Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Spare Time Can Keep You From The Body Of Your Dreams

Most people's general approach to starting an exercise program is to stall as long as possible.

That's not the best strategy.

You've probbably heard the old adage saying that if you want to get something done, you should ask a busy person to do it. This same idea is true when it comes to losing weight.

Because here's the thing: However attractive the idea of a fitness retreat may sound, having all day to poke around in the gym would actually HAMPER your getting results.

A nice guy the other day told me that he wished he could quit work for a year and get into great shape.

I understand how he feels. I felt the same way myself. But what I've found after working in many different gyms is that it really only takes a couple of hours a week.

Once, emboldened by some small success at online personal training, I decided to work from home. I figured the only thing separating me from being THE FITTEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE was a few months of uninterrupted work in my garage gym.

Full of vim and vigor I dove into the deliriously productive life of a full-time at-home worker.

Things went awry immediately.

With nothing to do all day but write and workout, I found myself doing everything BUT write and workout.

Essential comic books were read.

Essential Reading?

My bookshelves were organized by subject.

Less essential comic books were read.

My bookshelves were alphabetized by author's middle names.

A complex system for educating my neighbor's puppy was designed and nearly implemented before the county's animal services unit intervened.

And so on.

The mounting guilt I felt each evening over accomplishing so little exercise during the day would force me to cancel the plans I had made with friends that night. So I could go for a run and get some pushups in.

Night, naturally, simply involved more work on the puppy education system.

After a few months I was frustrated, my friends were worried, and the puppy continued to remain ignorant of the Greco-Roman Classics.

It Was Never Meant To Be...

My experiment in non-stop exercise was a total disaster.

Then I got busy bouncing, working at two gyms, and taking a full load of advanced physics, biology, and chemistry. I only had 45 minutes to workout and not a second more.

And with everything else going on I built the best-looking body I'd ever had. Funny how that works.

The moral of the story is this: A great body is more quickly built in the steam-cooker of an already busy life. If you have a million things to do, adding item number 1,000,001 is no big deal, wouldn't you agree?

When, on the other hand, you have NOTHING to do, getting out of bed and washing yourself before 3:00 P.M. seems like too much work to even contemplate.

Isaac Newton told us that objects in in motion tend to stay in motion.

When getting fit, being busy is more a help than a hindrance. It might be frustrating at first, but having lots going on actually IMPROVES your results.

This is partly because the hectic pace forces you to exercise with a manic intensity.

But it's mostly because exercising in the midst of a chaotic life makes "workout time" a treat rather than an obligation. It's only a small psychological shift, but it makes all the difference in the world.

The truth is that life will never give you all green lights, and if you sit around not taking action because the situation isn't perfect, you will miss out all of the good stuff that life has to offer.

AND, if you're reading this right now ad you're saying to yourself "OK, it's time that I stopped wasting my time screwing around, and I'm ready to GET MY BUTT IN GEAR and start getting in shape," then you need to do yourself a HUGE favor...

You need to TAKE ACTION, and get yourself moving towards where you want to be.

Take today and do one thing. Do any one thing to get started.

It can be something small, like throwing out all the chips in your house.

Or it can be more effective, like signing up for personal training coupled with a wellness program at your gym.

But whatever you choose, do it today.

Especially if you're too busy.

~Luke Wold

PS - Hellen Keller had something to say about taking action...

"I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do."

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