Today's Episode

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Hi, how are you doing? And thank you so much for being here in my latest podcast episode where I am going to be chatting to you about overcoming the time barrier to exercise, overcoming the time barrier, which is the biggest, the biggest barrier that I see when it comes to women getting fit and having time as a barrier to exercise is only prolonging the pain.

So I really want to delve into overcoming the time barrier, sharing with you practical tips in this episode so that you can overcome that barrier, which is time having no time feeling too busy, always missing and skipping workouts because you feel you have no time, which is really, really frustrating. I hope you're keeping really well. I had a lovely weekend over the weekend myself and Joe went on a date night, we got the babysitter in at 4 p.m. and she came, we, we came back at 9 p.m. So we let the babysitter go at nine pm. So we went out into Galway City from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and it was absolutely brilliant.

Went to Milano's had a pizza, had a hot chocolate afterwards and I must say it was an absolute game changer, not going out late, not sitting in a really busy noisy restaurant. And for those of you that have been following my podcast for a while, you know that I don't drink alcohol anymore. And God, even if you do drink alcohol, I couldn't recommend it enough out at four home at nine, you have a lovely evening out with your partner or your husband and I, we still got home in time for treat night on the couch and an hour of Netflix. It was just amazing. Also, this weekend, I really started practicing, feeling relaxed in my body.

So not just feeling relaxed in my mind and making like a conscious effort to be more relaxed in my mind, but actually becoming really aware of my body and becoming really aware of when I hold tension and just checking in with myself, you must give it a go. It's really working for me just checking in with my body 10 times a day, every hour, something like that. And just thinking, I just think, how do I feel right now? How's my body feeling? And nine times out of 10, it's feeling really tense and I just relax the shoulders and I take deep breaths longer out on the exhale. And I really start to feel peace and calm in my body. And then the tension leaves my body and I feel really peaceful and calm.

The reason that I'm doing this and I'm going to get on to the podcast episode in a second is because over the past couple of years, you know, with the thrive times that we do in the thrive coaching, we, we're very focused on calming the mind and I um understanding that you can have a calm mind. However, if you've been through big periods of stress and anxiety, your body doesn't change. I mean, your body is still locked in that default chemistry that it has of being like tight and tense. Even though the stress and anxious period might have gone for you, your default in your body might still be that you're holding on to this tension and stress that you don't need to anymore. And when I first started to understand this, my mind was blown. I thought it was so interesting that you train your body to feel a certain way.

And since I've kind of tapped into this. I've really noticed. Yeah, I've definitely trained my body to be anxious and stressed and tight. So it's, it's really interesting. I highly recommend it just every so often throughout the day, check in with your body. And God, if you're anything like me, you'll notice that even though you might have been having a lovely chat with your friend, you're really tight. Your body is tight and tense. So just take about four breaths in and out and remember to always go longer on the exhale and that's you triggering signaling to the brain that you're safe and you're not under any threat.

And then just notice the tension in your body and let it go. It's absolutely remarkable and I couldn't recommend it enough and it's really, really working for me. My goal is to have my body become really relaxed and let that be my default, not the stress and anxious me. Um So let's get stuck straight in the reason I want to chat with you about the time barrier in today's podcast episode is because it is the most common one and the one I come across the most. So I figure that if I can help you, you with the time barrier and help you overcome, um overcome this, that you are going to be much more likely to show up to your workouts. And I do understand women over 40 were so busy. We've got family responsibilities work commitments.

There's so much time um, that we give over to other things that I could completely understand that trying to fit in a workout is it can feel absolutely impossible sometimes, but it's not impossible. So I want to share with you a few tips and you know what, you might take away one tip from this and go. Yeah. Ok. That's a complete game changer. And I'm going to go and do that and remember what the reason behind all this, like why you want to break down the barriers to go and work out. And it's because exercising is really, really good for you. And I think we can forget to talk about that. Sometimes exercise can feel a little bit like a chore or it can feel a little bit like the negative part of your day.

