Author Archives: Patrick

Balancing Work and Exercise

Balancing Work and Exercise

Free sunset pic

Many of my clients have come to me saying they would like to exercise more, but they just can’t find the time. There just seems to be not enough hours in the day for it all.

During my time studying at University I found it easy to create time to work out. When attending ACU in Strathfield, I would go to a few classes three to four days a week, soccer four nights, and then work one or two shifts as a retail sales assistant during the other days. Finding the time to work out seemed easy. In the US at The University of Pittsburgh, it was even easier, as our workouts were part of our soccer training. Three to four gym sessions a week on top of training, it was just part of my weekly schedule.

When I moved back home to Sydney, the transition from University to working full time and playing  soccer, appeared to make it near impossible to work out! (Unless of course I sacrificed Netflix at night, but yeah, that didn’t happen). In all seriousness, the challenge for a lot of us is creating a good 45 minutes three to four times a week to exercise. Not only do you need to find the time, but also find the energy. You have put your energy into a hard day’s work, cooking, cleaning and just general ‘adulting’.

It didn’t make sense to me, I was just as busy during my University days. At Uni I was spending every minute of every day either in class, in the library, at soccer practice or in the gym, and I would still have time off to hang out with my good friends. What was the difference?

The difference was it was in my schedule, and I had no choice on the matter. When I landed back in Sydney, this necessity and demand didn’t come from my environment and my motivation took on a new challenge. One of the great advantages of having a personal trainer is that you are held accountable for your workouts by somebody else. This makes it easier to stay on track, and commit to your health and fitness journey.

A few key points on making time to exercise:

  • Workout as early as you can. This will get your day to the right start, and will actually increase your mood at work.
  • Write out your current weekly schedule. Like a food diary, write down what you would do in a regular week, what times you do things and what times are vacant. Often you will find by writing down your schedule, that you have more time than you think.
  • Grocery shop and cook in BULK! There is no need to cook every night, pick a day (Sunday for me) where you have a few free hours. Utilize these hours to cook dinners and lunches in bulk, which will save you time when you have none!
  • Make exercise a priority and allocate a time. Allocate time specifically for your workouts, make them part of your schedule. Soon this will become your routine and it will feel like second nature to workout.
  • Get a personal trainer. Your personal trainer has one job and one job only; to make sure that you reach your fitness goals and maintain them once you are there. We do the thinking for you, we organize appropriate workouts and help with your eating habits. Save time by getting a fitness professional.

Contact us about a trial personal training session today! Or grab a friend or two and trial together. We offer sessions in the inner west and city area of Sydney, from Burwood through to Surry Hills. Results guaranteed!

 

Forming Habits for Success

An inspiring man that many student athletes at the University of Pittsburgh look up to, Penny, once told me on my official visit, that habits need to be made in order to succeed. DOMINATE was his motto, dominate in everything you do. Creating positive habits ensures we are able to dominate through multiple avenues of our lives.

Habits and goals pic

Habits are actions that become autonomous, and are triggered by what psychologists refer to as contextual cues. For example, a person will have a bad day at work (contextual cue) and as a way of coping, will proceed to eat comforts foods (action) and watch an entire series of a television show in order to gain a sense of happiness and relaxation. This habit of overeating and binge watching TV shows is one that is common among us (I  have recently become addicted to Suits!).

In order to stop these unhealthy habits from hindering our long term health, we must make a conscious decision to overturn them. Once we have done this, we should constantly look to reevaluate and improve our short term goals, while keeping sight of why we were motivated in the first place. A recent study conducted by Wendy Wung and Dennis Runger found that habits are likely to be formed when a person is acting in pursuit of a specific goal. The research looked at several studies on the formation of habits and why some are formed and some are abandoned after time. Among other findings, they found that desired habits, for example eating healthy, were significantly more likely to be sustained in the long run when there were specific goals put in place. In their framework, Wung and Runger found that goals help maintain the desired action in the short term, which will eventually allow the habit to become part of the person’s behaviour in the long term.

 

Mountain picThis is important for our health and lifestyle. If we want to change, we should be giving ourselves the best possible chance we can. The information put forward by this study shows the vital importance of goal setting while on our healthy lifestyle journey. Simply put, we should put the importance of SMART eating and exercising first and foremost, and then incorporate our hard work and sacrifice once we have our goals in place.

“The journey of  a thousand miles begins with a single step”  Lao Tzu