swim? Your body and mind will feel a lot better for it.
I know how precious this time is to me and so I use it to set myself a simple and realistic goal. In my case to keep myself motivated I challenge myself to improve on my running distance in 30-minutes. The progress might seem small day-by-day. Today’s run was only 2-seconds better than Saturday’s run. It doesn’t sound like a great deal but when you consistently keep up your practice, after a month the difference could be sigmificant. The body needs consistent training for around 60 days for something to convert into a well-established habit. Imagine after 2 months of exercising 30-minutes, a few times a week? There’s got to be lots of benefits and improvements to your practice.
So for you busy people out there with not enough time to look after your wellbeing could you set yourself your own motivating 30-minute challenge?
Here’s some ideas that you can do as 30-minute challenges. They are easier to monitor if you have the same start and finish points:
- Walk for 15 minutes then return. After the third time walking try and walk briskly a little further in 15 minutes and back. Extend the distance little by little.
- The same idea goes for running. Recall what distances you can do 15 minutes one way and 15 minutes back using a sportswatch or by marking the spot you arrived at the turnaround. Try and extend that distance with a slight up on your pace.
- Swim for 15 minutes. Note a landmark and return. Try and reach further than that landmark at 15 minutes every third times you get out for your swim.
- If you have children, try and motivate them to participate in a 30-minute challenge with you, especially if you are starting-off new.
- Get up earlier and get in a 30-minutes exercise early in the day!
The key to keep up motivation is to set yourself a simple and realistic challenge so that you can see that you are making improvements and not just going on autopilot. Go on, get out there, breathe the air and give your body, mind and soul some “me” time. Facing and meeting challenges are great for your self-esteem, confidence, satisfaction, and prepares you better for facing life’s own challenges.