Making time for movement

It’s a question I get a lot. How do you make time for exercise? What’s unspoken, behind the question is the follow up thought, “given everything else you do.”

Now I get the “dean” version of the question. Earlier in my life it was the “mother of three kids” version. Note I say “mother’ rather than “parent” because no one is shocked when fathers find time for fitness.

There’s one sense in which it’s true that everyone’s day has the same 24 hours and another sense in which it’s obviously not. We all have different demands on our time and different amounts of privilege in the choices we make.

In a 2017 post called “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings I fessed up to all the things I don’t do. Making time to work out and sleep means not doing other things.

I thought about updating the list for 2022.

I still don’t do enough house work! Lol. Even by my own minimal standards.

Even as an academic administrator, I’m still pretty much no fuss about my appearance. I care about my clothes but my hair is wash and wear and I don’t wear a lot of make up or jewelry.

I cook but just Good Food that arrives in boxes with simple instructions. Otherwise it’s all heat and assemble.

I keep a running list of things to watch that just grows longer every year! I used to joke that I was saving watching shows for my retirement. Already the list is too long.

What makes the biggest difference though is that movement isn’t an extra add on thing. It’s key to keeping balanced and happy. It’s also my happy place, the thing I do for fun. It’s fun and often social.

Having team commitments on Zwift means I show up. Riding bikes with friends ditto.

But there’s still a lot I don’t do. I know that having a lot of fitness activities in my life means not doing other things and mostly I’m okay with that, though sometimes I struggle.

How about you? Which trade offs do you make? Any hard choices or regrets?

One thought on “Making time for movement

  1. Movement – it’s how I get to work (via bike). Having an office that was 128 steps below the patient unit I worked on helped. They moved the office to the patient care floor to make us more productive, but that still makes the golden 10,000 steps a routine part of every day just doing the job. Right now, I’m headed to the library; that’s another half dozen miles on the bike. After retirement in 7 weeks, movement may have to become a conscious effort. Right now it’s as much a part of the routine as brushing my teeth – except more essential, since I could get through the day without brushing my teeth but I couldn’t do it without moving.

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