I can’t tell you how often I hear some variation of the “I just don’t have time” mantra.  Listen — and I’m not at all trying to be preachy here or anything — but if I’ve got the time, everyone has the time.

Dali21

Dali, from his “drippy clock” period.  Time is an ambiguous concept.  Unless, of course, you’re trying to beat it.

I used to think that the “time” excuse was just code-speak for “I’m lazy”, but I don’t really feel that way any longer.  I’ve run across many, many people — truly driven in other aspects of their lives; highly intelligent, even genuinely motivated toward living a healthier lifestyle — throw out to me the dreaded “time” word.  Interaction with such folks, on an almost daily basis (no exaggeration here), was what ultimately nudged me into writing this blog.  That and, well, being quiet by nature, I guess this is my form of blabbering-on about a subject that interests me.

But let’s, for just a moment, consider this “time” issue from another angle.  Let’s ask this:

How much of Keith’s 24-hour, daily time allotment must be sacrificed upon the alter of “health and fitness” to keep the Gods happy and the demons at bay?

Well, my actual workouts, during the workweek, are normally no more than 30-minutes a clip.  Sometimes I drift into the 45-minute realm, but that’s rare.  On weekends, I usually do more “play” oriented things (running, biking, etc.) on a leisurely schedule.  If need be, though, I can (and have) gone into “workday workout” mode on the weekends.  It depends on what Life has in store for me at that particular time.

Ah, you say, but there’s the rub.  There’s always a rub.  We see that there’s no accounting for all the periphery aspects of your workouts.  And don’t even get us going on proper meal preparation and planning.  By your own admission, diet is 80% of the “health and fitness” puzzle, right?  We’re talkin’ time sink, here!  You must be one of those people who can get by on four hours of sleep a night, right?

You have legitimate concerns, and I, my friends, have reasonable answers.

Here’s my approach to taming the time beast: (1) I split, if only for the sake of clarification, the diet sphere from the exercise sphere. I include a good many other “spheres” in my day as well (work, intellect, spiritual, etc.), but that’s beyond the scope of this post.  (2) I accept that each new day hands me a unique set of circumstances within which I’ll strive, as best I can, to give attention to each of these spheres. Now, if it were completely up to me, I’d nurture each of my spheres daily.  However, this is the real world, and I accept the fact that I’ll be forced at times to narrow my scope.  And that’s OK, too, in the overall scheme of things.  I know I have the ability to realign when the opportunity once again presents itself and I’m again afforded a more beneficial schedule.

I’ll go through the diet sphere tomorrow.  But for today, let’s deconstruct the periphery surrounding that of the workout.

What I’ve found is this: it takes me an additional 20 minutes of “prep” time, from what I would have to allot on a non-workout day, to pull-off that 30-minute workout.  This includes packing clothes (and I am a rather particular — some would say bordering on metrosexual — dresser) , the detour to the gym, ingress and egress, showering, dressing, yada, yada, yada, you name it.  50-minutes out of my day — hell, let’s just call it an hour for argument’s sake.  Your mileage may vary a little, but an hour is a good rule of thumb.  In reality, 50-minutes is with me going about things at a leisurely pace.  If I “hump it”, I can shave another 10-minutes or so from that.  Now, if need be, I can always skew my workout more into the Crossfit or even the Tabata-like realms.  I embrace the chance to change, branch out, try new things.  These kinds of workouts — while I don’t prefer to use them exclusively — are a fantastic change of pace.  What’s even better is that, usually, I fall back on these kinds of workouts when I didn’t think I’d have the time to workout at all.  And that, my friends, is like finding the twenty-spot you’d forgotten about in your coat pocket. Sweet!

So, like I said, tomorrow we’ll give the diet sphere a whirl.  Complete with some of the most boring pictures (of a lunchbox!) you’re likely to ever see in you life.  How’s that for a teaser, huh?

In Health,

Keith

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.

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