There are so many things that can get in the way of a successful training regimen for those of us that live busy lives. Which means all of us. Regardless of whether you’re a student, have a busy career, or in my case a stay at home dad with two young boys to care for, each presents it’s own obstacles. Early mornings, late nights, and general fatigue are all symptoms for those of whom have crossed over into the adult realm. I thought I would begin writing a bit more on the challenges that present themselves to us daily, especially when it comes to making fitness a priority every day.
Believe me I understand the various complicating factors, in my case there are two wild boys that I must put before myself, so as the third in line it makes having any kind of personal priority incredibly difficult. Regardless of your situation I’m sure you can relate to this in one way or another. It can and will be done however, even though in my case oftentimes it is sheer will that gets me to the gym. It’s determination that keeps me following and abiding by my diet.
Just like you, I’m not any kind of super special person with an infinite amount of energy. I feel exhausted at least half of the days I drag myself out of bed to walk my dogs and then go to the gym. When you choose to do your exercising or training is key when trying to prioritize your fitness goals. Going early in the morning is one technique I find very effective. In order to make something a priority you’ve got to do it first thing before the day gets away from you.
Let’s face the reality of our modern lives, regardless of what you do with your day, by the end of it you’re probably going to be tired. The likelihood of anyone getting themselves to the gym for a productive and focused training session after a day of meetings, or in my case, chasing two boys around, is slim at best. Why not get at it immediately while you still have the energy? Of course if you are one of those people that can consistently get themselves into the gym at the end of your work day then more power to you. I just know as a morning person it’s best for me to capitalize on my energy while it’s available, and this may work for you as well.
There are also studies whose results suggest that we are much more capable of performing physically at a high level with an uncluttered mind. The more mental work you have done throughout the course of your day, the higher the negative impact on your ability to exercise effectively. So there’s that to consider. I also personally feel that if you can just get up and get yourself to the gym, the rest will take care of itself. When given a full day to contemplate going I will most likely psych myself out and not go at all.
There is also another important benefit to these early am training sessions. You are going to be much less likely to eat off of your diet after having a good training session. I really get down on myself at the thought of having compromised my efforts in the gym that day by eating poorly, and by training first thing I am much less likely to do so as a result. Try it and see for yourself. After a good self inflicted ass kicking, you just won’t put garbage in the tank. Unfortunately I’ve found that the days I’m most likely to get away from my diet are the days I take off from the gym. Maybe the solution is to never have an off day, but I’m not sure that would be a sustainable strategy.
Continuing on with the diet train of thought, and by diet I mean food that is going to allow your body to get what it needs for recuperation as well as health. Now I’m going to say that word that in this blog’s limited lifespan I have uttered so many times: plan. You must have a plan. I know what I’m eating for the entire next day before I go to bed the night before. One useful life lesson I learned from my days of playing in bands is that when it’s time to perform a show, all the thinking has to be removed so you’re free to go on autopilot.
That stage is the microcosm of our insanely busy lives. If we leave options available, we’ll probably choose those options that are to our detriment. I always compared being on stage to a war zone, and I know for a fact that caring for a one and five year old is no less intense. I’m sure a typical workday is the same battle for anyone else. That’s why I don’t leave my eating plan to chance, or instead of that chicken breast and spinach salad I might opt for the perogies my five year old is having. A delicious option, yes. A smart option, no.
Whether you too are a stay at home dad with a priority on fitness, or a member of the working world and would like to make fitness a priority, let’s discuss my at home or at the office exercise regime of what I call body-weight-plus-one exercises. Grab a kid and squat, or press, or twist. If you’re at the office right now and don’t have a child handy, just grab something else that will work as a basic weight to do a few rudimentary exercises to compliment your fitness goals. Try to do a few minutes of exercise every two hours. The positive effects will accumulate as well as help you to stay energized. Almighty science says so if you won’t take my word for it. Don’t worry if you look strange doing it because chances are, those around you have already clued into the fact you’re a little different.
Any of us that take getting fit seriously are living somewhat off of the beaten path, and that’s a good thing. There is a surplus of those in this world that are best described as regular folk, and it’s my experience with those that I have befriended at the gym I attend that being yourself is much more desirable than being like everyone else. So dig a little deeper and get yourself to the gym, or go for a run, and do it once you wake up. Don’t forget to have a menu for the whole day already planned so you don’t succumb to temptation. Good luck with your goals and until next time,