"We encourage our members to be ok with doing less."
It's hard to talk about time and fitness.
Most fitness coaches and gyms do a terrible job at it.
They come across as accusatory and snobby. They usually say things like: "You have plenty of time, and you just don't prioritize it well." Or, "You would take the time to work out if you took your health seriously enough."
We are not going to lie. We have probably said things along those lines before. And we were wrong.
The reality is that most people in America are short on time. We are busy and burned out.
We could try and discover what is at the root of our hurried, busy culture and then strategize how to solve the problem. But that is like trying to find a cure for cancer, which is way beyond our scope as fitness coaches.
Our job is to help our clients get healthy or maintain their fitness with the bit of time that they have left in their schedules.
So, here is how we do that at Vital Fitness:
We encourage our members to be ok with doing less.
That is right. You did not misread that statement. We help our members get fit by telling them it is ok to do less fitness.
Let us explain.
Most people who come to our gym tried either successfully or not to get fit before. Most of our members stopped trying at one point or another because they got overwhelmed. They learned that the only way to get healthy was to work out several days a week, meal prep for hours every weekend, count their macros every day, or spend hundreds of dollars on fancy, new fitness equipment.
They bought the "all or nothing" fitness mentality, which preaches that there is no point in doing anything if you don't give 100%.
That mentality is why most people claim that they do not have time to get healthy. And they are not wrong. If healthiness requires the equivalent of another 8-hour workday in time spent working out and prepping food, then no one has time for that.
But what if we taught people that you could get healthy without spending all of the little time you have left? What if we told people the truth?
Here is the truth: you are more likely to get healthy or maintain your fitness by being ok with doing less.
The alternative is to believe the idea that fitness is complicated. That's a lie that will leave you discouraged, prone to quitting, and ultimately unhealthy.
Instead, here are two simple, time-effective steps that you can begin implementing this week:
1. Prioritize consistency in workouts over volume.
If even three days of workouts each week sounds daunting with your schedule, then that is ok. Aim for hitting one or two.
If you struggle to have time to go to the gym, then work out at home. Get your hands on a cheap pair of dumbbells and commit to a couple of days of 20-30min garage workouts. You will save time commuting to the gym anyway.
If even the home workouts sound daunting, just commit to taking a 5-10min walk each day. The mental benefits of walk breaks are just as powerful as the physical ones.
2. Skip the fad diets, stick to the principles.
If you are short on time, then reading every food label to make sure they do not have too many carbs for the Ketogenic diet or to see if they are Whole 30 approved is unrealistic.
Keep it simple. Follow these nutrition principles that don't cost more than a couple of extra minutes each day:
- Drink 50% of your body weight in ounces of water.
- Eat a source of protein with every meal. If you don't have time to grill chicken every weekend, that is ok; deli meat will suffice.
- Eat more vegetables. No time to buy and prep fresh veggies? No problem. Buy them frozen and microwave them. The nutrient quality is the same.