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A common gripe for many of us is that there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. We have to work, we have to eat, we have to be social and we have to sleep. But where does a workout fit in our schedule? In the 24 hours we have, we often feel like we can’t fit in 20, 30 minutes a day to get moving. But the truth of the matter is, when things are important to us we can find time. We make the time. In fact, a study done by the UK’s Independent in 2017 found that people actually spend more time on the toilet (with their phones) than they do exercising. What the study pointed out was that the average adult hangs out for three hours and nine minutes in the bathroom per week compared to just 90 minutes a week being active.
But the benefits of exercising outside of the physical are countless, including the ability to help you sleep better and to help your brain operate at a higher level. So what is really holding some of us back from making physical activity a regular part of our lives? Celebrity fitness expert Will Torres, the owner of NYC’s luxury fitness studio WILLSPACE, says many of us are going about our workouts all wrong, making our bodies resistant to our efforts. When we see results we get motivated, but when we don’t after a while, we’re over it.
“I don’t believe that people truly have a motivational problem. I think that most people have not invested enough time learning how to move properly so when they go and do things, they’re doing it wrong and it’s uncomfortable,” Torres said. “When you do something wrong and it hurts and it’s uncomfortable, your brain is going to say, ‘Stop doing this because I don’t like this and you’re going to hurt me.’ After doing that for a few weeks you’re like, ‘You know what? I’m not motivated.'”
There’s also the issue of doing too much too soon, which is hard to maintain and makes us throw in the towel early.
“There’s two reasons people don’t see change. They’re either not doing it right or they’re working too hard,” he said. “Because you wind up going hard and burning yourself out and then eventually your body is like, ‘This is too much, I’m not going to do this. I’m going to get sick or I’m going to get unmotivated so this crazy person stops running on the treadmill,’ that crazy person being you.”
Torres recommends finding the right balance. You should exercise more often in order to see the results you want and to stay motivated. However, working out more doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym doing any and everything to achieve good results.
“Consistency is way more important than intensity. Its more important to do 20 minutes every single day of something than doing an hour twice or three times a week,” he said. “Most people hire a trainer or start a workout program and say they’re going to do it two to three times a week. That is the bare minimum to see any change. In the beginning, you’ll see change, but after two weeks, it won’t be enough. For the best results, invest anywhere between 20 to 45 or 48 hours a month moving. That’s anywhere from four to seven hours a week, moving. They might do two yoga classes, two strength workouts, two cardio workouts, but people are not seeing the initial results because they’re not doing enough.”
“I’m not saying do an hour every single day,” he added. “Start with 20 minutes. As you get in better shape, go to 35 minutes. But you’re doing something almost every single day. Twenty minutes is better than nothing.”
So as you prepare to start your efforts, carve out a little time as often as you can to move. And for the record, you don’t have to waste away on cardio machines to see results. Working to increase your strength and make yourself more flexible in even the most basic of ways can make quite the difference, even if you’re just doing it at home.
“People need to get off of the elliptical machines, get off of the treadmills and they need to stop running and get stronger in their body control,” Torres recommends. “They need to become better stretchers. They need to become better squatters. They need to work on hanging and develop strength and flexibility.”
When you have those basics down, your body will be able to do more and execute the moves you’ve been trying forever — but this time, the right way.
Whatever it takes for you to make time to exercise more, make it happen to make fitness and wellness a lifestyle as opposed to a resolution year after year. Start off with something and build, because it’s much better than another 365 of nothing.
by Victoria Uwumarogie