Hi everyone! I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last blog. It’s been a busy year! I’ll fill you in. Last summer we bought a new house, planned to renovate before moving in, and then scrapped the plan and moved anyway. About that same time I closed my gym on Racine drive and moved to The Fitness Squad. It was sad to leave my own space that I worked so hard to create and it was a little scary going to work with six other trainers, but I have to say it was the right decision. The location is great and everyone gets along so well that it’s hard to believe I was ever worried about it! My clients enjoy having access to the equipment and showers and I have a great place to meet with those who can’t train at home. By the way, I still make house calls for those that live in Wilmington.
The last half of 2014 and the first six months of 2015 have proved to be busier than ever with training clients. It can be really hard to fit in a fitness routine and keep up with healthy eating when you work 8-10 hours a day on a non-traditinal schedule! As many of you know, I also have a few hobbies, namely horseback riding, that I also keep up with. So, the question is, how do you keep up with everything and stay healthy? I’ll tell you what works for me and where I sometimes get stuck. Maybe you can learn from my experiences and apply these tips to your own situation.
First of all, it’s ALL about planning. If something is important you have to make a plan to make it happen. And if you don’t have your health, you don’t really have anything, so plan your workouts and plan your meals! For me, Sundays are my planning day. After doing something active in the morning I’ll spend the afternoon planning my week. Since my day starts at 5 am Monday morning and I see clients at 6 am, I want to plan their training sessions on Sunday. Everything is on a written calendar that I take with me everywhere. I know it’s not very high tech, but it’s the easiest way for me to quickly see my whole week. Next, any important meetings or special events are penciled in. I always ride on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so I automatically fill in that space on the calendar. After that, I pencil in my workout times. As my fitness goals evolve, the actual workouts may change. And, because my schedule depends on my clients’ schedules, the times may change as well. I do find that if I can keep a certain time slot open somewhat consistently I’m more likely to stick to it.
This is where you may need to consult with a personal trainer to figure out what type of workout you need and how to mesh it with your schedule. For me, strength training is of utmost importance, so I schedule those workouts first. If I’m training for a race like I am now, then that’s pretty important too, so I’ll schedule runs too. That brings me to my next point. If you have an insane schedule like I do, flexibility is a must. If a client needs a time slot that was reserved for a personal workout, that workout may have to be adapted to a shorter format or moved to another time, but don’t let it just go away! If it’s impossible not to skip it, I’ll combine two the next day. Also, some things just aren’t going to fit or work. For example, the running training plan I follow suggests doing two short runs and one long run on certain days per week. Time and riding limit the amount of running my legs can handle, so I do one short run and one long run and the days vary depending on when I’m able to fit them in. Be realistic. Don’t plan an hour workout five days a week if you know that a half hour three days a week will fit better in your busy schedule. Just make that half hour count!
Stay accountable. Make a date with a friend to go for a walk or take an exercise class. Put it on your schedule and you’ll be less likely to skip that workout when you know you’ll let them down if you don’t show! This is also a great reason to hire a personal trainer. You get a personalized workout and accountability. If you want to run, sign up for a race. If you don’t do the training the money you paid for entry fees will be wasted. Even better, sign up for a race with a friend or a running group and you’ll have double the accountability! Also, think about any activities you’ve wanted to try that could count as exercise and sign up for a lesson. I tried stand up paddleboard yoga this summer and loved it!
Once my workouts are planned, I like to plan what I will eat for the week and then do my grocery shopping. Just like planning your exercise, you have to be realistic about how much time you have. If you spend a lot of time at home and enjoy cooking, by all means cruise the healthy recipes on Pinterest, make your shopping list and go to town! I usually only have Sunday for cooking, so I’ll pull together something healthy that makes leftovers for a few more meals. I fill in with frozen dinners from Whole Foods (I look for calories under 400, sodium under 600, and organic if possible). If client’s have me driving all over town on certian days I will go ahead and plan where I can stop for a bite to eat or bring food along in a cooler. Some of my go tos when eating on the road are sushi from Harris Teeter, or maybe a salad from Wendy’s, Whole Foods or Epic.
Finally, I even schedule my down time. As a natural introvert, time to myself is important for recharging and giving my business and fitness schedule my full energy. Find time in your day to take a short nap, meditate or read for fun. If you sit all day, you may want to find even 5-10 minutes a few times a day to stand up and do some yoga or simple stretches. Plan for it and set a timer on your phone or watch. You’ll be amazed at how much this changes your day!
No matter how hectic your life gets, don’t let your diet and exercise go. Make a plan, be flexible, stay accountable, be realistic and take care of yourself. Your health is worth it!