Some people are born with the exercise gene. They’re inclined to stay fit, and find time to move their bodies no matter what circumstances show up in their lives. These are often the ones who set the alarm clock super early to get their run in before work. Or they’re at the last spin, clinching their ride before the day is done.
Then there are the people who don’t feel the urge to exercise — they know it’s healthy, and would like to do it, but a busy schedule makes it too difficult to fit in. Waking up early isn’t do-able and an evening class will never happen after a full day of depleting energy.
While I totally understand how exercise can get neglected, it’s in my DNA — so it’s part of who I am. When I don’t get my workout in — whether it’s a run, a bike ride or yoga (which does count as exercise) I get cranky, especially if it goes more than two days.
Not to throw him under the bus, but DH — he doesn’t have the exercise gene. He likes the idea of working out, and the results it can bring, but he has little time for it. With a full time gig, and as an involved dad, his hours are limited to spend at the gym. In the summer, when our schedules lighten up he’s been known to hit the East River for a run semi-regularly. I see the effects when he’s in exercise mode –he feels more positive, and is encouraged to keep at it. But once the schedule tightens up, the first thing to go is his run.
For someone who has the DNA of exercise, they find the time to workout no matter what — they build it into their schedule.
I’m freelance, so I never had to deal with fitting my fitness into a 40 hour work week at the office. I’ve always had the luxury of taking a 12pm class — if I so choose. (I actually prefer to get it in and over-with first thing.) But I do work, and it can get really hectic around here with work, kids and household stuff. And this is when exercise matters the most. When my stress levels rise, I rely on my workout to keep me sane.
If I have a shoot that starts at 7am and goes until 7pm — okay, I admit, it’s tough to find time to exercise. When this happens, I’m back in class the first day my schedule relaxes. I recently worked on a job with a woman who clearly has the exercise gene — our start time was 7am, and she would show up freshly showered with her workout behind her. She was hitting the gym at 5am! Thankfully, I don’t work 12 hours a day, every day. And honestly, I don’t know how anyone who works 12 hours a day, every day, has time for anything other than work. But this woman (who was easily working 12 hours a day) showed me — nothing can come between her and her exercise…she built it into her schedule, even if it meant a 5am start.
Someone like DH, who doesn’t have the DNA of exercise has to work twice as hard to fit it in. It’s kind of an uphill battle that requires a lot of strength and support. We’re figuring out some adjustments in our schedule so he can get back to his runs sooner than summer. For someone else — this may be the perfect opportunity to workout at home — either streaming an online class, or with a DVD.
Most of our lives are already full with little time to add something else. But once you start building exercise into your schedule, you won’t want to leave it out — whether you’ve got the gene or not.
Do you have exercise in you DNA?