Lifetime Fitness Habits

Starting lifetime fitness habits can seem like a daunting task at first. Everyone is this modern world juggles a multitude of daily tasks – each requiring significant time and effort. So the thought of fitting something else into this already crowded quagmire is something most of us quickly dismiss as an impossible task.

While teaching a class on time management, a professor placed some large rocks into a bowl and asked his students if it was full. When they responded, ”Yes”, he proceeded to add some small pebbles until all the voids were full, and asked again if it was full. He proceeded to then add sand, shaking the bowl until it was full to the rim. When asked the last time, the timid students responded that ‘Yes (it has to be full now!)’ to which the professor then poured his cup of coffee into the bowl. He explained that the large rocks are the important things in our life – God, family, friends. The small rocks are our jobs and responsibilities. And the sand represents the other little things in our life. He told them to always remember to put the big rocks in your life first, as it would be much harder to fit them in after the little rocks and sand. When the students asked about the coffee’s symbolism, the professor replied, “No matter how full our lives get, there’s always time to have a cup of coffee with a friend”.

Lifetime fitness habits should be a ‘big rock’ because they are a part of YOU. It’s the little rocks and sand they take the majority of our time. If life seems too full to fit exercise into it, start keeping a log of how you spend your time – does it reflect your priorities? Chances are you’ll find time to fit a 15-minute workout in here or there. Start this habit and the momentum will likely have you finding more and more time – because you’ll enjoy the results and the feeling of the changes it will bring. The quality & length of your life are dependant on your lifetime fitness habits.

Here are just a few tips that can lead to some great lifetime fitness habits without drastically altering your busy schedule:

  • Get up early
    Morning can be a tough time to go from sleep to sweat, but it’s a great way to start the day! If you can leave the house, go for a walk or jog. If you can’t, do a series of calisthenics, ride a stationary bike, jump rope, or find another way to get 15-20 minutes of exercise. It may quickly become your favorite part of the day.
  • Walk when you can
    Walking is the foundation of most successful lifetime fitness habits. Why (you ask)? because walking adds up! If your commute or errands are less than a mile away, try walking. This may not be such a great idea if you’re buying groceries or live in an area without sidewalks, but for all other times – go for it! So you leave yourself a few extra minutes, it’s minutes of calorie-burning, muscle-building exercise. At 100-calories per mile, it adds up quickly over time.
  • Workout at lunch
    If you eat lunch at your desk, or go out to eat everyday, here’s a gold mine waiting for you – take your lunch break and spend it on you! If you have shower facilities at work, get a good work out in. If not, go for a walk around the site or drive to a mall with a friend and go walking. It’ll provide a great break in the work day, and it’ll reduce your appetite so lunch becomes a large snack instead of a full meal.
  • Put a set of handgrips in your bag
    Handgrips are a great forearm exercise tool and can be done anywhere. You can use them at your desk, in the kitchen, on the bus, watching TV, or wherever you can get 2-3 minutes. It may not be the foundation of your fitness routine, but it’s a nice addition.
  • Commercial Crunches
    Most of us watch 1-2 hours of TV per night. If you find yourself in this group, you’re likely watching 20-40 minutes of commercials. Take half of that time and do some sets of crunches. Make a game out of it – it won’t seem like such a chore.

It’s the small rocks and sand that’s overwhelming our lives. Look at your life and see what you’re really spending your time on. Make sure that you take care of yourself first. Reduction of stress is a key dividend to a healthier life. By adding more exercise into your day, you’ll add clarity and peace into your life. Lifetime fitness habits are worth adopting, not just for you but those that you care about, too.

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