If, like many of us, your New Year’s resolution is to find more time to exercise, you may be in luck. According to a recent study of how Americans typically spend their waking hours, almost all of us have far more leisure time available than we think we do.

But the study shows that few of us use even a portion of that free time for physical activity, raising thought-provoking questions about what really keeps us from exercising and how we might better shape our days to get ourselves moving.

At the moment, about two-thirds of Americans do not meet the standard exercise guidelines of about 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, such as walking. In past studies of exercise behavior, when researchers have asked people why they rarely work out, the almost-invariable response has been that time is too tight. Work, family, school, travel and other obligations seem to gobble up the hours, they said, leaving them feeling unable to sneak in a daily walk or a workout.

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