My answer is that I haven’t felt like there were enough hours in the day to get the recommended amount of exercise since college, whether I’ve had a full-time job or not. When I had a full-time job in a corporate environment, I tried working out in the morning, but although I felt like I had a ton of time in the evening when I did that since I didn’t have to work out after getting home, I was always too exhuasted to do anything in the evening. Plus, my peak performance is usually after work rather than just after getting up. So I usually preferred exercising in the evening. That was when I was still doing marathons about once a year (okay, so I’ve only done 3, so that was for 3 years, but I’ve always been an exercise-aholic). So my schedule usually looked like this:
6:30 a.m. - get up
8:30 a.m. - 5:30 or 6 - work
6:30 or 7 - 8 or 8:30 (depending upon where I was in the program), run
9:00 - eat dinner
That was my schedule about 4 times a week during the weekdays alone, and does not include the long runs (often up to 4-hours of running) each Saturday. Then there’s the recommended weight training, then you’re sore, so you have to take time to do appropriate stretching, blah, blah blah.
I no longer have a traditional full-time job. Instead, I own my own company, so my once 9 - 5, Monday through Friday (or thereabouts) job is now more of a 7 - 7 job, and I usually work at least 3-4 hours on Saturday or Sunday, sometimes both. I still work out about one hour four times a week, and try to fit in time for weight training and stuff like yoga, but I just don’t have the time or inclination to work out like I used to. My house was a big enough disaster during marathon season when I was working a regular job, plus I want to have time to enjoy life and be with my husband. Not just work, run, eat, sleep, work, run, eat, sleep.
Which is what I think most Americans would do if we were all getting the recommended daily amount of exercise. I think they recently raised it to an hour of aerobic exercise for maximum benefit, and you’re supposed to do it most days of the week. So, most days of the week, you’d be working eight hours, exercising at least one, then for your mental health, many doctors recommend finding time alone to meditate, then there’s the stretching you’re supposed to do everyday, then the weight lifting/strength training you’re supposed to do two to three days a week. Oh, yeah, then there’s the cooking (healthy meals, of course!), then the cleaning, laundry, taking care of the family, etc., etc. I’m not really susprised that most adults feel there aren’t enough hours in the day - with all the crap we’re supposed to be doing to keep healthy, plus trying to keep a job (or run a business), plus take care of our families, and maintain our santiy, there just aren’t enough hours.
Good Lord, I’m stressed now. I need to go to bed.