Let’s talk about…Is ‘time’ the reason to why people do not train?

Aprils fools weather definitely hit home the last couple of days as the weather has switched between sunny blue skies to rain and even snow. Despite enjoying most weather (all you need to do is dress for the occasion right?) I decided to skip my outdoors run today and headed off to gym instead to pay a visit to the treadmill. I used to love running on treadmills a couple of years ago, but I must say that I definitely enjoy outdoors running a lot more these days. Not because I get bored, as I tend to listen to podcasts during indoor runs, but because its just not as much fun. I love the constant ‘forward movement’ that an outdoors run bring, it just does not feel the same on the treadmill. Additionally, I am an outdoorsy kind of lass, and having an hour in the forest rejuvenates not only my body but also my mind. Furthermore, the possibility of bumping into or spotting various wildlife (I am crazy about birds of prey in particular) is also something I thoroughly enjoy. But perhaps the least expected reason is because it is easy, I go outside my door and begin – no bus ride to the gym, no waiting around and no changing of clothes. When I am done in the forest, I go home. No time wasted.

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Because is it not true, that time is the main reason to why many people skip training altogether. As a busy university student, currently balancing three essays due at the end of May, everything seems to be about saving on unnecessary time-consuming activities. I do however believe that most people could find the time to train if it was a part of their everyday schedule and something held high on the list of ‘life priorities’. Additionally, I think whatever effort you put in training-wise, will come back to you as a bundle of extra energy aiding your everyday life, making you even more efficient when you need it the most. As such it is a sad state of affairs to read the latest research on training habits in my home country of Sweden and face the reality that only 10% of the entire population devote time to train. Moreover, half of the Swedish population fit the category of ‘overweight’ and though I realise that the calculations for weight in particular may include people that aren’t inactive or even unfit per se. Let’s ponder on this for a second, by using my boyfriend as an example:

former competitive swimmer – still an avid swimmer, devoted climber and fell walker. He is 167cm tall and weighs in on 73kg, landing on a BMI that equals ‘overweight’. However, when actually investigating his body mass, the numbers tell a different story, 43% muscles and 17% fat. Concluding, whenever analysing statistic evidence, it is important to investigate exactly how these numbers have been measured. Perhaps in this case the numbers of overweight people actually do ‘lie’ and as such include a huge amount of people that actually are fit and healthy.

But even so, the numbers are terrifying in their own right, bluntly identifying some of the problems our  society currently are- and will be battling for years to come. Because when 90% of a population choose to ignore health advice and actively disregard  honouring their bodies and general well being, then it simply has to be about more than only time. In spite of this, I cannot help but wonder how much of this attitude towards training originates from the conception that all training is time-consuming and equals expensive gym memberships or additional props. Though I am not thinking of going into the field of sport psychology, I am still keen on getting a better understanding  of the general lack of interest in training and staying healthy. Because there seem to be a definite gap between the idea of wanting to ‘look’ healthy, and putting in the actual work and being that person.

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