Robert Gardner, Ph.D., LPC

One common reason people give for not getting enough exercise is they don’t have time to do it. In our busy lifestyle, it can be a challenge to find time for regular exercise. You may identify with a shortage of time and how that impacts your ability to get regular exercise. Like so many people, you may have good intentions and plan on going to the gym or getting in a run; however, something happens during the day that keeps you from adhering to your plan. That is why it is important to consider taking a different approach that affords you greater flexibility with when and how much you exercise as well as the type of exercise you chose to do.
yoga
One way to build flexibility into your exercise routine involves using an “exercise menu.” This approach enables you to exercise everyday even when your day does not go as planned. Here’s how the exercise menu works:

  • As your day unfolds, determine how much time you have to devote to exercising
  • Based on the amount of time you can exercise, chose an activity from your Exercise Menu
  • It is recommended you vary the exercises you chose to do from one day to the next—this approach helps you focus on different muscle groups while keeping you motivated

When considering your own exercise menu, be aware of any limitations and obstacles that you must take into account in order for your menu to be “doable.” In other words, be realistic with yourself and include only those exercise activities you are able and willing to perform.


Example of an Exercise Menu

Available Time Type of Exercise
10 minutes
15-20 minutes
30 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour
90 minutes
2 hours
Perform planks while watching TV to strengthen abdominal muscles
Stretching routine at 6:30 in the morning
Walk around the block in the morning at a leisurely pace
Walk around the block after work with a neighbor at a brisk pace
Jog at Audubon Park after work at a moderate pace
Attend 5:30 p.m. yoga class on Wed. at Wild Lotus Yoga Studio
Attend a Pilates class at 9:00 a.m. on Sat. at Stone Creek Club
15-mile bike ride on river levee beginning at Audubon Park
Weekend 25-mile bike ride with cycling club that meets at City Park

 


Create Your Exercise Menu

Consider your daily schedule and create a menu that provides you with a variety of activities you enjoy and can realistically accomplish given the time you have available for exercise. Remember to be realistic with the types of exercise you choose to include on your menu and the length of time you propose exercising. If it’s not realistic, you likely won’t do it.

My Exercise Menu

Available Time
10 minutes
10 minutes
15 minutes
15 minutes
20 minutes
20 minutes
30 minutes
30 minutes
30 minutes
45 minutes
45 minutes
60 minutes
60 minutes
60 minutes
90 minutes
90 minutes
120 minutes
120 minutes
Type of Exercise
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headshotRobert Gardner, Ph.D., LPC is Director of Psychosocial Oncology at Touro Infirmary and administers all aspects of Touro’s Supportive Cancer Care Center. Dr. Gardner earned his Ph.D.. from the University of New Orleans in 2008. He completed his Internship at Tulane Cancer Center in 2005, where he also served as Clinical Mental Health Counselor from 2006 – 2008. Dr. Gardner is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Louisiana.

>> Click here for details on Dr. Gardner and the Supportive Cancer Care Center at Touro.

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