You don’t have time to skip your workout

The most frequent reason I hear people give for why they don’t exercise is that they “don’t have time.” While there are the rare days when you might truly be pressed for time because of travel or flight schedules, I’ll tell you why even on your busiest days – you don’t have time to not exercise.

The reality is that it is a matter of priorities and planning whether or not we have time built in or allotted for working out. The number one thing you can do to make sure you have time to exercise is to build it in your schedule. There is no absolute best time of day to work out; the best time is what works for you. If you’re no currentlyt in the habit of regularly exercising (and you should be), the first thing you need to do is make it a regular part of your lifestyle.

Plan some time in your schedule every day for exercise. It really doesn’t matter whether it is first thing in the morning or later in the day. You may have to experiment with a few different times of day before you find what works best for you. I prefer to exercise right after I come home from work. By that time, I’m ready for a round of P90X or a good run to wring out the tensions of the day, give my muscles a chance to move, stretch and be pushed, – and sweat out some toxins. The most important thing is to make it part of your daily schedule – a part of your lifestyle.
You do this by doing it regularly – every day.

Putting it on your schedule you makes it a priority – makes it important enough that you have set time aside for it.   Don’t let other things crowd it out – it’s as important (maybe even more important) than the other things you do.  By placing it on your schedule, you won’t be faced with having to make a decision about whether or not you “have time” to work out.

Don’t’ stress too much if you have to miss a day once in a while because of illness or the occasional travel day. But you will find that if you make it a part of your regular schedule, you won’t want to miss it, your day will just go better when you get your exercise in, and your day will feel “off” if miss it.

This isn’t a bad thing; exercise should be something that you look forward to. If you hate what you do for your workout – try something else! There are so many options for staying fit and giving your body the activity it needs to stay healthy – more on that in another post.

Once you make your workout a part of your lifestyle – not only will you find that you do have time for it (even on your busy days) but you’ll also experience a few distinct benefits that come along with daily exercise – including an increased energy level.
More on that in my next post – You don’t have time to skip your workout Part 2; find out about the three distinct benefits you get on the same day that you do your exercise.

Questions, comments, or want to find out more?
Leave me a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!

Diet or Exercise – which is more important? Part II

Diet or Exercise – which is more important?

This “frequently asked question” has an interesting answer; because of the way they work together, it’s really difficult to separate diet and exercise.  Both are an important and synergistic part of a healthy lifestyle.

The bottom line answer to this question: your diet is more important (but not going on a diet)!  Surprisingly though, if you are just starting down the path to a healthier lifestyle, I recommend that you begin by focusing on exercise.  Let’s explore a few reasons why exercise is the best way to start.

  1. Most people want to see some changes early on; your body will probably respond to exercise more quickly.   Remember, you spent your whole life getting to where you are now, so don’t expect changes overnight.   However, you will probably be surprised at how quickly your body responds to regular physical activity.   Be smart and take small steps toward you goal; start by walking for half an hour instead of jumping in to running 3 miles a day.
    By starting with a sustainable amount of activity, you can make this a part of your lifestyle and increase your activity as you make physical and fitness gains.   Most importantly – don’t skip, don’t make excuses, make sure you do something every day.
  2. Adding regular physical activity will start to “wake up” and revitalize a sluggish metabolism.   If you haven’t been exercising regularly, you will be amazed at what regular activity will do for you.   These bodies were made to be active, and adding in regular physical activity will benefit you in so many ways.  You’ll probably notice that sleep and digestion start to improve, along with other things too,   Start with something sustainable so that you won’t get discouraged.
    Don’t  start on something you can’t keep up with (either too strenuous or too time consuming).You might be tempted to want to go out and run a few miles (or maybe not), but don’t start with that – I suggest that you start with walking 30 minutes a day, do it regularly and try to not miss a day.  If you maintain your level of activity for a couple of weeks, you’ll find that it’s gone from something on your schedule to a habit to where it’s a part of your lifestyle.  Your goal should be to make nutritional and exercise related changes that become a part of your lifestyle – not just something you do for a little while to “get into shape”.
    Remember – diets don’t work because diets are something most people do for a while to try to reach a goal, and then they go back to the way they were – or worse!.  It’s the same with most people with crash fitness programs.   Check any gym on January 2nd, and then go back a check a month later; setting the bar too high from the start does you more harm than good.   You have to be determined and remember that you’re in this for the long haul – for the rest of your life.  So set a sustainable goal that you can stick with (or increase) for life.
  3. An initial focus on exercise and seeing the resulting changes will encourage you to address nutrition and your diet.

For most people it’s easier to build on success, and the success of feeling your body begin to respond to regular exercise is motivational.   It doesn’t take too long after you make regular exercise a part of your lifestyle that you will probably start to look for ways to make additional improvements.  Typically, two things happen; you improve their fitness level and perhaps increase or change your exercise routine.    You’ll begin to feel the effects in many ways, including sleep and an increasing overall feeling of well being.  At the same time, you start to realize just how much effort you are putting into exercise, the results you are getting, and how it’s beginning to make you “feel better”.

