Article: PURSUE HEALTHY: Fitness As a Hobby

Not reaping the benefits of your labor can be frustrating. After what seems like endless hours of running, early mornings in the gym, and sacrificing some of your favorite foods, throwing in the towel or looking for a quick fix becomes incredible enticing. 

Here are three ways to make sure you’re not wasting your time.

Prioritize

Making sure you’re allotting the proper amount of time for exercise might seem difficult. Often, the excuse “I don’t have time” is thrown out there as a catch-all for a lack of proper time management. Individuals are willing to invest their time in social media, electronics, nightlife, and other time-wasters, but investing their time into their own health becomes an afterthought.

Another harsh reality is that, by the time a doctor has informed you to exercise and eat better, previous issues have become exacerbated or new health issues have arisen, making your plight that much harder. Start investing in your health now instead of trying to fix it later. Consider exercise and nutrition preventative care.

Recharge with proper nutrition

As I stated above, nutrition is the other half of the equation. Some might argue nutrition’s importance over exercise, but if you consider their importance one in the same, the fruits of your labor come much more quickly. 

Understanding nutrition comes down to balance and moderation. Fueling our bodies means we have the energy needed to put forth the effort for exercise and the proper nutrition to heal afterward. The majority of individuals apply a “good” and “bad” label to food without really understanding why. For the majority of foods, exercising control and moderations can remove the labels. 

I’ve written and spoken about restrictive fad diets and why they do not work. Fad diets such as the ketogenic diet are restrictive and force the individual to remove foods that, in proper amounts, are not “bad” as these diets teach you to believe. For example, the ketogenic diet forces the user to cut carbohydrates down to minimal amounts (roughly 30-40 grams a day) and forces the body to rely on ketones instead of carbohydrates as fuel. Given the majority of people are overweight due to excessive carbohydrates intake, the ketogenic diet removes carbohydrates completely, giving the “good vs. bad” label. 

Instead of jumping on board the next fad diet (Remember the paleo diet? How about the South Beach diet? Maybe the vegan diet? Or even the Atkins diet? I could keep going), how about practicing moderation and control. Find your macro-nutrient requirements for the day (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and track everything that goes in your mouth. The concept of macro-nutrient tracking is basic biology combined with moderation and control.

Have fun

Exercise and nutrition don’t have to be a battle every day. It doesn’t have to be some looming cloud over your head or painful experience. Find the type of exercise you enjoy most and get good at it. 

For me, I enjoy weight training, and I love to share what I enjoy with my clients. It also turns out the benefits of weight training are astronomical. Turn your love of football into an afternoon excursion with the family or once a week with the neighbors. Swim laps at the pool for 20 minutes then spend the next 20 minutes in the pool with your children. Ride your bike to work. (Except if you work on a ranch; don’t do that.) 

The opportunities to turn exercise into a hobby are endless, and all it takes is a little motivation and a plan of action.