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Finding time in the chaos

There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. If you are doing it right, you are sleeping 8 hours a night. There goes 56 of the available hours each week. You probably have a job, and including your daily commute, there goes at least 45 hours a week. You factor in meals, family time (or personal time), self-care (ie, taking a shower and brushing your teeth teeth twice a day), that leaves you with very little time to workout.

You may be training for a 5K or a Half Marathon. You may be trying to lose weight. You may be ready to get healthy and extend your life expectancy to later in the future. Whatever goal you are working towards, you need a training plan. You also need time to execute that plan.

How do you fit in 30 minutes of daily exercise when you can only find gaps of 15 minutes in the day? The answer is shorter, more frequent workouts. A study by the National Institutes of Health ( found that four 10-minute workouts provides the same health benefits as working out for 40 minutes a day. There you go; it's a scientific fact that your excuse of short time gaps is not valid. Next excuse...

How do you fit in a long run when you don't have the time or space to run that far? Again, the answer is divide the run into shorter segments. I read an article in Runner's World ( that discusses this topic and gives the benefits of breaking up your long run. With two run segments, you get a recovery period which allows you to run better on those latter miles. It is recommended that you run at least 60% of your distance in the morning and finish the final 40% in the afternoon or evening. Cha-ching! Now we're making money! Not literally---running is not a cheap sport, but that's a topic for another day.

Life is chaotic, but if you are committed to a training plan with those realistic goals, you can find time to go for a run or a walk or your favorite physical exercise (think strength training, yoga, biking---your choice). Running is best at decreasing common risk factors for early death because running is better at lowering blood pressure, reducing extra body fat, and increasing your overall level of fitness. BUT (all caps for emphasis), if you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk then find a fitness program that meets your level of fitness and your individual capabilities. Push your limits, BELIEVE, and Just TRI!

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