This seems to be one of the bigger questions that we as fitness professionals tend to get or we see a lot of potential clients ask about time as a factor when it comes to working out in general, not even considering personal training. So, what is the correct amount of time that you should be working out and how should you take advantage of that time?
To start, the average individual needs roughly 120 minutes of moderate or light activity a week along with around 75 minutes of vigorous activity, which includes things such as HIIT training, weight lifting, or anything that gets the heart rate elevated more than normal. These numbers seem large, but all that 120 means is on average about 30 minutes of physical activity a day in order to maintain a healthy life. This could be walking, jogging, playing sports, anything that gets you moving. 30 minutes isn't that long in a day right, so why are we as a society finding it an issue to get to the gym and be able to get this 30 minutes a day in? This all relates back to time management, how do we manage our time.
I will be the first to sit here and tell you that I HATE getting up early in the morning. Anytime after about 10 am I am good, but before that, I start to struggle with getting up and making sure to perform at my best. But, even with that smaller amount of time in the day and a busy schedule I still try to find some time to workout. I know, easier said than done. That is why this post has the sole purpose to give you and anyone else you may know the tools needed to be able to start getting that time into the workout. The first thing that we will look at is creating a list of things to do for the week in the beginning. Take into account commute time from home to the gym, traffic, what time you go to bed, any meals that you have during the day, plus any other time commitments that you may have on any given day. One of the main reasons why I am unable to get to the gym on a particular day is because I had something come up that I forgot about, so making sure that I put it in my schedule keeps me accountable and allows me to plan around it. While we are just looking at working out at this point, doing this also helps to make sure that you accomplish other tasks that you may want to do like other hobbies or spending time with family and friends.
The second thing that we need, to be honest with ourselves about is that there is enough time in the day to get a workout in. A lot of people look at their day and say that they have to spend 8 hours in the office and that the majority of their day is just gone, or even some work 12 hours. When we look at the day, we see that there are 24 hours in the day so the average individual who works 8 hours a day will also need roughly 8 hours of sleep each night, which brings us to 16 hours out of the day that you are busy, but we got the two most important things out of the way. 8 hours are left, which if we take about 2 hours total to eat with 3 hours to sit around a relax or to spend quality time with family and friends, we now have another 3 hours left where we can sneak a workout in and still have more time to be able to do what we may need/want to do. Once your days a broken down to the smallest time amount, we can see that there is ample time to be able to get some type of exercise in. Now, if you are working 12 hours in a day, we will need to take some time away from the 3 hours of relaxation or eat a little quicker and then we can still sneak some time in, but had we not broken down the times then we may not have known where we can cut time.
Finally, all of this can work for anyone only if the individual is willing to make the investment. Overall, that is all that health and fitness is. Sure, there are many dollar figures that come with working out and all of that, but instead of thinking of these things as a charge or just another expense, interchange the word expense with investment as that is all that you are doing. Overall, you are investing in your ability to live a long healthy life. You are investing in being able to have kids and run around and play with them, to play with grandkids later on. You are investing in your ability to go out and do what you want with family and friends. You are investing in being able to get up each day with no pain and move about your day with no issues or worries. Investing in your health is one of the most important decisions that you can make, so let's make sure that we take the time to really consider the benefits and determine if we can manage our time and make a couple of smaller sacrifices in order to reach our health goals and live a long, healthy life.