With the typical US adult working 47 hours a week (and about 40% putting in over 50 hours), Americans are working on average an extra month of work each year when compared to those in European countries! You can say that Americans are commonly Type A: ambitious, driven, and possibly borderline obsessive-compulsive. Which also can translate into fitness motivations and a strong drive to perform or compete. But where do you find the time to be a fitness enthusiast if you’re also a workaholic, not to mention possibly married with children, friends and a life outside of Beach Fitness or the office.If you’re hard-pressed for time and looking to build or maintain a leaner, stronger physique, take a few minutes to read this. Here are 3 simple focus points and a few action items to get the most out of your limited time.
One of the most important components of fitness does not involve the gym or exercise at all. It start’s in YOUR kitchen-- not a commercial kitchen. People who work longer hours tend to dine out or order takeout more frequently because the convenience of prepared foods at the end of the long day trumps the time or energy that it takes to prepare a meal. The numbers support this, according to the USDA’s latest food expenditure data: Millennials spend 44% of their food dollars on meals out of the house. Even baby boomers are spending close to 40% of their food dollars dining out.But the problem with this is that eating out is one of the main reasons that people become overweight. When you know what’s going into your body from a fuel stance, it’s much easier to get what you want out of your body as it pertains to your health and fitness goals. That’s why preparing your own food is so important. You have direct control over what and how much you eat, and it allows you track how your body responds to dietary intake. Even if you don’t enjoy cooking, try following these steps for a few weeks and see how your body responds.
If you spend an hour or two on Sunday preparing everything for the week, it only takes you 5-10 minutes the evening before to put together a lunch option for the following day (or none at all if you pre-package them during the initial prep) or to get a dinner option when you return home. That’s less time than it takes to wait for your to-go order or you will sit in a restaurant dining out!
Your workday already consumes most of your time, and you need your workout to be as effective and efficient as possible so that you don’t compromise on those other important things, like sleep and life. To improve lean body mass and achieve a toned, healthy look in the shorted time possible, incorporating resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will have the best outcomes.Just look at the health impacts of each.
Commonly known as “strength training,” resistance training is simply any load-bearing exercise that causes your muscles to contract against an external force. There are a wide-variety of health benefits including: Increased lean body mass, stronger bones, joints, and skeletal muscles, and increased BMR to name a few. But here are two reasons why many of the secrets of health are ‘in the muscle’:
High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT, is a type of workout of quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed up with short (sometimes active) recovery periods.When it comes to burning body fat in the least amount of time possible, HIIT is a proven approach, and has been shown to be equal to or better than steady-state cardio for overall cardiovascular health. Bonus for you workaholics, HIIT is more time-efficient.
Tracking your progress is one of the most often overlooked and underutilized tools that gets you to your goal, and as a Type-A person, you likely have lots of goals whether professional or personal. And it’s highly unlikely you’ve gotten to where you are without plenty of data analysis. So don’t you think your body and tracking personal changes is critical to your overall success?Similar to how a food diary can help you track patterns overtime, scheduling your workouts in advance and recording your exercise routines creates the same documented accountability and records that you can use for tracking. But how can you tell if you’re getting closer to your goals? Like we mentioned earlier, the scale should not be the gold standard for measuring progress or change, there is a better and more accurate tool that can tell you how your body is responding and changing physically over time.
Tracking your body composition gives you objective, measurable feedback that translates into physical results. Even better, it’s easy, painless, and FAST. Body composition analysis tests can be done in less than a minute and help you determine what’s working and what’s not. With each test, you’ll be able to directly make data-driven adjustments and tweaks to help you achieve your goals. As a working individual, you don’t have time to waste and being able to instantly see and measure how your body is improving by the numbers makes tracking your health a whole lot easier.
The “best” approach for you, the busy professional, is the one that you will actually follow, one that helps you find the right personal balance between work, health, and play, as well as aligns with your health and fitness goals.If your goal is to increase lean body mass while and improve muscle tone for a leaner physique, resistance training is a proven method. If you’re goal is to lower body fat, HIIT is a great option.Regardless of what fitness routine best fits your busy life, eating right and tracking your progress have even more impact on your health and fitness than sweat alone! The next generation of successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, and big thinkers already utilize this highly strategic, data-driven approach in their daily lives. If you haven’t jumped on the body composition bandwagon, it’s never too late to start.