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Have you got 20 minutes?
Have you got 20 minutes?
Think you have don’t have time to exercise? Think again.
“I haven’t got time. I haven’t got time. I haven’t got time.”
– the mantra of modern life.
A phrase I also hear a lot among friends – and one I’ve been guilty of myself – is, “I have no time to breathe, let alone…..” (fill in the blank).
When it comes to getting physically active, not having the time is among the top reasons for staying still. And more often than not this isn’t just some empty excuse – people genuinely lead hectic lives.
And yet these are the very people who need to take the time to exercise the most. Why? Because exercise relieves stress, helps you get a good night’s sleep, and improves mental wellbeing – allowing you to manage a full schedule much more productively.
Yea, yea, yea, I hear you say. But what’s the point? Surely you need to train hard to receive any worthwhile results. What’s 20 minutes of exercise here or there going to do?
Well, here’s the good news: all you need is 20 minutes to make a real, life-changing difference to your life. Think not? Think again. Robust scientific research backs it up.
Gretchen Reynolds, who has decades of experience in the fitness world, researched the science and wrote a book based on her findings, “The First 20 Minutes: The Surprising Science of How We can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer.” She offers this game-changing nugget:
“The first 20 minutes of moving around provides most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk – all of those things come in the first 20 minutes of being active.”
So ask yourself: do I have 20 minutes to spare?
Maybe you do. Or maybe you can claim 20 minutes back from your busy schedule that’s otherwise going to waste – it’s easier than you think.
Examples: Take a 20 minute break from work at lunchtime instead of having a sandwich at your desk. Incorporate 20 minutes into something you need to do – like jogging to the supermarket, taking the dog for a walk, or running home. Or, set your alarm clock 20 minutes earlier than usual. That’s what a friend of mine, a mother of three small kids does – here’s her take:
“I used to think if I set my alarm for 20 minutes before my kids woke me up – which is always early – I’d be exhausted by 5pm. Then I realised that I was always exhausted by 5pm anyway, so the only difference would be that I’d gain an extra 20 minutes to myself. I usually walk, run or do yoga. That 20 minutes is golden – just knowing it’s there for me every day gets me through the frustration of juggling three small kids and a hectic life. I look forward to it. I love it. And the really unexpected thing is how much extra energy it has given me. I am getting fitter and fitter. I keep feeling better and better. I have extra energy and that means extra time. At first I saw setting my alarm earlier as ‘finding time’ and sacrificing sleep, but what’s really happened is I have won back time.”
So, what have you got to lose? Can you find that magical, life-changing twenty? And if so – the fun part – how are you going to spend it? My mantra on anything is always: make it about what you love – something I’ll be delving into more deeply in later blogs. But it’s a great place to start.
Alison Potts – Innate Being
Alison Potts is a yoga and meditation teacher in Bulimba, South East Brisbane. Her lifelong journey with MS – with which she is thriving in mind and body – make her a champion of embracing inner wisdom, including that of our physical bodies. She runs private one to one coaching sessions throughout the week , workshops and regular meditation sessions. Alison specialises in teaching people with injury, chronic fatigue or who have or are recovering from illness but also people who just want to play and experiment with the way each and every single body can find freedom, strength and joy. Yoga and meditation with Alison are accessible, fun and life enhancing.
Take the journey!