If you have the mindset where you just work out to lose weight, it can feel like just a really horrible negative thing that's added on to all the other stuff you have to do in the day. So I just want to take this little time to remind you that exercising, especially if you're a woman over 40 is just amazing for your physical health, for your physical health. In terms of your heart, your lungs, your cardio fitness, your strength for picking things up off the floor, for sitting down on a chair and getting up off a chair for carrying shopping bags, for getting into the car for being able to be mobile and independent and flexible and fit for as long as you are healthy. It's absolutely terrific.

For your lean muscle mass, you build muscle, which helps you burn fat at rest. You get a high metabolism, you get strong bones, which means you can prevent osteoporosis. And if you do have osteoporosis, it can help you manage osteoporosis, which is terrific. It helps increase your bone density. It helps improve your muscles, making your joints and your muscles stronger. It's terrific for your mental well-being. You feel more calm, that's been scientifically proven, more productive, more in control, you feel better able to manage stress, it reduces stress. It helps you feel calm and it gives you so much more energy. You go from feeling extremely sluggish or tired to feeling better and having more energy so that you can go and live your life and feel happier in your life. And exercise can also really help you feel really good in your clothes along with healthy nutrition and all the other stuff that goes alongside of that.

So, neglecting exercise is just awful because you're not taking care of your health. You can get sluggish tired, you can get a low metabolism, you're not taking care of your bones or your health and it's not good for your mental health to not be exercising. So you're just not getting those wonderful benefits every week consistently from exercise. Exercise is the best thing in the world, in my opinion, it is the number one healthy action step you can take. And the reason I think that is because I know from personal experience that when you work out, you are much more likely to make better choices in all the other areas of your life.

You're more inclined to go to bed at a reasonable time to eat, healthier, make better food choices. You're much more inclined to have more energy, which is going to help you get up in the morning. You're definitely going to see things much more so from a glass half full, rather than a glass half empty, which can really help the overall quality of your life. So when you neglect exercise, you're neglecting so many things. So if you and me are in agreement that exercise can do all those wonderful benefits, then the next step is to figure out what's getting in the way between you and exercise. And I know from chatting to my clients from chatting to you guys on my D MS and Instagram from your comments underneath my videos.

That time is probably the number one barrier. So let's get stuck in and I want to share with you simple tips. And my first tip or step is to, first of all, first of all, get real about your, your time management and how to prioritize and schedule your exercise into your daily routine. And I say this often, but the number one key to success with exercise is to be really organized and really planned. So, my first tip for you is to get out your calendar right now. Maybe not. If you're driving and take a look at your week and ask yourself when can you exercise? And sometimes when I ask people this, their very first reaction is to get really negative. And I understand that that's what I do sometimes too. I feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

And I think, oh, well, actually there's nowhere. However, if you've, if you've come to the decision, that exercise is really good for you and it improves the quality of your life and you know, that you need to make exercise a non-negotiable, then let's not come up with problems, let's come up with solutions. And I want you to look at your calendar and tell me where you can fit in 3 30 minute workouts. And I want to get, I want you to get really real with yourself and ask you like, when are the best times that you can actually get it done with no distractions? So, pretty much the concept of me time you time, when are the three times in the week that you can get 30 minutes of exercise done.

Take a look at your calendar, write down the days and write down the times and this can actually be a little bit more tricky for those of you that can actually work out at any time during the day, I often find that if you have the luxury of being able to work out at any time, then you can sometimes be the ones who slip up the most because what happens is you just kick it down the road all day long. See I can do it after lunch and lunch rolls by and you'll say I'll do it after dinner and you're in this constant state of being able to do it any time you want. So therefore you don't get it done at all. So my very first tip is to get super clear and super strict with yourself and write down as non negotiables the exact days and the exact times you are going to work out. My second tip is to do short effective workouts.

If you're a woman over 40 you are going to have all the boxes ticked. You're going to be a 10 out of 10. If you do full body strength workouts three times a week for 30 minutes, you can get super fit, feel amazing, feel terrific in your clothes. Get really fit in 90 minutes a week. That's 3 30 minutes cardio, leave that to the fresh air walks. You get as a woman over 40 you need to be doing strength training. It's strength training. That does exactly what I described at the beginning of this podcast episode gives you a good, strong heart, lean muscle mass, a high metabolism stronger bones, increased bone density, your metabolism goes high, you burn more fat at rest, you get fit, you get strong, it increases your mobility. It ticks all the boxes, it ticks all the boxes from doing strength training three times a week.

