Fitting Fitness Into Your Schedule: A New Approach To The Gym

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Written by Tim Crough, Fitness Entrepreneur | Performance Coach |Wellness Evangelist | Husband/Daddy | Striving for Humility | Ski Bum Wannabe

You’re busy. Real busy. Maybe it’s your stage of life or circumstances that will pass, but usually it’s a cycle you can’t get out of. Eventually it gets overwhelming and exhausting and you find yourself without energy and totally unmotivated to do much of anything…especially working out.

So who are the people who find the time and energy and are committed to getting fit? They often fall into one of two categories:

THE OBLIGATED
These people go through the motions and work up a sweat, but never seem to change. They also tend to use the gym for social purposes. Additionally, there’s often a motivation to lose that extra 10-15 lbs but they aren’t exactly sure how to go about it. Inevitably they end up sticking with what worked for them in the past, even though it doesn’t work for them now.

THE OBSESSED
These people literally live to work out and seem to enjoy it in a way most people never think they could. They run, lift, bike, lift, swim and lift some more. They tend to have an athletic background, work hard and look good. And, after experiencing a little success, they are welcomed into a community who supports them and their efforts. Inevitably, the injury bug is going to bite and a frustrating pattern can start to emerge. The very activity that had been so life-affirming is now no longer available accessible or sustainable.  

But I’ve got great news for you! These aren’t the only options when it comes to working out. What if we completely changed our mindset toward exercise and the entire process that we’ve come to understand?

Q: Why are we subjected to a barrage of advertising that glorifies an active outdoor lifestyle? How can REI (an adventure mountain retailer) thrive in Kansas?

A: Because we love the idea of moving through the great outdoors. It appeals to our most basic and primal senses. Simply put, it’s what we were designed for. Our brains get off on that kind of stuff. We don’t have to think too long and hard to know we weren’t designed to move indoors in front of a big screen without actually going anywhere.

Instead of 10 minutes on the elliptical, 30 minutes of 3 x 10 on the machines and 100 crunches with a 3 minute cool down stretch….think of moving a log 100 feet.

Doing so requires real, natural, innate movement patterns, a problem-solving dynamic in the brain, range of motion in multiple planes, stabilizing forces for control, and functional strength to maneuver.

Brand new research on something called neuroplasticity is showing that this type of movement-based exercise significantly helps the brain and a host of other healthy functions. (I’ll discuss that further in a future post).

Now you don’t have to go find a log today and act like you were living 150 years ago (although it’s not a bad idea), but you should find something that’s outside, fun and, of course, challenging.

My challenge to you: The next opportunity you get to find time in your busy and exhausting schedule to go to the gym….go with a different purpose…go with the idea that your workout will be focused on helping you get better equipped to move outside the gym.

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