Lately, I’ve had to work on my health. I say “had” because my doctor told me it’s a must, not a “nice to have.” But, I consider myself a very busy person, and 30-60 minutes of my life dedicated to working out isn’t really something I’m embracing just yet. I hope that changes. In the interim, here’s a way to justify 30 minutes of exercise.
Step Away from the Desk
First, no matter what, get way from your desk. Your laptop and your phone and your everything else that makes up your business world is not likely to inspire you to do something to improve your health. So, let’s step away from your desk. Take your smart phone and/or your iPod.
If your smartphone can absorb podcasts, stick some on there. If not, take your iPod (or whatever), and load up some learning. Have you been watching TED? It’s a series dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” Okay, maybe you have. Learn from PopTech. It’s a TED-like conference for the east coast (Camden, Maine). Need more? Pay attention to Marketing Over Coffee. It’s faster than most marketing podcasts. But whatever you find, learn something. Thirty to 60 minutes of walking briskly is a great way to keep your heart happy. If you couple that with learning something, then you’ve doubled down.
Interviews and meetings take up time. What would happen if every time you’re ready to dial into a conference call, you got out from behind the desk and took a walk? Bring a note pad with you in case there are action items. Walking briskly while someone else pitches you their latest software is a great idea. It gives someone your attention while you get another to-do off your plate, and you exercise.
Clean Your Inbox
If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you might be able to work through your inbox while walking briskly. Maybe I should be polite and tell you to do this while on a track, and not while moving through traffic. You know how you’ll act. But it’s a great way to work your way through some of the messages you’ve yet to respond to, and that’ll be a way to justify some time to work out and get some walking done.
Just a Start
Walking briskly for 30 minutes is a great start. Eventually, you’ll want to add other things to that fitness effort. But if nothing else, this is a way to guarantee your lack of excuses to do what you need to do to ensure your health. I don’t know that you can ride your mountain bike and absorb an audiobook, but by then, you’ll have made exercise a habit and you won’t need a flimsy excuse like emptying your inbox. Right?
Chris Brogan is president of Human Business Works, an online education and community company. He blogs regularly at chrisbrogan.com. If you email him, he’ll probably write back while out on a walk.