Time to get to work on fitness regimen

In November, I wrote about the importance of getting a fitness game plan in place before the holidays hit. Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t.

As January is a month of renewal, let’s consider it a second chance of sorts and revisit the issue.

One of the most common excuses for avoiding a workout involves time, or the lack thereof. And while I fully understand that, after awhile this excuse develops into a crutch. We can’t make more time, but we certainly can try and restructure the time that we do have, and incorporate exercise and movement into our lives.

To many people, devoting one full hour of time to a workout is a lot. Let’s be honest. Most of the time it’s way over an hour, once you factor in drive time to the gym and showering. Some days this is possible and others it’s not.

But consistency is key to achieving a workout goal, so you need to be able to compensate for the days when you have a packed schedule. And if that is every single day, then so be it.

Instead of focusing on the time that you don’t have, focus on the time that you do. Break up that hour into manageable segments throughout your day, and you absolutely can get your workout in. It may not be conventional, but you can make it count. Focus on the fact that you are actively doing something instead of zeroing in on the things that you have yet to do.

If you are out of shape, that certainly didn’t happen overnight. So accept the fact that you will not wake up 30 pounds lighter and with rock-hard abs tomorrow. Be willing to suck it up and get to work. It’s for you, after all.

Incorporating change into your workout will force your body to work in different ways and will help keep you from getting bored.

It goes without saying that if you are trying to lose weight, you are going to have to work hard. There really are no new “rules” here. Be mindful of what you eat, cut out the empty calories and junk food, and move more. These are just a few basics that we all have heard a few thousand times. There is a reason they have staying power.

In my previous column I promised some new moves, and I hope that you will give them a try. All can be easily modified to accommodate different levels of fitness, so challenge yourself. And let me know how you are doing. We all can use a little motivation and inspiration, after all.

"Fit It In” Express Workout

Mix up these moves “as you see fit” throughout your day. Do be aware of the length of time per exercise and the repetitions so that you can keep track of your progress. Shoot for 2 sets of each move.

10-20 minutes of cardio: Options may include a quick power walk or jog, climbing the stairs (yes, even the ones in your house count!), jumping jacks, mountain climbers, chasing small children as they run amok, etc.

Overhead Squat with Ball: Works chest, arms, shoulders, back, abs, glutes and quads. Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder length apart and raise stability ball over your head, with arms close to your ears. Squat, hold for one count, and return to start. Arms remain lifted throughout the set. 12-15 reps.

A squat with a stability ball held above the head.

A squat with a stability ball held above the head. by Nick Krug

Bicep Curl with Resistance Band: Stand on the band with both feet, shoulder width apart. Grip the bands palm up, lock elbows to side and raise or curl your hands up to your chest. Hold for one second and return to starting position, resisting band. 12-15 reps.

Bicep curl using a resistance band. Stand on top of the band with equal lengths on both sides to stabilize it.

Bicep curl using a resistance band. Stand on top of the band with equal lengths on both sides to stabilize it. by Nick Krug

Two- Arm Row: Works upper and mid back. Holding 5- to 8-pound weights in each hand, stand with feet together and knees slightly bent. Hinge forward at waist so that weights are at knee level. Keep back straight and pull weights to chest until upper arms are parallel to spine. 12-15 reps.

A two-arm row with 5- to 8-pound free weights.

A two-arm row with 5- to 8-pound free weights. by Nick Krug

Tagged: exercise, fitness


Karrey Britt 6 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the exercise tips. I do these types of exercises while watching a movie or television. I have the stability ball and weights (I've went from 5 pounds to 10). Do you have any recommendations for resistance bands? Price or brands? Do they differ? Does it matter?

focusedonfitness 6 years, 8 months ago

Hi Karrey, That is so great that you've up from 5 pounds to 10 pounds! You must really see and feel the difference from when you first started using them. The resistance bands vary in price, but are all pretty comparable. There are a few differences with bands. Specifically, there are Tubes, which have handles and are what I used in the pictures, and there are Therabands, which are wide, flat bands that one commonly uses in Pilates and Yoga. If you are looking to use a band for upper body exercises, then I would go with Tubes, as they are more ergonomically correct for those types of exercises, and have a little more versatility.

Belinda Rehmer 6 years, 9 months ago

I have the equipment, now all I need to do is pick it up! But it's much easier to just look at them... you know, I have been intending to contact Kreider Rehab to schedule time with a personal trainer, for several months now... I'm putting it on my list for tomorrow!

focusedonfitness 6 years, 8 months ago

Having the equipment is great, Belinda! Now yes, go and pick it up! You can do it!

dcap 6 years, 8 months ago

Fitness is all about priorities. If your health is a priority for you then taking time everyday to exercise should not been seen as a burden, but as a requirement. Look at working out like you do going to work. Exercise is something you have to do.

focusedonfitness 6 years, 8 months ago

Well said Chad, and I couldn't agree more. It's been said time and time again that you have to schedule exercise into your day in order for it to become a habit. Yes, it is difficult at first, but once you get over that initial hurdle of actually starting a workout program, it gets easier. And the endorphin rush becomes addictive!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.