Exercise Fitting it all in: Achieving Optimal Health While Balancing Life as a Busy Professional

Successful professionals who maintain work-life balance and optimal health seem to know the secrets to create that balance. While each individual may have a fairly different approach to maintaining their health and wellness, some of the common themes among them are keeping a disciplined schedule, prioritizing workouts, balancing nutrition and proper supplementation, emotional intelligence, positive mindset, healthy relationships, deliberate and consistent action, and value health.

When people have poor health and health issues, they often lack the capacity to enjoy the things in life to the fullest extent while a person who has great health thrives in many areas. Prioritizing one’s health and wellness is not about being selfish, body-obsessed, being ultra-restrictive or spending hours in the gym, rather it’s about making a commitment to your health, finding what works best for you, and setting a standard for health by prioritizing it and loving yourself. As a result, taking care of your health will not only make you feel your best, it will also set you up for success in many other areas of your life including being the best YOU to serve at a very high level.

Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re not yet where you would like to be in regards to your health and wellness yet you’re inspired and ready for a change. If that resonates with you, you’re not alone! Maybe you’re experiencing some of the most common barriers that busy professionals have thus created the excuses for why they don’t exercise or take care of their health. Check out these simple solutions on how to take action and overcome some of the most common barriers to achieving optimal health and wellness.

Barrier #1: I Have No Time.

Solution: When people say they have no time, what they really mean is that they haven’t prioritized their health and time blocked it into their schedule. It’s really just a matter of whether or not they have set aside the time to exercise. If you create space in your day to focus on, you will ultimately perform better with a stronger immune system, more energy, and more confidence to keep your career goals solid. It is important to remember that something is better than nothing! Sometimes people think that if they don’t have at least 30-60 minutes to dedicate to a workout, they can’t get a workout in.

Release the all or nothing mentality! Even if you can do a 1-mile walk/jog or a 10-minute core and jump rope workout, it will count toward the cumulative decisions throughout the day that contribute to excellence in health.

Barrier #2: I Don’t Have Access to a Gym and I am Traveling Too Much.

Solution: There are many useful mobile apps and tools that allow you to get a great workout with minimal to no equipment. App’s such as Trainerize, YouTube, Tabata Timer Pro, Strava, and MapMyFitness are great fitness tools that allow you to stay fit at your convenience. Also, taking portable equipment such as a good pair of shoes, resistance bands, ankle weights, mats, and light dumbbells allow for great workouts using more bodyweight.

Barrier #3: By the End of the Day I Have No Energy. I’m Just Too Tired.

Solution: Three key areas to manage so that you have the energy capacity to exercise are (a) stress – internal and external influences, (b) sleep, and (c) nutrition. How do you handle your thoughts and emotions when faced with stress or conflict? Are you mindful and paying attention to your self-talk and intentional about the people you are associating with on a consistent basis? Do the people you most associate with uplift you or do you feel drained after interaction with them? Are you engaging in unnecessary worry?

These mental and emotional states can really exhaust your energy quickly, if not managed properly. Also, if you are highly stressed and sleeping poorly night after night, you can put your hormones in a state of imbalance thus creating adrenal fatigue and low energy. Nutrition is such an important factor in energy levels and performance.

Skipping meals or eating a diet of highly refined, low nutrient, processed foods will leave you crashing by mid-day and destroy any kind of motivation to exercise as well as sabotage your results. Keep fresh organic fruits and whole nuts on hand as well as a cooler stocked with good clean sources of lean organic protein and organic vegetables.

Barrier #4: Need to Spend More Time with Family.

Solution: Make it a family affair! Instead of sitting in front of your television after work, use the time to be active together, put on a good fitness video and invite the family to join you. You can also try a group fitness class at a facility that offers child care or child participation such as boxing, CrossFit, or small group training.

Many independent personal training gyms can facilitate a workout that is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. If your child is very young, do not feel guilty about taking the time to take care of yourself. Use the stroller, go to the park, or join a family friendly gym such as the YMCA. Your children will thank you for what they consider to be playtime and fun. Getting your spouse or significant other on board will also help you to find the encouragement you need to keep one another accountable.

Knowing how to overcome barriers is the first step in getting started with a healthy lifestyle. Set specific and measurable goals. Create timelines in which you would like to have them completed. Have an accountability partner to help you stay on track, whether that’s a coach, a friend, mentor, or family member- they will help you to see an outside perspective that you may not be able to see.

Start today! The time is NOW.

You don’t have to wait for the next New Year, special event, 1st of the month, or even the beginning of the week. Understand two things-maintaining progress is progress and also small change collectively equates BIG change. Sometimes it’s the little things that inch us toward the big goals.

Find your motivation-your “BIG WHY” that will allow you to keep going when the going gets tough and break past any barrier that can ever stand in your way.

 

What do you think?