Seize the Moment! Fitness in a Time Crunched World

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about perfectionism, and the havoc it can wreak if I’m not careful.  My new motto is, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  This is especially important given the busy lives we are leading today.  That brings me to the subject of the “perfect” workout.

I’m reminded of a former client. She was a busy professional who was writing her first book and she was on a tight writing schedule.  On top of that, she had two small children, one of whom had been diagnosed with a developmental disorder and she needed a school and skilled professionals to support him.  Her writing required travel, and her husband also travelled for work.  She wanted to maintain a serious exercise routine, stay fit and healthy, look good and feel good.  She realized, however, that  the best laid plans could change in an instant if her husband was suddenly called away, the nanny got sick, or one of her children needed attention.   Over time, however, she learned that a less than “perfect” workout could make all the difference.  For my client the motto became “seize the moment”.   If she unexpectedly had 25 minutes on her hands, she could go to the basement and get on the treadmill.   If her husband had a non-working weekend, she could hand over some household responsibilities and squeeze in a short workout at the gym.   The point is, there is always enough time to do a less than “perfect” workout, if you seize the moment.

So here we are at the beginning of the year, trying to make big new changes in our lives, while at the same time keeping all of the old balls in the air.  With all of the activities, tasks, deadlines and commitments, you could easily ditch your workout all together.   If you are anything like me, you don’t want to wake up at the beach on Memorial Day weekend wondering where the time went and feeling less than your best in your summer attire.  What can you do to make this year different? Here are some ideas:

  • Be creative:  Who said that a workout has to be at a sweaty gym on an elliptical machine?  What about going up and down your stairs at home 10 times, and finishing up with some pushups (hands on the lowest step you can handle, feet on the floor).  If you are watching TV, get up during the commercials and do jumping jacks, or better yet, high knee march and squat throughout the program.
  • Make it a family affair:  Enlist the family to join and support you.  Walk to your errands with the stroller, play catch in the back yard in between snow shoveling, put on some music and dance with the kids in the living room.  Get your husband to make a grocery run while you do a quick yoga session.
  • Plan for it:  Put it in your calendar, just like all the other activities in your life.  See a free hour in your schedule? Fill it in with an exercise date.
  • Make it easy on yourself: Choose the activities that require little set up, commuting or changing.  Think walking, an exercise DVD, or a workout from your favorite fitness magazine. There are some great 10 minute workouts on YouTube.

Most importantly seize the moments!  Click here for some additional tips on how to get moving today!

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