Joe Comly offers a short list of ways for guys to gain a routine that allows time for exercise and get healthy.
In the 6 years since becoming a father I have learned more about myself then in the previous 32. Life is funny like that. One of the things that I have learned is that I need time to do stuff that is important to me. Taking time to workout, play guitar or golf helps me to keep stress levels low. As a result I’m happier and my family is able to tolerate me more. I have a few friends who don’t often take the time they need for themselves and it shows. As much as they pretend that they don’t have the time or that they feel guilty or selfish for not being at home they are just creating issues for themselves and their families in the long run. Here are 5 ways that I have managed to balance my need to go to the gym with family, my job(s), and my community service (the volunteer kind not the kind that a judge gives you).
Get your family involved.
This probably goes without saying but for real balance you need to have some harmony at home. If your workout routine is adding stress to your partners life then it will not be sustainable (the routine not the partner). My wife and I are very supportive of each other’s workout needs as we understand what it means to each other. Also, if you have kids get them involved. It sets a great example and you don’t have to make a choice between hanging out or working out. Take them to events, run with them, show them how to row (not in a skirt and flip flops though).
The easiest way I have found to make sure I’m getting my gym fix is to do it early. While it was a tough transition and it does take a bit of preparation, the reward is great. I make breakfast for the week on Sunday night (here’s my recipe for egg muffins). Then I pack my work clothes each night. Up at 5:45 out the door at 6:20ish for a 7am WOD. While my gym does offer a 6am I’m an enthusiast not a sadist. In the end I feel great going into work after working out and the benefits to your metabolism have been well documented. So, get your ass out of bed and make it happen.
You are what you eat.
Keeping your healthy eating habits up consistently will make a huge difference if you happen to miss a workout. The 80/20 rule totally applies to fitness, in my opinion. Being fit is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Scientifically, I’m not sure this is the case but it’s a great approach for your mindset. Just because you missed your workout doesn’t mean you should have a donut ( or one of those delicious chocolate dipped Belgian waffle cookies at Whole Foods…damn it!)
Build a home gym.
If you have the means, an investment in some equipment for your home gym will really help you keep on a schedule. Now you don’t need a blown out rig with all the bells & whistles (though I wouldn’t mind). You only need a few things to have a functional go-to option when time gets tight. Here is what I have in my garage:
- Ergonomic rower (concept 2)
- Pull up bar
- Kettle bell
- Adjustable Dumbbells
- Plyo box (thanks dad)
- Various mats for abs and stuff.
These things allow me to do more than enough in a 20-30 min session. As someone who enjoys crossfit I would love to add an Olympic bar and some bumper plates to this list as well (non-subtle hint to Santa).
It’ll be ok. If you miss a day, you will be OK. If u miss a week it will be OK. Unless you are training for the Olympics, crossfit games or some other super competitive event. In that case you’ll have some work to do. But for the rest of us, don’t fret. Just get shit done and get back on the horse when life settles down. I’m in Sweden this week and will be lucky if I can get in 2 workouts between the jet lag, meetings and after work functions. It’s ok. Next week I’ll be back at it at 7am…Eastern time.
I hope these tips will help you to maintain your fitness goals this year and give you some inspiration to make things happen. In the spirit of Anthem’s mission, if you have any other suggestions, recipes or home gym work-outs please post them to the comments.
Photo Credit: Glenn3095/flickr