So a few weeks ago I was at my annual check up when my doctor said something felt odd in one of my breasts. Of course, I instantly got concerned and, well, freaked out. When I got the results of what was wrong, I was fortunate, however, I was also quite embarrassed… It turned out that it was just all of the weight I had gained.
Although it was only a few pounds, what happened at my check up really shook me up, and I realized I am fortunate to be healthy—so I need to force myself to stay healthy. The next day I promised I would hit the gym hard and start my plan of daily workouts and runs. Well… after a late night of staying up to finish work, waking up early for a meeting, and not getting home until 6:00pm, I was exhausted. Nowhere in my day was there time to hit the gym, and by the time I got home I felt like I needed to relax, drink a glass of wine, and rest after a long day.
Considering the fact that I have spent my life figure out the perfect balance between work and life, which includes being healthy and working out, I knew that what I was doing was unacceptable. I could find time to take care of my body if I really wanted to. So I sat down and thought about what I needed to do, and out came my 5 steps to fit health and fitness into a busy schedule.
1. First things first—stop hitting the snooze button. Working out in the morning is one of the best ways to start your day. It gets your adrenaline running, preparing you for challenges throughout the day, and keeping your mind focused. It also makes you feel good about yourself, which boosts your confidence – ultimately increasing your work performance. Go to bed one hour earlier, so you can wake up one hour earlier and fit in a quick 30 minute workout. If you can do this everyday, the outcome will be phenomenal.
2. Be ready for the day. Do not wake up stressed and not knowing where to begin for the day. Lay your clothes out and know what you are wearing. Make a to-do list the day before so you don’t forget things and allow them to pop up at you throughout the day. By controlling these little aspects of our day, we create a significant amount of spare time—and you can use this time to get yourself to the gym or out for that run.
3. Nip the excuses in the bud. Seriously, enough is enough—if you are complaining about something you have control over, then you do not have control over your life. We don’t all need to be models with perfect bodies, but it is possible to lose that 5 or 10 pounds you have been obsessing about. If you take control of your life and stop the excuses, you will naturally feel better about yourself. Confidence is everything.
4. It’s okay for your body to hurt. And this can have a few meanings. First, it is okay to work out and feel the burn or the hurt. This does not mean to push yourself harder than you can handle, but a little push and a little pain is not always a bad thing. It’s also okay be tired and sore, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop working out.
5. Set goals and make a plan. In all aspects of life, we need to be prepared. This does not mean we have to have every second of our life planned out, but making plans and goals that are reasonable help us to succeed and actually achieve them. Whether the goal is to lose a certain amount of weight, or forget the pounds and simply work out everyday for the benefit of feeling better, making goals is essential.
My 5 ways to fit health and fitness into your day aren’t rocket science – but sometimes we need to be reminded of the simple ways we can improve ourselves and our quality of life. As soon as you believe you can do it and accept that it is possible, small tasks like daily workouts won’t seem like such a scary and impossible task.
Wendy Kaufman is the President and Founder of Balancing Life’s Issues, a national corporate training company. She can be reached at email@example.com.