The terrific news is if you do full body workouts in those 30 minutes, you only need to do three of those workouts every week to get into great shape. You don't need to do anything more, anything more aside from go and get some fresh air and to stretch, stretch out the legs or a little bit of a walk. So that's my second tip. You don't need to be spending hours on the treadmill. You don't need to be doing gym workouts where you're rotating the machines. You don't need to be doing boot camp classes or circuit training.

You don't even need to go to the gym. My program, my thrive coaching program. You can go to jessicacooke.ie/coaching to see if there's a space available. It's all online. You can literally get up, walk to your computer and start your workout. You don't need to be doing, pounding the pavements for hours on end. Strength training is where it's at. It's where you're going to get the results. And the beauty is that it only takes 30 minutes. My third tip is to have your workout gear ready to go the night before your, your workout gear. Your clothes, your bottle of water and have your room set up. So you, so you're good to go whether or not you're doing your workout in the morning or whether you're doing it later on having your workout gear and your room set up is going to help you so much. So you have your workouts in your calendar.

You have the days, the times, you know, you work when you're working out the night before you set out your workout gear. And I like to put nice workout gear on these days. It helps me enjoy my work out more. I can get more into it and enjoy it more. And you're going to have your room organized now for you, that might just mean pulling out your step and your set of weights. My next tip if you're doing the workout in the morning time, have your alarm clock set 10 minutes before you have to go and do your workout. Get up, drink a cup of coffee and get straight into the workout. No faffing around, no cleaning the house. No checking your work emails. All of that stuff is going to distract you or potentially stress you out and when you get stressed out, you're much less likely to go and do your workout.

If you go and check your work out, your, your work emails and you see a really negative email there. What are the chances of you going and getting your workout in it is so slim, whatever you can do to keep your phone on airplane mode until you get your workout in. I promise you, you are much more inclined to go and get your workout in, get a cup of coffee into you as well. It can really help, get you fired up for your workout. If you're not doing your work out in the morning time, set an alarm on your phone for 10 minutes before you go and do your workout so that you're not thinking about it all day. And this is some people find this. So off putting and I don't blame it, blame them. I used to find it. So off putting you have your workout scheduled for after work, which for example, let's say you say you're going to work out at 6 p.m. and you think about it all day. So you're turning a 30 minute workout into a six hour workout.

You're thinking of it for 5.5 hours and you're going and doing it for 30 minutes and your workout has occupied your brain all day. Now, I don't know about you but anything that occupies my brain all day, I don't want to do it anymore. So a way that I have found to get around, this is to set an alarm on my phone for 10 minutes before my workout is due. And every time the thought pops into my head about my workout, I say stop I'm compartmentalizing you and I have my alarm and when my alarm goes off, I get up, I have my coffee or whatever time it is glass of water and I go in, get my workout done and no bullshit.

Your days, your times you have an alarm on your phone, you go and do the work out whether or not you're in a bad mood, whether you're feeling cranky, another game changer for me was really realizing that you can go and do things in a bad mood. I used to think, I used to think the whole time that if I didn't want to do something, it meant that I shouldn't. And like, no wonder I was so inconsistent and overweight for so long. Of course, who is in the mood to ever go and do a workout there? Is that like 5% where all the stars are aligned, you know, those 5% of workouts that we sometimes have when you have loads of energy, you have energy to burn and you just want to go and get a workout in.

And that's rare. I would say that happens to me like four times in a year. So the rest of the time if you, if you kind of say to yourself. Yeah, I'm cranky. So what go and do your workout? Yeah, I'm tired. So what go and do your workout, you can do a slow workout, a faster workout. You can do a workout with very little weights with heavier weights. Adapt as you go. And my favorite motto is win your session, win every workout at the end of every workout, you want to feel really good. So if you've arrived into a workout, really cranky and really tired and fed up and you do a workout really slowly because you're so knackered, you'll feel amazing afterwards because you'll have won your session. However, if you go into a workout and you're absolutely knackered and you push it, push it, push it really hard, you're going to feel like shit at the end of your workout.

