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Put Exercise on Your Calendar

It may be the most important event of your week.

Go here! Go there! Don’t slow down! Don’t stop! Help him! Help her!

For many, looking at a desk or wall calendar or day planner is distressing and depressing. Filled with meetings and events, the calendar can be a sign of a busy but unfulfilled life. It can also signal an unhealthy routine – especially if there is no time carved out for exercise. Putting a little exercise on your calendar may be no easy task, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

Not Easy, but Possible…

Wondering how to cram exercise in your overflowing schedule? First, grab your calendar and sit down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. If it’s been a while since you’ve done that, do it again. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Now that you’re in your right mind, turn your calendar to the upcoming month. Hopefully there are some empty spots a few days each week. Write “exercise” on these, and add some details. Write down what time you’re going to exercise. You may want to even write down where you plan to exercise and what you plan to do. Are you going to lift weights in your garage? Play racquetball at the gym? Walk around the neighborhood? Depending on your plans, you may need a partner, and planning ahead will make it easier to find someone to accompany you.

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” - Edward Stanley

If there are no empty slots on your calendar, fitting in exercise will seem impossible, but keep your chin up. Take another deep breath and cross something off your calendar. Choose wisely, marking off an optional obligation only. Then cross something else off. In both their places, write “exercise.” Finally, call anyone who may be affected by your decisions and you will need to reschedule.

You can make these phone calls before rearranging your schedule, but be careful. If you’re a pushover, you may feel guilty rescheduling or canceling and you may never mark anything off your calendar. To make it a little easier, ask the people you’re rescheduling to join you while you exercise.

…And Necessary

Making the decision to add exercise to your life isn’t as easy as it should be. But it is important. Vitally important. And while you may think exercise is only for people who want to look good, you’re wrong. Regular exercise helps you feel better inside and out. But that’s not it! Exercise is the best preventive medicine available, helping every part of your body work more effectively and efficiently.

On top of all these great perks, hitting the gym on a regular basis will help when it’s time to look at your calendar. Remember how stressful it is to think about putting one more thing in your day? With an exercise regimen firmly in place, you’ll be more relaxed and less likely to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. You’ll even perform each individual task with gusto and more attention to detail than would be possible without including exercise in your day planner. So before you count exercise out of your life, give it a second thought. There’s probably a little room on your calendar for it after all.

Finding the Time

Okay, so your calendar really is full for the next six months and there isn’t a single company meeting, conference call, or work trip you can back out of in the name of exercise. That doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze exercise in. The following are a few ways to get exercise in your day – even if there’s not time:

  • Wake up early - Most gyms are open in the wee hours of the morning for early bird workouts
  • Stay up late - Find out how late your gym stays open and whether the classes you’d like to take are offered at night
  • Eat on the job – Run to the gym during lunch for a quick workout and eat while performing work duties by yourself

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