Episode 46: The hidden costs of exercise that eat up your time.

hidden costs of exercise

How much time does working out really take?

You may work out for one hour. However, the process of working out is not just one hour…Why?

Let’s assume that you go to the gym. In that case you need time to:

  1. Pick what you are going to wear and get dressed!
  2. Get to the gym (driving there + parking).
  3. Come back from the gym.
  4. Shower.

Assuming that you play tennis, you need to account for two additional activities:

  1. Coordination time with your tennis partner.
  2. Taking the racquet with you and storing it back when you come home.

All these extra activities eat up your time and make exercise more complex. They are not value adding themselves. Actually working out is the value adding activity.

If we randomly assign 10 min to each one of those tasks, then you may need up to 60 min for hidden cost activities. Assuming you work out for 60 min each time, then you have a 1:1 ration between value adding and hidden cost activities.

You devote 2 hours to physically benefit only from 1 hour.

As you see these activities are the overhead of exercise!

Working out could be as simple as getting up from your chair right now and doing squats.

No coordination time, no overhead, no in advance complex scheduling.

However, that is not the case for most people. So my question is, how could you simplify your workout routines so that:

  • You need to do less extra activities.
  • The remaining extra activities take up less of your time.

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  1. Hey Maria,

    Definitely two hours to exercise one hour or a bit more but what’s the point?

    I can’t run in the office, I need to go to a calm place with no cars and then decide if it is a good spot.

    I thought everyone did it like this…


    1. Hi Sergio!

      Of course, sometimes we need to have hidden costs in order to exercise. However…

      1. Sometimes you can exercise, without having all of the hidden costs. E.g., if you don’t have enough time to find your favorite running spot, you may exercise at home.
      2. You may be able to optimize some of the costs. E.g., run to the gym, instead of driving to he gym, and then spending another 20 min on the treadmill.