This is typically the point where you should feel motivated to make changes in your diet.  Typically, something “clicks” inside, and you realize that you don’t want to sabotage your increasing health by taking bad stuff in.   Just like you wouldn’t rebuild a car and then fill it with junky gas – you realize that the same principle applies to your body.  Use this motivational boost to leverage your efforts and address the foods you eat and drink.


Next up – why your diet is the most important thing for you to address – even more important than exercise (but don’t stop exercising)!


Questions, comments or any other feedback?  I’d love to hear from you.  Use the section below to contact me.


how to get started on a healthy life style

how to get started on a healthy life style

This is one of the most frequent questions I get from people.

Here are three suggestions on how to start your way to a healthier lifestyle.


Begin to make a small change today. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t put it off – make a change today.
Many people go to the grave full of regret over things they wanted to do and changes they wish they had made.

I suggest that you start by making one small change you can sustain so that it becomes part of you lifestyle.  Too often people want to change everything at once and it’s unsustainable.   Two examples:  all the people who gets a gym membership as a New Year’s resolution but have stopped going by the end of January (or earlier!), and people who jump into a restrictive diet, fall out (because the can’t sustain it), binge, and end up worse than they started  (no carbs anyone??).   🙂
Realize that you are a whole person.

At some point, you have to address all aspects of your being:  physical, mental, and spiritual.  To have a truly healthy lifestyle and be healthy and balanced in any area you will have to balance in all areas.  This means looking at the things you eat, the activity you get, staying healthy from a mental standpoint, and working on the spiritual part of your being.  Again, I suggest that you start one small (sustainable) step at a time so that these changes become a part of your lifestyle.


This really is the most important thing.

If you can’t or don’t or won’t sustain changes you make in your life, it won’t matter.

Quitting smoking for a week doesn’t matter if you go right back to your three pack a day habit.  Being on a diet for a week or a month or a year doesn’t matter if you go right back to the same lifestyle you had before the “diet”  (see diets don’t work).

Incorporate small changes, one step at a time, into your daily life so that they become a part of your lifestyle.  Make small changes, enjoy and experience the benefits, and layer on another change.   Every person is different, you might be able to make changes faster than others – or not.  What matters is that you make lasting changes to the way you live.


Questions about anything in this post – leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

five tips to help you make that next trip a healthier one

Over the last week I traveled several hundred miles on the road and thousands of miles in the air on a trip from North America to South America and made a few observations about health traps that you can avoid when traveling with a little forethought.  Here are five tips to help you make that next trip a healthier one – even if it’s just an over-night in another town.

  1. Carry some healthy snacks with you.  This is probably one of the biggest problems for people.  They forget or decide not to carry something with them and end up buying candy or a “snack pack” or just eating cookies or peanuts or pretzels or whatever snack is provided.  A few suggestions:  raw almonds, an apple, dried fruit (a small amount – it’s concentrated), carrots and or celery.   Avoid candy bars, packs of cookies and most packaged trail mix; these are all high in sugar; you can be creative about finding healthy things to bring with you.
  2. Try to eat regularly.  Many people forget to snack on something healthy (see above), and skip meals because of flight schedules, etc.   Plan to grab a small healthy meal or have something healthy to munch on so that you won’t gorge yourself.  Waiting too long between meals also slows down your metabolism, signals your body that you might be starving, and actually causes you to retain and store more body fat.  The compounded effects of waiting too long to eat can include weight (fat) gain, unhealthy swings in insulin levels, and gorging.
  3. Make some deliberate exercise part of your plan.  Throw a pair of running shoes in your bag and spend a few minutes at hitting the treadmill, doing flights of stairs, walking around town or around the hotel.  It’s important that you plan to spend time doing some physical exercise otherwise you will find yourself going to bed at the end of a day that largely consisted of sitting and eating.  Even if you’re waiting in the airport, spend some time walking around before your flight – you’ll have more than enough seat time once you’re on that flight.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet.  Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean that you should get that rich meal or that large dessert.  One big meal or large dessert does matter.   You wouldn’t want someone to put a spoonful of water or sugar in your car’s gas tank every once in a while and you shouldn’t do the nutritional equivalent of that to your body either.  You’ll feel better when you return home if you maintain a healthy diet and don’t feel like you have to undo or make up for poor dietary choices on your trip.  Remember – it’s more important to develop a healthy lifestyle than to find a “diet” for after your trip.
  5. Drink plenty of water.  Depending upon where you’re traveling, you may want to skip the ice and stick to bottled water, but it’s important to make sure you take in enough fluids when traveling.  Avoid the “free” in-flight soda (and its sugar or high fructose corn syrup) and stick to water or seltzer water.
    Staying properly hydrated can help protect your throat and sinuses on that trip and also help you avoid eating when your body is actually craving water, not food.


Want to know more about anything mentioned in this post?  Let me know – leave a comment.