Friday, August 13, 2010

Back To School, Back To The Gym by Rachel Cosgrove

Rachel Cosgrove: Back to school, back to the gym

Exercise: With the kids heading back to class, it’s time for moms everywhere to get back into the gym

Women work out at Results Fitness in Newhall. Now that school is almost back in session it is time to return to the gym, too. Find the time to take care of yourself.

Ah, summer. A season filled with vacations, trips to the ice cream shop with the kids, eating out more than usual and sipping margaritas while barbecuing burgers and snacking on chips and guacamole in the backyard.

In addition to all the wonderful food and drink, having the kids home from school all summer makes it hard to take time for yourself. It’s only natural your fitness program may take a back seat during the summer months.

Well, guess what? Your last excuse is about to go back to school. As the kids head to class, reclaim your time and commit to getting yourself back in the gym.

August and September are similar to January. The vacations are over, and all of the excuses you were using fizzle away. You’ll either need new excuses or you’ll take action and make time for you and your fitness program. Not only do I recommend the latter, but I have a solution to overcome potential obstacles.

If one of your excuses has been: “My kids come first.”

Moms are constantly taking care of everyone else. From the time they wake up, it’s all about making sure the family has what they need. It’s hard for a mom to stop and take an hour out of the day to take care of herself. But, as a mother, if you do not take care of yourself, you are actually being selfish.

Don’t you owe it to your kids and family to be the best you can be? Full of energy, feeling good about yourself and being a healthy role model for your children to look up to? If the mom, who everyone depends on, breaks down, then what? You have to take care of yourself first so you can take care of everyone else.

This is not an excuse in my book, but all the more reason why you need to make exercise and eating right a priority. And what better time than now?

Speaking of time the most common excuse I hear is:

“I don’t have enough time!”

Here’s a little secret — you don’t find time, you make time. You will never suddenly have extra time to exercise and prepare your meals. The good news is it doesn’t take as much time as you think. You just have to decide you want to lead a healthier lifestyle.

You only get one shot at life, and as time goes by, days and years go by, you do not get them back. Right now is the one opportunity to make the best out of your given time. Are you are setting time aside for yourself or are you wasting it doing something else? Like coming up with excuses?

Isn’t it amazing how much time we have to sit around rationalizing and creating excuses for ourselves?

There are 168 hours in a week, and every single person has the same amount of time. What makes the difference is how you use that time. Who we are and who we become is a direct result of what we are doing with these hours.

You should think of time being equal to life. Replace the word time with the word life. When you don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough life to get in shape and reach your potential physically and mentally. Time equals life. What do you want in your life? If it is to be a fit, have energy and feel good, then make the time.

Of course, you can also decide your life is not worth it. If you don’t have time now in your life, then you better have time later to regret never reaching your potential physically and mentally. The pain of having regrets far outweighs taking the time now to plan your day and make fitness and eating right a priority in your life.

How can you make time? Sleep takes eight hours a day for a total of 56 hours. Work and/or shuttling the kids around takes eight to 10 hours a week, plus a possible hour commute each way, for a total of up to 60 hours maximum. You have to eat, so we’ll allot two hours a day for a total of 14 hours for meals.

That’s a grand total of 130 hours of the 168. That leaves 38 hours to use however you choose.

Too many of us choose to use all our spare time sitting on our butts watching TV.

Is it a coincidence the latest statistics showed the average American watches nearly 38 hours of television a week? The average American is also overweight. Do you think the two could be related?

When it comes to changing your body, it doesn’t take as much time as you may think to get results. In fact, less is more for those of you who are cardio queens. Your workout should not take longer than an hour. Get in, get out and get on with your life.

I’ve had clients get amazing results working out two hours a week, including many of the moms who come to our gym. If you really are limited, something is better than nothing. Make those two hours count by doing effective workouts. The key to changing your body is consistently working toward your goal week after week. I am sure you can spare an hour, two times a week, for exercise.

Not having time is no longer an excuse. Make time to accomplish what you want in your life. Why not go through life feeling fit, confident and good about yourself? Life is too short to not feel your best every single day. Simply ask yourself, "Is this the best use of my time right now to get me closer to my goal?"

Take the time to plan out your day. Take inventory of your time and your goals and make it happen. Stop making excuses. Your last excuse just got on the bus and is headed back to school.

See you in the gym.

Rachel Cosgrove is the author of the bestselling The Female Body Breakthrough: The Revolutionary Strength-Training Plan for Losing Fat and Getting the Body You Want and co-owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California.

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