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By Jill Charton, NASM CPT
Founder of iFOUR

I’m too busy today…I’ll do it tomorrow.

I hear this excuse ALL.THE.TIME.  Believe me, I am a working mom and I get it.  You have to shuttle kids around so you can make it to work on time.  You have to think about what and when you are going to cook at home and oh, there is laundry, homework, and the list goes on.  It is easy to put exercise at the bottom of the list with this day-to-day routine.  That is why I want you to   analyze what your priorities are so you can be a more efficient you.  If 4% of your day is 1 hour, try to:

  • Get up a 1/2 hour earlier, starting off with a mobility/breathing routine for 10 minutes. Then follow that with a 15-20 minute workout that you will be consistent with and enjoy doing from your house!
  • Being “active” doesn’t mean just working out. There are plenty of other ways to work other kinds of fitness into your schedule. Ie:  At work, take the stairs vs the elevator (ladies, bring your flats!), walk every hour at work if allowed so you are not sitting in front of your computer hours at a time.  Instead of a dinner date, take a hip-hop class, go for a hike, or start incorporating walks after dinner vs watching tv.  By the way, parents:  Your kids observe EVERYTHING you do, even if you do not think they are paying attention to you.  Instilling a healthy lifestyle that they grow up with will be embedded in their minds for a lifetime!
  • The one thing you can control is your nutrition. If nutrition equates to around 80% of our physique, you should be putting a lot of your 4% towards meal prepping and eating clean in case you do not get your workout in that day.
  • When you start giving an excuse for not working out or why you are eating Ben & Jerry’s before bed, write down or text yourself at that very moment, what your excuse is. Even if you are giving yourself numerous excuses during the day, write them alllllll down then review at the end of the night and again at the end of the week.  When you are aware of your habits, this is when you can slowly start making a change for the better and overcoming your own excuses!

I’m injured.

Having worked in Physical Therapy, I saw how injuries affected patients’ mental state.  This happened at any age ranging from 5yrs old – 90yrs old!  Personally, I have had two foot surgeries, my husband has had a severe posterior labrum shoulder surgery and many of my clients suffer from injuries. Whatever the level of pain one has, I get it.  It affects your sleep, your day to day routine, your workouts and everything just takes longer to do because your body is recovering.  I promise you one thing, you are doing your body more harm than good by not being active.  If you are injured, I tell everyone this:  It is your body, your time, your money and you know your body better than anyone else.  Listen to your body as you are recovering and while it is good to push your body, be smart!  Focus on eating clean, getting rest as your body is healing, and keep a journal with short term goals so once you get the clearance to workout, you are going to be stronger mentally and physically than ever before!

I have to workout at least 1 hour.

If you look at exercise programs over the last decade, they usually range around 1hour.  However, you do not need one hour to get your heart rate up and this is where my 4% comes in.  If you think you do not have 1 hour to workout in your day, check your weekly screen time report or the number of Netflix series you manage to add up.  When we dig deep and analyze our time throughout the week, try to make small shifts in your schedule and see where you could fit in a grocery run, a 20 minute workout, a 5 minute core routine, going to sleep 1 hour earlier without looking at a blue-screen, or without checking your work emails.  We can always work towards becoming a better person, so give yourself 4% every day and do the things that truly make you happy.

I don’t know what exercises or program to follow.

Clients will ask me, how many times should I see you per week?  My answer is this:  “It depends.  What are your goals and is there a specific time frame you want to reach these goals?”  I focus a lot on living a healthy lifestyle and when it comes to fitness, different programs attract different personalities.  I will keep this simple:  Try different classes and programs and see what you fall in love with!  A lot of programs will work as long as you are consistent.  More importantly, if your nutrition is on point, you will see progression that much more, and feel better too!