So win every session, adapt and ebb and flow like the tide in every workout and remember that it's OK to turn up to a workout, cranky and not in the mood. I promise you by the end of the workout, you're going to feel an awful lot better. OK. So let's move on a creative and supportive. Uh creating a supportive environment is really important to helping overcome the time barriers to, to exercise. And what do I mean by that? First of all, I find visuals really, really helpful. I love to have a calendar on my wall in my home office where I can see the things that I need to get done. And the exact times I also have a vision board with my action steps that I love to complete every week.

Now, I love to have my non negotiables up there And for me, some of my non negotiables are to drink water, to exercise, to get fresh air and to do 10 minutes of, of meditation, of thrive time. And I have the days and the time. So CRE creating a supportive environment can really help with overcoming your time barrier. It's all well and good to listen to this podcast episode, get really motivated and fired up. But as with everything and as with all of us after a while, you forget why you're working out and the motivation goes and all of a sudden you start to skip workouts and you start to forget all the stuff that you've remembered while listening to this podcast episode. This happens to me all the time and that's the reason why I have started making visuals of the stuff that I want to be reminded of.

So you're not just saying, OK, yeah, Jessica, you're, you know, I, I I'm in that category, time is a big barrier to me. So I'm going to make all these little changes, get to my sessions and then you forget what all the little changes are. So make sure you've got a supportive environment by putting up some visuals on your board. Maybe for you, you're going to put up when you work out the days and times and why you work out and that will really help you not lose sight of when and why you're exercising, having an accountability buddy or being in a program or a group can be really, really helpful, seeing and hearing from other members that are struggling can be really motivating because as women, I, I do feel we have a tendency to presume that everybody's doing really well and we're the only people not doing well.

I see that so often. I do it myself all the time and when you're in a group or you have an accountability group or partner or buddy, it's really lovely to check in sometimes and just go God. It's really difficult to fit everything in, isn't it? And they Yeah. Oh my God. I have the same issues. I have the same struggles. Well, look, this is what's working for me at the moment. It's just so motivating to be in it with a group of people. It's just absolutely terrific whether that's a workout buddy, your family or an online community on top of your visuals, having a supportive group of people to help you when you're not feeling at your best and you're struggling to create time for yourself to go and get your exercise is really, really powerful, really powerful.

The next tip I want to give you is about the mental barriers, things like a lack of motivation, self doubt and that all or nothing mindset that can sometimes creep in and perfectionism can sometimes we can sometimes feel that it's time. It's our problem when actually, if we were to look at it sometimes it's not that we don't have enough time. It's that well, actually, we're not able to do everything that we want to do this week. So because of that, we slip into that all or nothing mentality where we're doing either everything really well or we do nothing at all. There's no middle ground. So really digging deep and figuring out what's actually the real reason that I'm not showing up here. And for me, I can really relate with my podcast episodes when I was really inconsistent with them, I used to think that some of that was that I really struggled with time. And then I realized, well, hang on a second.

If I'm really struggling for time, why am I doing everything else other than these podcast episodes? Why am I like cleaning the table around the microphone? And then I realized I was scared because I thought I was afraid of showing up to the podcast episodes and afraid of not being good enough and afraid of not being able to deliver a really terrific podcast episode where I get to help you. So when you look back on the episodes, when I first started my podcast, I was really inconsistent. I do one a week for a while and then there'd be a gap and maybe I do another one. However, I had thought initially that time was my issue. So digging deep into your actual barriers can be really, really good and the way to do. This is through reflection. Reflection is just legendary and something that is helping me design and change my life so much. It can be as simple as you sitting in the back garden with a cup of tea and a journal and asking yourself what you're struggling with and why are you struggling with this?

