How To Organize Fitness Into Our Lives

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to be more active and get fit?

In our January 6th edition, “Sustaining your Willpower in 2014 and Beyond“, we discussed strengthening our willpower by using it, in essence flexing our brain muscle. Many resolutions involve some type of promise to not only get one’s home and finances organized, but also the desire to flex all our muscles, eat better and live a healthier lifestyle. Even the strongest minded people can become overwhelmed at the thought of such significant lifestyle changes, but with the proper help and support these changes are certainly obtainable.

I had the chance to talk to this month’s ask a pro, Tim Bishop. Tim was a strength and conditioning coach with the Baltimore Orioles for 14 years and played professional baseball for the New York Yankees. He holds a master’s degree in exercise science and is a certified and registered strength and conditioning specialist and coach. Along with his DVD, Power for Sports Performance, and his book, Stronger Legs & Lower Body, Tim is the owner of PerformFit Sports Experience in Cockeysville, Maryland where he offers a variety of fitness services.

Upon walking into PerformFit it is easy to see where the name was derived. The upbeat music, inspirational notes jotted on the chalkboards and fully equipped facility drive the mood and energy to perform-to be fit. Tim took the time to answer some of the questions our clients typically seem stuck on when it comes to fitness goal setting and time management challenges in our lives.

Absolutely Organized (AO): Many of our clients never seem able to find the time to work a fitness routine around their busy and hectic work schedules. Some just lack the motivation and desire. Willpower can be a waning endeavor. Specifically, what are the benefits a personal trainer, and/or fitness class, can provide in helping people get motivated and stay motivated for the long haul?

Tim: We are all very busy. Exercise is often the last thing we get to in the course of a day. Having a personal trainer or belonging to a small group class holds you accountable. Personal training is by appointment. Most active people follow a daily schedule and if a personal training session is scheduled you are more likely to keep the appointment. Small group settings are usually very interactive. When you make friends and tell them you will “see them next class”, you are also more likely to keep that commitment.

AO: How much time should we allot to fitness/exercise during the week and what are some suggestions on how we can organize our work schedules to accommodate a fitness routine we can manage and live with?

Tim: You should strive to be active virtually every day. Realistically, however, if you can devote 45-60 minutes at least three times per week you are on the right track. Earlier is usually better. If you can get your exercise done prior to the demands of a busy day you are one step ahead.

AO: Besides the help and support of a personal trainer or class, are there other things we can do for our body/mind to keep us on the fitness track?

Tim: Diet is extremely important for losing or maintaining your weight. It takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. That is a lot of exercise! Controlling your caloric intake (the amount you eat) along with regular exercise is the best way to keep your weight in check as well as controlling other risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and the possible onset of diabetes.

AO: In all your years playing sports and working as a strength and conditioning coach, what is the most valuable piece of information you have to offer?

Tim: The advice I like to give to people is to be persistent and consistent. Avoid fad diets and gimmicky exercise routines. You will make the best gains by sticking to a common sense exercise routine and a healthful diet. Creating healthy habits takes time and being persistent and consistent will help you create these habits for the long haul.

AO: What is one of the most comical excuses to avoid fitness you ever heard?

Tim: “I don’t exercise because you can’t strain fat!”

No matter what type of organizational lifestyle changes you are looking to make in the year 2014, remember you never have to go it alone. By calling upon the assistance of a professional you will have a hand to help you, and be less overwhelmed, in whatever resolutions you choose to make.

Next week…what the hoarding television shows don’t want you to see. Also, stay tuned for our February ask a pro interview with CPA Mary Kiser for some helpful tax time advice.

By: Jenny Power 1/27/14