Ways to get Moving
What was that you said about not having time for exercise? "I've heard that before," says Pat Manocchia. "I've worked with some people who were extremely busy, with very, very high-demand schedules. What I usually tell them is 'Look, the president of the United States exercises four times a week. If you can tell me you're busier than the president, then I'll believe you!"
Here is Barbara Brandt's advice for fitting in exercise:
Many of my clients are working women who take 6:00 A.M. trains and get home at 8:00 in the evening. They walk in, and they're bombarded with kids, and a husband they haven't seen all day.
My recommendation to them is to get up earlier! I know it sounds like a complete impossibility, but the thirty or forty-five minutes' worth of exercise is much more valuable than the extra minutes of sleep.
I'll say, okay, instead of penciling in exercise, we're going to put it in ink. And you're going to write into your calendar three or four days' worth of exercise this week: walking on the treadmill, taking a walk outside, putting on a videotape and exercising with the TV, or whatever works for you. And then we'll do it again for week two, three, and four.
At the end of the month, you're going to assess it. Look back and say, "Do I feel sleep-deprived, or do I feel more physically fit and clear-headed? Am I less stressed out and a better mother and wife because I'm getting a lot of stuff out of my system by exercising?"
Of the hundreds of people I've worked with over the years, I have yet to have one person come up to me and say, "You know, this really wasn't a good strategy. Do you have something else you can give me?"
Barbara also recommends lunch-hour mall-walking, especially if you live in a steamy or snowy climate. It helps to get a fitness buddy: you're less likely to bail out, and you get a chance to socialize.
Realize that exercise doesn't always require a gym. It doesn't always require special clothing or removing your makeup. You can get down on the floor and exercise while you watch the news.
Barbara says, "If I find that I'm short on time and my child needs help with homework, I'll say, 'Bring your homework upstairs, and let's do it while I'm on the treadmill— There are always ways of fitting it in.