Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
I often tell clients to choose a workout and program that is balanced, realistic and that they can maintain long term. Anything too extreme will cause burn out and sets us up for failure.
Long term also means keeping in mind that as life changes so do we, and so may our routine. At different phases of life we may have to get creative to design the right program for each phase of life we are in. At times we may be able to devote several hours a week to activities and other times in life we may only have thirty or ten minutes a day.Family, responsibilities, career, travel, and health are factors that come into play when designing the right program, and re-evaluating of our current program is right for us.
How to design the right program?
- Know your current situation.
- Be honest with yourself.
- Take action!
Why do you want to workout? What’s your mantra?
Appearance, mental health, physical health, physical rehab, pre and post surgery, sports specific strengthening? Name the reason-write it out. What drives you to workout and how important is it to you? Let this be your daily mantra or reminder. Write it out and post it somewhere you will see it daily, or set it as an appointment reminder everyday on your phone as a recurring meeting.
I do twenty minutes of total body strength so I can run an injury free marathon.
I workout every day to prevent osteoporosis.
I workout so I can feel good in a bikini on my next vacation.
I workout because it clears my head, I feel better, I am nicer to be around and I have more energy.
Find your community and experts for your goal
Once you have named your mantra find your right community or expert to help you on your path. If you love running, join a running group. If you need to rehab an injury find the right physical therapist that has experience with your specific need and ask for referrals. If you want to look like a bikini model, hire a personal trainer with experience training participants for physique competitions.
What’s more important than working out?
When I first started working as a personal trainer 17 years ago, I was trained by my managers to tell people that working out was the most important thing for their health and they needed to make time to workout above everything else-it should be their number one priority. At age twenty I believed this to be so. Working out made me feel invincible, I loved exercising and wanted to share this love with everyone I met. I kept hearing the same excuse-I have no time. So I started to ask people to write out their current schedules. How much they slept, worked, life obligations. After meeting with hundreds and hundreds of people over the years and looking over schedules I saw:picking up kids, dropping off kids, taking care of elderly parents, working two jobs, fighting cancer, closing million and billion dollar business deals, getting divorced, getting married, hosting parties, having babies, going to business school, law school, medical school. I found that the excuse “I have no time to workout” was actually quite accurate.We are an over- scheduled society with intense demands on career, financial success and life . After meeting with hundreds and hundreds of people based on the people I met with -I found that SLEEP was actually much more important than working out. Make sure you get enough sleep I would tell my clients. ..Then call me to schedule a workout!
Explore non-gym options
Yes, I am a personal trainer and I am saying: explore non-gym options. Once upon a time there was no such thing as a gym. Many “active” people stay fit by pursuing an active art form such as martial arts, ballroom dancing, yoga, hiking, swimming. Activities that can be done for a lifetime and actually improve with age as the body permits.
80 year old ballroom dancer
World’s Oldest Gymnast
Carving out time
There are things we do daily as a part of life. We use the bathroom, we brush our teeth, we charge our cell phones. I’m not trying to be funny, I’m actually serious. What if “turning on the body” became just as important and we took body breaks during the day?
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. (Arthur Ashe)
If you only have ten minutes a day- start with that. Find a program that suits the season of life you are in and do what you can every day! Your body will thank you!
Every day is different and every BODY is different. Treat yourself with kindness finding the right program that works for you!