Finding Time: The Short Route
There are a lot of things in life that can be overwhelming - careers, school, health problems, family drama…need I go on?
But, for many of us, I think most overwhelming thing we deal with on a daily basis is the (many) options we have on how we spend our time.
Time is finite.
We have 24 hours in a day.
We have 1,440 minutes in a day.
This is like a currency - we can’t collect a refund if we decide we don’t like where we choose to spend our time. It’s a permanent decision.
This also makes us all equal - we all have the exact same amount of time we can allocate to each of our days. No one gets more, no one gets less.
So, let me ask you, where are you choosing to spend your time?
If I’ve learned anything since my diagnosis, it’s that there are two ways to spend my time:
- On things I need to do.
- On things I want to do.
If something doesn't fall into one of those categories, it’s gotta go.
The biggest need
One of the things each of us needs to do is take care of ourselves.
We have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of those around us.
We have to take care of ourselves in order to be there for those who need us.
We have to take care of ourselves in order to plan for the unexpected. Whether it’s mental health, physical injuries, or fighting cancer - all of it is easier to tackle when your body is strong.
And now, here’s where many will say “I totally agree. I just don’t have the time.”
You and I have the exact same amount of time in each day. When you say you don’t have time to focus on your health, you’re actually saying “Yeah, I’m just not prioritizing my health right now.”
Prioritizing our health is hard.
It’s hard because it takes time.
It is hard to make changes to your schedule.
It is hard to change your mentality.
But taking time for your health doesn’t have to be difficult.
Most of us say we don’t have time, because we think that fitness needs to be a big production that takes an hour or more of our schedule.
Let me introduce you to the short route.
The short route refers to doing whatever we can do in a short period of time - 10, 20, 30 minutes. It's not elaborate and it's easily accessible. It's challenging, but not overwhelming.
For me, my short route is a 1 mile loop that starts and ends at my house. It’s in my neighborhood. It’s something I can run in about 10 minutes or walk in under 20 minutes. I can take the loop alone or with the whole family. It gets my blood going. It gets me moving.
Taking my short route matters. It’s more beneficial than me doing nothing.
I’m also a big fan of YogaGlo. YogaGlo offers yoga instruction for as little as FIVE minutes. That’s my indoor short route. I can roll out my mat, move, and then go on about my day.
What about when you work all day?
Glad you asked.
We often forget that our lunch break can be the most valuable time of our work day. It’s a time to get out of your chair, get out of the building, reset for the afternoon.
I work right beside a YMCA. During my lunch breaks, I go to the Y and put together a ~30 minute workout. Of course, I’d love to do more, but I do what I can with the time that I have.
Side note: If you need ideas for 30-minute workouts, I share mine on Instagram Stories!
But what if I can't work out the way I used to?
While I love getting in the gym (yes, that’s my happy place), I wasn’t able to lift during my pregnancy with Elin.
Instead, I set a goal of walking 100 miles during my pregnancy. That equates to a lot of short routes. I’d walk 1-2 miles at a time, many of them during my lunch break at work.
With chemo, when my immunity is low, I walk. I get outside, get fresh air. I take my short route.
Taking my short route a few times a week, a few weeks in a row, ADDS UP!
Because doing what you can do, matters.
Let’s dial it back to 10 minutes. Let's keep this simple.
This week, I want you to commit to moving 10 intentional minutes per day.
Find a short route near your office or near your home. Have it start and end at the door. See how far you can go 10 minutes, then try to go a little farther the next day or try adding on another minute to your short route to see how much distance you can add little by little.
If you don't want to get outside, maybe try 10 minutes of yoga (YogaGlo has a free trial!).
Want to get your heart rate going? Try this mix (no weights required!):
30 Second Moves, 2x Thru:
- Body Squats
- Jumping Jacks
- Pistol Squats (15 seconds each side)
- Side Plank - Right
- Side Plank - Left
- Plank to Squat Jumps
- Plank Jacks
- Boat Pose
- Flutter Kicks
10 intentional minutes. That's all.
You can do this!