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I haven’t got time to exercise

Introducing an exercise regime can be challenging, at any time.  I started Wado Ryu karate training at 13, and consistently trained 2, sometimes 3 nights a week, throughout school life and when I started full-time work at 16.  Even though I maintained this regime, changing jobs and moving towns meant my own training stalled.  For longer than I’d have liked I have to admit, but 10 years later I got back into karate.  Other priorities often had to take precedent, but I was stricter with myself in ensuring that I put it higher on my to-do list. 

We all know the benefits of performing exercise, in whatever form we choose.  It makes us happier, helps with weight loss, good for our muscles and bones, increases our energy levels, reduces risk of chronic diseases, keeps our skin healthy, helps our brain health and memory, and improves our sleep quality.  All very good reasons for doing exercise!

Sometimes whilst we know all that it’s still not enough to get us to actually do it!  In my previous life of being a salaried employee, working long hours in a pressured environment, ensuring I continued with my karate training provided me with many benefits professionally as well as personally.  If my personal wellbeing was healthy, that reflected in my ability to work efficiently and effectively, ensuring I could give my best to the role.

One of the fundamental elements for me has been finding exercise I enjoy doing.  If it becomes a chore you’ll find every conceivable excuse for not doing it, justifying it to yourself so you don’t feel guilty about not going.

How do we know what we’ll enjoy?  We may need to try a few to find which suits.  There are many options available, they all offer something different, and we don’t have to stick to one.  A variety of exercise allows us to exercise different parts of our body, keeping us physically and mentally alert and flexible.

My own enjoyment of exercise has mainly been in the physical presence of others.   I was a member of many school teams, karate training in a dojo with others, aerobics, swimming, tennis, all participation sports and involved me exercising in some form with other people.  The introduction of the internet has meant that where I used to travel to a physical location, I now perform exercise in the comfort, and privacy, of my own home.

This has benefits, no travelling time, turning my video off means I can exercise in my own space without fear of being judged or compared, if I can’t make the live session then I can use the catch up service when convenient.

There are benefits to exercising in a physical location as well.  Training alongside others pushes us to work harder, well it does me!  Camaraderie, when I’m having a bad day and really cannot get my energy together, my training buddies will encourage me to work harder and push through those barriers.  Having direct interaction with my Sensei or leader of the session, allows me to ask questions much easier, and is often quicker in a face-to-face conversation.

So, find what classes are available to you, go along and try a few, and gain all the benefits of exercise whilst having fun.

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