Tips for Balancing Careers and Fitness

It seems that more and more people have less and less free time. The days are chock full of responsibilities, and things slip through the cracks. Priorities like family and work tend to take up most of our time and energy, while fitness often falls by the wayside. We all want to be physically healthy, so how can we make fitness an integral part of our lives?

Bring the Gym to You

For many, the simple fact that they need to go somewhere to work out can be an obstacle. What people don’t consider is that your workouts don’t have to happen at the gym. If you keep missing classes or workout sessions because physically going to the gym is a deterrent — the solution is surprisingly simple. Stop going to the gym! Work the workouts into your everyday routine. Take the stairs at work. Walk the dog an extra two laps around the block. Slip on your sneakers and jog next to the kids while they bike or scooter.

As Jim Smith says, “The first thing to do is forget about the programs that require four, five or six days a week at the gym. They just aren’t necessary (for the general population). It’s entirely possible to train, strengthen and progress in less time than those sorts of programs demand.” Bringing the gym to you eliminates a lot of your potential excuses. Multitasking works…as long as you’re willing to commit.

Time to Commit

Everyone has a hierarchy of needs. People need jobs to provide for themselves. They need quality time with loved ones and downtime to decompress. But they also need to take their health seriously. Fitness is easiest when it’s a habit, and the best way to create a healthy habit is to stick to a routine. You don’t need to be your own drill-sergeant, but it’s important for you place your physical health high up on your hierarchy, because poor physical health will affect everything else.

To Compartmentalize or Multitask

Should you dedicate a block of time to your fitness routine, or work it incrementally into your day? The answer comes down to the type of person you are. Some people like schedules and boundaries. Other people are more spontaneous. Once you define your style it’s easier for you to figure out where fitness fits into your routine. Not mention that it helps your mental state.

Factor in Food

There’s a flipside to fitness that people tend to overlook. Even if you run a marathon, following it up with two boxes of Double Stuff Oreos doesn’t make it a healthy habit. Food and fitness go hand in hand, so don’t forget the importance of healthy eating.

Stay Focused

If you focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you’ll find that working wellness into your schedule isn’t half the battle you thought it was going to be. By taking small steps in the right direction you’ll eventually reach your goals. You don’t have to work out every day. You don’t have to go to the gym every week. You just need to be cognizant of what you do and how it influences your health.

Don’t take it from just me either. John J. Edwards III of the Wall Street Journal says, “Often we deskbound sorts will reason that if we can’t carve out a solid hour for vigorous exertion, we might as well not do anything. But as NPR reported, researcher Toni Yancey of UCLA has found that even a 10-minute break for dancing, marching in place or other low-impact exercise can have salutary benefits.


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