And then your first answer might be time for example. And then you ask yourself again, why am I really struggling? And if you just keep going a few times with the wise, a bigger deeper answer is going to come out. And before you know it, I promise you, you'll realize that you may have been afraid of turning up because you might not have felt fit enough, good enough, you might find it too difficult. Um You're afraid of not being good that you can't get in three workouts. So what's the point in doing one? And there's always a point? So listen to yourself and make a mental note of the barriers, the mental barriers that are coming up, the mental hurdles that are coming up and ask yourself, is this a time issue or is it a self doubt issue? Is it a time issue or is it a perceived inadequacy issue?

And start from there, focus on building a positive mindset on building self confidence and reminding yourself that imperfect action is better than zero action, imperfect action is better than zero action. And that sentence has helped me really grow my business, my personal life over the past year when I committed to taking imperfect action and learning on the job, I came to a crossroads there recently enough. And I was like Jessica, you can continue to not do new things which, which means to everybody looking in, it means to doing nothing or you can learn as you go and continue to take imperfect action and be OK with learning as you go and failing and embracing all the stuff that comes with, with getting fit or with growing or with building.

And once you kind of get over that hurdle and decide and commit to taking imperfect action, it sounds like a cliche, but the journey becomes really enjoyable and you start to grow in confidence because you start to become really proud of yourself because you've written down that you want to do three workouts per week and you've written down your days and times and three months have gone by and you've realized that not one week has gone by where you haven't worked out. Yes, there's been a week where you might have got one workout in or two workouts in because life is gonna go throw curveballs.

However, you're so proud of yourself because you're consistent and you have overcome your time barriers and you have put in proper action steps that help you with those time barriers and when time hasn't been an issue, but you've thought it has you've delved deeper into your soul to figure out what's really going on and it just helps with confidence building so, so so much. And once you start to show up to yourself con consistently, once you start to work out consistently, and you start to get all the amazing results that working out consistently does for you, everything changes, your confidence improves you want to then start taking on more action steps like focusing on maybe for you, it's healthy, eating your night time, your morning routine, your mental health and all of a sudden you've changed your life, you've turned into your avatar, the person that you've wanted to become all of a sudden, you are that person and my last tip is, and I hear people say this a lot. It's like when they're consistent, they say, well, I hope I can keep this up and you know what? There's no hope about it. Just keep it up and remind yourself imperfect action. Don't try and don't say the word, I'll try.

Every time you hear yourself say, I'll try say no, I'll commit, committing to something is completely different to trying something out. Committing means you're never going to give up until you're consistent. And that might mean embracing the weeks where you still haven't figured it out yet, you still haven't shown up to your workouts, however you're committed, trying is you're going to attempt it. And if you fail, you're gonna stop, you're just going to try. So, really watch how often you say you'll try something. And what I do is when I hear myself say it, I stop and I say actually, if it's not, if it means that much to me and I'm serious about it, I'm not gonna try, I'm gonna commit. And it's funny what will happen is because with some things you'll be like, oh, actually that's why I said I'll try because I'm not actually really committed.

But with the stuff you want to be committed to, you will say I commit to that and embrace the setbacks, the failures, the challenges. I'm chatting to you right now and you and me, you know, we, we're coming up with ideas, we're over, we're gonna overcome the time barrier. That doesn't mean that tomorrow morning you're going to wake up and all is going to be fixed. You need to give yourself time if you are inconsistent with your exercise now and you want to become consistent with your exercise. Give yourself six weeks to become consistent that six weeks of being consistent mightn't start tomorrow. But you give yourself six weeks to then start to become consistent. Give yourself time, take the pressure off.

If you're anything like me, you've spent far too long being negative and hard on yourself now is the time to love ourselves and to be kind to ourselves and compassionate to ourselves. Well, I hope you enjoyed this podcast episode on overcoming the time barrier to exercise. I hope you have a really, really wonderful day. Um You can check and see if there are spots open in my thrive coaching program. If you need the support or want the support or want to join my thrive coaching program, you can go to Jessica Cook dot IE forward slash coaching and if there's a waitlist on, you can get your name there. Um I hope you have a wonderful day. It was really, really lovely chatting to you all my love. Have a great day. And if you enjoyed this podcast episode, I would love for you to share it with a friend or to write a review. Thank you so much and take care.

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