How often do you find yourself in a place you’d rather not be, doing a thing you’d rather not do?
Recently I found myself in the West Edmonton Mall with two kids. There are a lot of other things I’d rather do than go to the mall — a root canal comes to mind.
My children are 14 and 11, are responsible, and have cell phones. I was confident that, with some basic instructions, they could handle the mall better than I.
So I ditched them and spent 90 minutes in the mall’s Gold’s Gym while they terrorized various shopkeepers. I texted them when I was finished and we met up for lunch.
I’ve made a habit of doing things like this. When I take my kids to a karate class, singing lessons, birthday parties or any other event where my attendance is not mandatory (but I’m needed as taxi driver), I can do things like run, lift weights at a nearby gym, cycle, go inline skating, do a park workout or just go for a walk.
It takes some advance planning to pull this off however. If the weather is cold I might need specific running gear to keep me warm, or I may need to find the closest gym to use and find out what their policy for drop-ins is and how much they charge. It can even involve finding the nearest park to work out in.
If the kids are at a practice they don’t need me watching them, and I use it as a built-in excuse to kill time by exercising. For recitals and competitions I’m always present, so no one begrudges me the right to work out during practice.
Essentially, I’m always looking for situations where I’m taxiing someone somewhere and have time to kill, then imagine the most effective physical activity to do at that time, and dress appropriately.
Lack of time is the number one excuse people provide for not exercising. It takes practice to get good at this, but if you start looking for extra time to factor in these bursts of activity, you’ll find you’re getting a lot more exercise in your week.
You’ll be healthier and happier for it…and a lot less bored too.