Obviously health and fitness are important to you. But have you thought about it lately? How healthy and fit are you? How often do you exercise? Has losing weight been a recurring New Year's resolution?
Health and fitness is a topic many people like to avoid. Others consider it important – but not urgent – not yet. If we feel good and don't have any serious medical issues, health is at the back of our minds and fitness is something we don't have time for. But, this changes very quickly if or when we get a wake-up call that we have a medical issue that threatens our well-being.
In general, people may classify health and fitness in the following categories:
- Important & Urgent – People in this category watch what they eat and drink, "make time" for exercise, and generally monitor their health, fitness, strength, mobility and aerobics. Those in group 4 below would call them "health nuts".
- Important but Not-urgent – These people have good intentions but don't commit; they make yearly resolutions to lose the 10 pounds and go to the gym more regularly; but, where to get the time and motivation? The job is tiring, the "call of the couch" is usually louder than the gym, …and that chocolate dessert, hmm… They're just too busy right now.
- Not important but Urgent – for these people important things like family, job, finances, etc. are the main focus. The urgency doesn't come until the doctor says to lose weight, blood pressure is too high, quit smoking – or the life insurance company turns them down for health reasons.
- Not important & Not urgent – This group includes those that are busy with other things and just don't think about health and fitness. Those under 30 might be here. They can eat and drink what they want, exercise for fun and haven't experienced the slowing metabolism that comes after 30.
A key principle of the Best Year Yet system is "Gold Time Management". Gold Time is time spent on Important/Not Urgent activities. It's called Gold Time because the time spent on this type of activity pays off ten-fold over other types of activity.
Health and fitness falls into Gold Time along with activities such as planning and nurturing relationships with family and friends. What could be more important?
If we don't schedule time for this Gold Time activity we lose those very precious times and at some point, the Not Urgent becomes Urgent. If we neglect health and fitness, the wake up call from the doctor telling us we have diabetes from our sedentary overweight lifestyle, suddenly shocks us into urgency.
You Make the Call
You are responsible for your own well-being – can't blame the doctor, the health care system, your spouse or your cat. Proper diet and regular exercise are up to you. The pay off for maintaining health and fitness is superior quality of life, better energy levels, less medication, and a longer life. The choices you make today usually determine the health you have tomorrow
Get in the Habit and You'll Enjoy It
Commit to walking, running, or other vigorous exercise at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days and you will form the habit and see results. In the winter, find a gym or enjoy the great outdoor weather – don't give it up. If you walk your dog, walk faster for at least 30 minutes. Enjoy the time and feel the increased energy and mood boost.
Watch What You Eat
Most of us burn about 2000 calories a day. This number is used in the nutrition information posted on food packaging. Use it as a guide and track calorie intake for a few days and you'll be surprised; it's very easy to exceed the number – and gain weight. More people are dining out these days due to busy schedules or travel. Choose healthy options and skip desserts. Watch the intake of fat, sodium, and sugar content.
Next time you are tempted to have that big chocolate chip cookie or brownie after lunch, check out the calories and fat – it'll take you days to work it off.
Smoking is the greatest modifiable health risk facing our nation. For people who want to try to kick the habit on their own, stop-smoking aids are available at the local pharmacy or seek professional help.
Find Time, Make Time
Work more on category 2 activities and you will find you can decrease the category 1 activities. To find more time, stop activities in category 4 – Not Important/Not Urgent, like watching mindless TV. Put the important/not urgent items in your schedule and keep it.
"The key is not to prioritize what's on the schedule, but to schedule your priorities".
The Harry Chapin song "The Cat's in the Cradle" says it well:
"…There were planes to catch and bills to pay
he learned to walk while I was away
When you comin' home Dad? I don't know when
But we'll get together then son, we'll have a good time then."
…Enjoy your jog!
© Copyright 2010 Lloyd Franke
About the Author
Lloyd Franke is a business consultant and Best Year Yet Program Leader specializing in defining and achieving high performance goals in owner-managed businesses.
Lloyd is passionate about health and fitness and has been running/jogging since before it was a fad. He leads planning sessions to develop companies' vision, mission, and goals and coaches management teams to achieve superior results. With over 20 years experience, he has assisted companies and teams through the challenges of rapid expansion as well as the trials of recessionary times. His education includes a degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. Check his web site at www.LfrankeAssociates.com Email: lfranke@LFrankeAssociates.com Call: 781-721-2123