Phoenix Ignition Fitness Company

Fitness By the Fire: Planning a fitness lifestlye around a busy schedule

by Ron Kennedy • February 02, 2017
There is a famous quote that I frequently refer to in regards to wanting to succeed in a fitness lifestyle;” The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Let’s face it… for your average fitness enthusiast, though they mean well and have the best intentions, more often than not the desire doesn’t match the results from lack of planning, knowledge and time. Health and wellness specialist recommend a minimum of 3-4 hours of exercise per week, but the average American typically exercises less than 2 hours per week. It’s such a consistent set back that the fitness industry has launched a full-scale marketing onslaught on time effective training programs to entice the less educated. “21-minute workout, 7 minute abs, even expensive home training equipment that promises the effectiveness of hours in a gym in under 12 minutes! Though the concept and allure of spending 1/10 of the time and garnering the same results is attractive, in truth there is no substitute for dedication and hard work. It takes a minimum of 20 minutes of consistent cardiovascular conditioning just to elevate the rate to burn fat particles. Time and time again when working as a fitness professional I witness 5 minute warm-ups, 10 minute of cardio after a strength training session, or completely skipping the process all together. Needless to say, it makes burning those unwanted fat particles very difficult (if not impossible) in such a short amount of time.

Planning for success within a fitness lifestyle is just as important as proper nutrition, work out gear, or fitness training program. Here are some tactics that you can easily apply to your busy career life:

Pick a workout form that you can do almost anywhere, whether you’re traveling or getting home from the office late. Ideally, this will be a form of exercise that doesn’t require much preparation (maybe save the wind surfing for the weekend) and that accomplishes significant physical gains in a short period. Strength training can be done in any gym, swimming in any pool, and most the areas of the country is conducive for a running program. Pick a focus, and concentrate on the most effective and time efficient way to execute.

One of the most cited reasons to skip a workout goes something like this: “I am just too busy at work today; I can’t make my yoga class.” I am calling you out!! If you unexpectedly had to pick up your child from school and had no back-up plan, how would you deal with the situation? Cancel an internal meeting? Take some work home with you? Do some hard prioritizing? The truth is that when we really need to, we get out of the office at the time that is necessary. Make a schedule (write it down if it helps!), stick to it and remind yourself that working out is a priority worth keeping. When working with personal training clients, I strongly suggest scheduling our appointments at the same time and days every week. So instead of balancing a schedule at the end of every week, week after week, when a client knows they have a session with us Monday at 11:00 am and Thursday at 11:00 am there is no guess work, no confusion, and no excuses.

By now you might be thinking, “I hate running!” (or Hot Yoga that my beautiful girlfriend keeps trying to get me to go to with her) — and that’s okay. We each need to be realistic and to know ourselves. One person’s running is another person’s yoga, weight training or dance. Flexing your self-discipline muscles is often necessary when it comes to exercise, but make it easier on yourself by choosing a form of exercise that fits your lifestyle, personality and taste. Not sure what you love to do? Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of exercise until you find what works best for you. This is also where working with a fitness professional becomes very useful. When you have set goals and a reasonable time-line, a seasoned fitness professional can coordinate a structured and timely exercise regimen around your fitness interests and time flexibility.

You don’t NEED an hour to get a complete and effective workout, though cutting time short typically greatly effects the results. In truth, some exercises is virtually always better than none. Heck, even seven minutes can make a difference (shameless plug)! We can always find a few free minutes in our day (yes, we can!). With an effective program, and done frequently enough, short and speedy workouts can do wonders to both the body and mind. Squeeze in fitness wherever you are and no matter how much time you have with bodyweight exercises or, with the help of apps, pre-programmed short workouts — you can even do some exercises at your desk!