The Labor Day holiday closes out the season of barbecues, lounging by the pool and overindulging during summer vacations. As you embark on a new month and a new fall season, you have an important choice to make. Are you going to jump on the train to a healthy and fit lifestyle or opt for a layover until the New Year’s resolution season rolls around?
September is the month of do-or-die for establishing a fitness routine before the busy holiday season arrives. Don’t miss out on this small window of opportunity to get back into the healthy habits that you may have abandoned during the summer months. It’s time to bust through your excuses and fall back into a routine that will get you the results you want.
Welcome to the “no excuse zone.”
No Time? Make Some.
One of the top excuses personal trainers nationwide hear over and over again about starting a fitness program is lack of time. When clients tell Billy Pratt, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together Avon, that they don’t have enough time in the day to exercise, he offers a simple math equation to help them put their daily schedules into a more realistic perspective.
24 hours in a day minus 8-9 hours of sleeping, leaves 15-16 hours of awake time.
Pratt believes that if you can’t take as little as 30 minutes per day out of a total of 15-16 waking hours doing something good for yourself such as working out, then you aren’t being realistic about the actual total number of hours in a day. Breaking it down even further, 30 minutes is only 1/30 of your total waking time each day. So, even if you have 29 items on your daily to-do list, you still have time to make working out the 30th item on your list.
To make sure that you carve out time and follow through on working out, Pratt has found it helpful to have clients actually schedule their workout times in their smartphones or calendar books. Simply write your name in designated time slots each week. Or, if you feel guilty about taking time out of your day for yourself, you can always put a code name in your calendar such as “Operation Healthy and Fit.”
No Energy? Get Some.
While rest is important for recovering and repairing your mind and body, consistent inactivity can drain your motivation and energy levels. Having no energy can be a vicious cycle because if you wait to start working out until you have enough energy, then it will never happen. What you actually need to energize yourself is to get off the couch, step away from the electronics and get active. You’ll love the results you experience and enjoy the endorphins that are awakened when you physically push your mind and body.
“You just have to start and get the ball rolling because exercising regularly actually will increase your energy levels,” Pratt explains. “I tell my clients that the first result they will see after they start working out with us is increased overall energy.”
No Money? No Problem.
Getting fit doesn’t have to mean joining a big-box gym with expensive introductory and monthly fees. An effective fitness routine can simply mean grabbing a group of friends or family members and doing calisthenics in a park (body weight squats, pushups, dips and lounges) or going for a walk/jog around your neighborhood. Even if you are tight on money, you can be active for free if you just get out and get moving.
If you’re looking for a quick but effective workout routine that can jumpstart your fitness regimen right at home, Sue Teoli, personal trainer and studio owner at Fitness Together New Canaan, suggests starting with a simple set of 10 push-ups, 10 body weight squats, 10 sit-ups and 10 jumping jacks. Take a short break after finishing the set and then do it again, working your way up to completing the set of exercises three to five times.
“You’re working your whole body and you’re getting your heart rate up,” Teoli says. “Squats and pushups are the two mack daddy movements for working your total body.”
Don’t Know Where to Start? There’s No Better Time than the Present.
To get started with a fitness routine that gets results, you need to first find a workout environment that fits your personality. If you are a social butterfly who is motivated by others, then a group workout environment may be your best option. On the other hand, if you are a shy person who prefers to work out alone, then you may enjoy a one-on-one personal training environment. Either way, just find an environment that fits your style and aim for at least 30 minutes, three times per week, of strength training and cardio exercise, suggests Pratt.
“Take into account your overall lifestyle, your stress levels and your personal goals when finding a routine that will help you get the results you want,” Pratt advises.
The time is now to start making time for you and your health. If you put into place the above strategies, you’ll then have a clear path to achieving your fall fitness goals.
So, what's your excuse?