This is a blog about time and the perception of how long things take. I can bang on about this for a while, but bear with me.
Let’s start by taking a physio consultation. Normally, at the end (or even part way through) we start talking about exercise prescription and what the patient needs to do in order to get better. Physios are kind of unique in that we don’t tend to have a pill to prescribe, it is normally strength work or movement, or some such thing.
In comparison to exercise, pills are easy.
Give someone an antibiotic, tell them to take it 3 times a day and they pretty much will. It only takes 20 seconds to get a glass of water and swallow the pill.
Exercises… well, that takes effort and time.
How many times have we heard that the best thing to do to lower blood pressure and reduce the incidence of Heart Disease is some form of cardiovascular exercise? That some kind of weight training retards muscular decline in ageing? I would suggest quite a few times. How many of us actually engage in the requisite number of minutes?
Who has time to do that? Tcha.
Well, let’s think about it for a moment.
You have 168 hours in a week. No more, no less. In that time you have to eat, sleep, work, commute, play with kids, take them to school, bring them home, slump in a sofa and watch tv. Etc. etc. etc.
Imagine if I said you had to find 1% of your week in order to watch your favourite TV show. Could you do that? – do you already do
that? It is 1.6 hours- 1:40 mins or so. Which, funnily enough is about what the current NICE guidelines say we should be doing as a minimum in terms of cardiovascular exercise.
1% of your week.
1% of your month.
1% of your year.
That really isn’t much – especially if I were to LIMIT you to that time to watch your favourite TV show. You couldn’t even finish the entire boxset of the Office in that time – and Game of Thrones- well, you’d be hard pushed.
So here is a challenge.
Try and find 1% of your week when you can actually get out and walk, or stretch or move or do something active that you wouldn’t normally. It isn’t much – but if you can make a habit of it, that will bring you more health benefits than you can imagine.
And if you can do 1%. How about 2%? It doesn’t seem much, does it?
I was at the local climbing wall the other day. It is on the viewing gallery of the sports hall. In the sports hall were a bunch of pre-school kids running around, through tunnels, in a ball pit, balancing on beams, throwing balls etc. In stark contrast, it seemed like most of the parents were standing on the gallery. Static. Immobile. They had an HOUR to be doing something. Walking up and down the gallery, get a ball, play catch, move about, heck, even use the climbing wall – it is right behind you! No wonder we grow up to be sedentary if that is the example we are setting to our kids.