Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Working it In Around the Edges

I have come to know the importance of exercise in my daily life. It is simply no longer an option for me to go for long periods of time without it! When I'm not exercising, I don't sleep as well and I don't feel as well as I do when I'm getting regular exercise!

Sometimes life gets hectic. I used to be somewhat of an 'all-or-nothing' thinker. If I couldn't do something 'the whole way' I'd rather not do it. With regards to exercise, this might mean that if i couldn't go to the gym for an hour or go for a long run, I simply would do nothing. If I couldn't do the entire activity the way I usually did it, then I simply wouldn't do any of it.

This is a very destructive way of doing things and looking at life! There are many times in our lives where we cannot do 100% of a task when we want to do it.

At the moment, I'm in the midst of a complex and consuming project. My daily routine is very disrupted. I'm not at home. All of those things are making it difficult to get in my normal amount of exercise. When I'm home, I workout 2-3 times a week and I do cardio exercise (to get my heart rate elevated) every day. I spend 30 - 90 minutes a day on my exercising.

Now, that is simply not possible. I've had to make some changes to the expectations. I've also had to get creative about how I get my movement needs met. So I'm working it in around the edges.

For example, I'm staying on the fourth floor of a hotel here. I am walking up and down the stairs whenever I need to go anywhere. This is a little bit of exercise that I would miss if I took the elevator. Likewise, I'm walking to my destinations, as often as possible, instead of driving. Squeezing in a little bit more exercise.

Is this as effective as my normal routine? No, of course it isn't. To get me through a temporary situation, however, it is adequate. It is certainly better than throwing up my hands and saying, "oh well, if I can't go to the gym to walk on the treadmill and workout I'll just skip it."

We need to learn to let go of unrealistic and unsustainable expectations. It is really beneficial for us to operate on a model of doing whatever we can do, instead of waiting for some time when all the stars align and we can do exactly what we want to do. That day usually never comes.

It is very helpful in life to learn to work things in 'around the edges' if that's the only way we can fit them in. We can still make progress towards our goals, albeit at a slower pace. The time will pass anyway... so where will we be in one year, or five years is we do nothing? We can't stop the passage of time, but we can change our approach to how we spend it!