Too often I hear clients say that they are not reaching their fitness goals because of lack of time. I say, false. It is usually a combination of laziness , excuses, and a lack of knowledge that keep people from achieving the changes that they want in their body.
I personally believe that balance is the key to a happy life. Coming to the gym and working out shouldn’t be a chore and something you dread. If it is, I guarantee that you are approaching it all the wrong way.
The Common Excuse: I don’t have time for the gym
The answer is you don’t have time to not go to the gym. Life is short, but exercise has been proven to extend the length of your life [CITE:http://news.yahoo.com/study-finds-exercise-increases-life-expectancy-regardless-weight-181000433.html%5D. On top of that, poor health is expensive. The medical cost and lost productivity from obesity are more than what it takes to prevent and cure it [CITE: http://www.georgiahealthnews.com/2012/03/obesity-expensive-problem-video/%5D.
Exercise will make you more energetic. You will have a healthy immune system and the hours you spend in the gym will more than make up for themselves in productivity. There is no price tag on happiness and an increased quality of life.
How much time do I need to spend in the gym?
Often times client tell me that they think they need to come into the gym 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. That’s unnecessary, unless you are training for an Ironman Triathlon (a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 112 mile bike ride, a 26.2 mile run consecutively without a break) which requires dedication of 12-25 hours a week. Most people don’t have such lofty fitness goals. I tell most beginners that the key is slow changes scheduled into your life. Start with 1 hour twice a week and work your way up to 3-5 hours total weekly. Generally, people who start out 6 or 7 days a week make it a month and burn out and I never see them again. A small change you can keep up is better than a drastic change you can’t maintain. Some people workout 7 days a week for an hour or more and see no results. For these people, cutting back on the workouts and upping on the sleep will help them achieve their fitness goals. There is truth in the adage “too much of a good thing.”
Remember it’s all about making fitness part of your “lifestyle”
Where does this time come from?
We take out or cut back on some bad habits. The average American watches 34 hours of television per week in 2010 according to the New York Times [CITE: http://www.tv.com/news/how-much-television-do-you-watch-per-week-24833/]. That’s a good place to start for many people. It will be hard to get through the first month but then you will have more energy and not need or want to veg out on the couch so much.
We devote time to our social life, work, and other activities including things you may not even realize consume a big portion of your day (how many hours do you spend sitting at a computer on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest?). These are the places that you can pull this time from. We have 168 hours in a week and 3-5 hours out of that is not that big of a commitment when you think about the whole picture.
Do you spend every day after work at happy hour? How about making 2 of these after work gym time. You are killing two birds with one stone, less garbage alcohol calories in your diet and a higher activity level.
Does work consume your life? Working out on a lunch break will clear your head, boost your energy, and allow you to be more effective during that second part of the work day. Now you might get everything done and leave work on time for once.
So now you are convinced that you actually do have the time, how do you get started?
With new fitness trends coming out regularly, I am often asked by clients which diet or workout plan they should follow. It is hard to tell someone the perfect ratio of cardio, lifting, and stretching or which fad diet they should be on. It is all based on your personal fitness goals, which also may change with time. You will need to spend the time to figure out the plan that is right for you and one that fits into your lifestyle.
In the end, you are your most powerful motivator. Any way you find to do it, get it done. Period. Today is the first day of that change you have always wanted. Start with just 2 hours a week scheduled in your calendar just like work, miss it for nothing, and slowly find time to get up to 3-5 hours a week. You will live longer, and enjoy your time living more too!
If you need some help to get started stop into a Merritt Athletic Clubs near you. With our results guarantee program you get a consultation with one of our Club Advisors (I’m at Fort Avenue) who are certified personal trainers and experts in helping people learn how to get started achieving their fitness goals. Have a workout on Merritt. Come try any Merritt Athletic Clubs free for one free workout http://www.merrittclubs.com/membership/promotions/1-day-workout-pass.html
Author: David BenMoshe ACSM-CPT,FMS,CES
Club Advisor Merritt Athletic Clubs, Fort Ave
Above content provided by Merritt Athletic Club