The Gym Misses You
Making time to work out means making health a priority
A LOT OF PEOPLE default to the I'm-just-too-busy
excuse to justify the fact they can't seem to find the time to work
Exercise physiologist Richard Cotton laughs at this notion.
"Yeah, I'm one of them," he confesses.
As the national director of certification for the American
College of Sports Medicine, you'd think Cotton would be the last
person to admit such a crime, but he's not afraid to own up to his
"The bottom line is, it's not that people don't have the time,
it's that they don't take the time," he says. Admitting this is the
first step to recovery. The next step is to stop making excuses,
and start making health a priority in your life.
Exercise Does More Than Just a Body Good
"You should start with a values clarification," says Cotton.
"Where do your values lie? What's important to you? People
typically list health, family, career and community."
So, says Cotton, consider the fact that stress stands in the way
of your productivity at work, and exercise can relieve that stress.
Exercise can also help ensure you'll see your children and their
children grow up.
"Exercise directly impacts many of these priorities people
list," he says.
Finding the Time
How can one get past that busy-life barrier? By carving time out
in small increments during the week, rather than putting the
pressure on to find two-hour blocks of time to spare.
You may want to consider trying the Exercise Time Finder tool
at myexerciseplan .com/assessment. This
free, simple chart will help you map out your schedule in
hour-blocks of time, showing you exactly where your available
exercise time exists.
And, as you stare at the running shoes that you haven't taken
out of their box yet, keep these tips in mind for finding the time
to get fit:
>> Wednesdays and weekends. Make it your goal
to exercise on these three days. That means you only have to allot
one of your busy workdays to hit the gym.
>> 20 minutes. Start out striving for just
under a half-hour of exercise a day. "In 20 minutes, you can do a
lot," says Cotton.
>> Morning mojo. "Ideally, get your exercise
in first thing in the morning and then it's out of the way," he
>> Never have more than two days off at a
time. So, you fall off the wagon for a couple of days-don't
give up. Get back on that treadmill on day 3, advises Cotton, or
you'll begin to lose the momentum you've been building up.
>> Lunch on the go. For working people,
lunchtime is a great time to exercise. If your gym is close, you
can get in a good, 20-minute workout. If it's not, change shoes and
take a walk outside.
An Affordable Personal Trainer
Sometimes, we need another person to help us get back on track
with our exercise plan. A new website-skinnymenow.com-might just be the answer.
Personal trainer to the stars Marc Montemerlo can be your personal
trainer. And the beauty of it is, you never even have to leave your
house. Montemerlo offers his secrets to getting fit through online
videos, interactive tools, an online eating plan and daily e-mails.
A member of the American Fitness Association of America and the
American Council on Exercise, Montemerlo's program promises a
transformed body in just four weeks.
Rewards That Won't Derail Your Success
Don't forget, keeping up with a consistent workout routine isn't
easy, and you should give yourself kudos for staying focused. But
instead of rewarding yourself with that tub of chocolate ice cream,
go for something that won't back track your plan, such as a
therapy can actually help
improve your flexibility by stimulating the production and
retention of the body's natural lubricants between connective
tissue fibers, making that next workout even easier.
"Massage is definitely a positive, self-care activity," says
Cotton. "A massage can actually support your overall lifestyle
-By Amanda Myers