“I Don’t Have Time for Crunches!”
By James W. Lewis
We should draft a law to add more hours in a day. Hard-charging professionals deserve extra ticks on the clock, don’t you think?
Twenty-four hours shortchanges sleep-deprived entrepreneurs with constant negative balances of time. Maybe change the number from twenty-four to twenty-eight. Or even thirty.
A twenty-four hour allotment doesn’t seem to cut it for business owners with a trillion things wrapped in personal and professional issues. Deduct sleep and you’ve lost about six to eight hours. Throw in work-related demands and you’re down another eight to twelve hours. With four to six hours left, time remaining sounds like enough, but stir family, school and other miscellaneous activities in the crock pot, precious “me” time digests in Father Time’s belly. Before you know it, you hit the bed to meet Mr. Sandman, then wake up a few hours later–ready to start the rigmarole all over again.
So how do you make room for staying fit?
According to several federal health-related statistics, approximately 32% of Americans tip the scale way too far over. With a lack of physical activity contributing to obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, keeping the heart pumping can help fend off enemies of our temples. In other words, to lose fat and maintain health, professionals must find time.
In today’s world, people want things quick, hand-delivered and ready for use. No assembly or repair–we want it yesterday. That includes a body ready made with washboard abs and granite biceps.
No wonder attaining a nice figure falls off the things-to-do list, sometimes before an attempt gets off the Start line. We can’t get that slim waist fast enough. Too many obstacles blocking the way; too convenient to hit McDonalds on the ride home; too easy to slide into the Lay-Z Boy and say, “screw it, I’ll find time tomorrow to work out.” Well, tomorrow becomes tomorrow again. And again. And again. And again. The cycle repeats.
How can we break that cycle? Well, if you want it bad enough, you will find time to break it. Take a sample of that inner fire that drove your entrepreneurial goals and apply it to exercise and good nutrition. If you found time to go to school and create a business while raising a family, I’m sure you can find time to work on your fitness and eat right. Be creative and plan ahead. Little tricks can go a long way.
For example, if you prefer the gym after work or during lunchtime, pack a gym bag in your car the night before each workout day. The bag should include essentials like your workout gear, towel, bottled water or Gatorade, IPOD and change of clothes, if needed. If into sports, pack the balls and equipment in the trunk.
If you can manage early morning workouts, you may need to wake up at least a half-hour early. Sleep in your gym clothes and you’re half-ready. Once you wake up, throw on the tennis shoes then off you go.
A workout partner can help you stay on the path toward your physical goals. Find an ideal sidekick on the same page, someone you trust to inject that needed boost to whip you back on track if you slip. A partner helps break monotonous routines, too. A strong support system from friends and family makes the road to health that much better.
On the job, take advantage of “cracks” in work time. Park as far as you can from your office entrance to get a good walk. While inside, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Climbing stairs can be a great calorie burner. During breaks, try short walks or calisthenics such as squats or pushups to keep the heart happy. And if you’re gung ho, keep a set of 10-lb dumbbells near your desk. You can do curl-ups while speaking to a client on the phone.
Before hitting the bed, squeeze in sets of crunches, pushups, squats, jumping jacks–whatever calisthenics you prefer. Better yet, you can perform each exercise while watching your favorite bedtime TV show. If you remember the aerobic one-two steps from High School gym classes, you’ll have more than enough exercises.
Be careful, though. You may find the time to exercise, but what about your food intake?
Although physical activity burns fat and builds muscle, not eating the right foods can counteract your efforts. Eat too many fatty foods and you can become … well … fat. Pile on calories and the excess becomes … well … stored fat. Around your waist. And hips. And thighs. In other words, you become what you eat.
Well-balanced meals packed with fruits and vegetables keep your “engine” running efficiently. Your body needs steady fuel to help burn fat. Five small meals a day can provide the fuel, but to rev up that motor to start your day, you should not skip breakfast. Too often, busy bodies ignore breakfast and head to Starbucks instead. If you have time for Starbucks, you have time for an apple and whole-grain bagel.
To reduce stops at fast-food joints, pack a lunch. Kill the munchies with low-calorie snacks like raisins, almonds, bananas and crackers with tuna. These snacks can also help you meet your five-small-meals-a-day quota.
And beware of sodas.Sodas are packed with empty calories, so drink more water instead. Each time you pass a water fountain, take a sip. Since our bodies are made up of approximately 40-60% water, might as well give your temple what it needs, right? Eight to ten glasses a day should do the trick (you may need to hydrate more often during the summer and while exercising).
Finding the time to exercise and good nutrition can be challenging, but not impossible. With preparation and a little creativity, you can attain your physical and entrepreneurial goals at the same time. Your heart and waistline will love you for it.