We all have them and we often have long back-stories to justify them, but excuses are not only a waste of time, they are often detrimental to living a healthy lifestyle. “I work too many hours,” “My commute takes up my day,” “I’d rather spend the time and money at home with my family.”
I’ve heard them all and each is valid. To a point.
There are varying degrees of commitment you can have in your focus to being healthy, and setting schedules, routines and goals is über important. Especially when it comes to health, more specifically, exercise.
Ewwww, that dreaded word that conjures images of sweaty, juiced-up gym rats grunting in the mirror. Maybe its the long lines of drones waiting to use the elliptical with the nine to five, after work crowd. Perhaps the mere thought of getting home, walking through the door and finding the motivation to walk back out and hit the gym is defeatist in itself.
By taking a step backwards and simply seeing how you can schedule some form of exercise may be all that you need. There are many differing opinions on the amount and type of exercise each individual needs for optimal health and for their body type, but we, at Naturally Fortified, suggest that 45 minutes at least three times a week (45×3) is a good start for our clients who are not making exercise a top priority. Specifically, that is just 135 minutes out of 10,080 minutes in a week or 1.3 percent of your precious time. No more excuses.
You schedule time in your busy week for post-work or even lunch meetings. You schedule time for a multitude of weekend events. You may even schedule time for the Realness of Housewives or whatever is in queue on your DVR. The point is if you are not getting some form of sweat-on 45×3, you are probably full of excuses and lacking the motivation to get it done.
I am not a certified personal trainer but as a Holistic Health Coach I do know this: You cannot be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle by just eating great and not exercising in a way that is appropriate for your body type.**
Let us touch on a few ways to get the pump primed and get your inner warrior ready to fight the battle towards total health:
Hire someone. For the unmotivated or extremely busy the most effective way to make sure you are getting 45×3 is to find someone to help facilitate getting your butt to the gym. A health coach or a personal trainer can both be the motivating force that gets you there!
Simple text messages to my clients often remind them that now is the time they have scheduled and dedicated to workout. Even if the messages are inspiring words of affirmation, or perhaps a bit more tough and the point, having yourself accountable to someone else can often do the trick. I like to think of these text reminders as the angel (me) and devil (TV) whispering into your ear to get you back onto your path to total health.
Personal trainers also come in many forms and often specialize in body types, workout styles, and again, various forms of motivation. Some clients respond well to the in-your-face shouting to “PUSH UP THAT FINAL REP, WUSS!” while others enjoy the steady encouragement that many successful trainers use.
John Kinnemann, a personal trainer at JDK Fitness, tells us: “To help motivate them to start an exercise program, set personal goals for weight loss if that’s what they need and educate them on the importance of a healthy active lifestyle.” Goals are the key here. Having benchmarks with your personal trainer or health coach can help to motivate you to keep up with your workout regimen. Again, this goes back to accountability to yourself and with someone else.
He also notes, “In my experience, usually a busy or unmotivated client is not a client at all. Meaning they don’t sign up or if they do they don’t stick with it.” Commitment is important with exercise. Especially at the beginning. No more excuses.
Home gym. Poof! No more excuses. There is the treadmill. Timer is set for 45 minutes. GO! Oh wait, first you have to remove all of the dry cleaning and stacks of mags off it first.
We have all had the experience of someone in our lives buying an expensive or bulky piece of equipment that merely collects dust and acts as a catch-all (I just may know of a Gold’s Gym bench and weight rack that is looking for a new home…). The home workout situation takes a lot of dedication but is a good option for those big commuters and young mothers who feel they can barely eke-out the minimum 45×3.
Situate the treadmill in front of the boob-tube and work up a good sweat while you catch up on your dailies. Grab your tablet and plow through a few chapters of that soft-core porn “novel.” A simple medicine ball, yoga mat and a jump rope can turn any space into a perfectly adequate home workout facility with the right guidance. No more excuses.
Make appointments. You schedule everything else in your hectic life and your health is more important than all of it, not only for you but your loved ones too. A study published in the Lancet and reported by WebMD stated, “If the minimum amount of exercise we suggest is adhered to, mortality from heart disease, diabetes and cancer could be reduced.” We know that exercise paired with a healthy diet is the key to a lower mortality.
Literally, right now, pull out your smartphone (unless you are on it — touché). I mean it. Right now, pull it out and set your alarm to go off tomorrow for when you are going to need the motivation to start 45×3 and like all the other appointments you have, make sure you do it. This will work. It always does. The question is how do you keep the motivation going. The key, again is accountability to and with yourself.
We often talk about Holistic Sundays at Naturally Fortified with our clients. These are something we designed as one day a week set-aside for gearing you and your family up for the week by cooking healthy meals for the week, maybe spending time at service or our favorite: Healthy Sunday Dinner with family and friends.
This is also a great day to make a scheduled an early afternoon “appointment” with yourself, partner, friend or family to get a group sweat on. Take a brisk walk for 45 minutes to a neighborhood you have never explored. Get a group and hit the park for sunrise yoga. Hop on your bikes for a challenging lakefront ride to the museum campus. Most importantly, use this day to think “outside-the-gym” and knock out one third of your 45×3. No more excuses!
**Please remember to always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise program.
In the spirit of a post Market Days detox, Naturally Fortified is growing its Refresher Course to two separate courses: Group Chia on Aug. 12th, 19th and 26th at noon. Group Quinoa on Aug. 19th, 26th and Sept. 2nd at 1 p.m. All groups meet at Urban Orchard (with member’s discounts for day-of purchases at Urban Orchard) and include meal plans, recipes, shopping guides, guest lecturers and personal trainers for exercise advice and offering one-on-one first time training or consultation. Raw food specialists will be on hand for advice for week three! The cost of the 3 week program is $99 per person. A 25% discount for groups of five or more and Cheetah GYMS members. Get healthy, get involved, and get yourself back onto your path to total health! Private message Chip Allman to get signed-up. Mention this article and Chicago Phoenix for a special discount!