Time Demands, Heart Disease, and Saving the World

How do people get everything done? My to-do list is never ending. I’m not some special exception with a busier life; you can probably relate. Check this out: 

  • program client workouts
  • write thank you notes
  • workout
  • call my mom (she’s the best)
  • write/edit blog post
  • mow my lawn and trim those hyperactive shrubs that take over
  • do 3 loads laundry (light, dark and purple, Geaux Tigers!!)
  • workout
  • research changing client programs (this is a big one, will explain later)
  • encourage more consistent workouts to increase health such as developing bone strength, muscular strength and staving off heart disease and stroke
  • experiment with different ways of increasing client compliance
  • encourage all my clients, all my subscribers, and everybody I can influence to exercise smarter and live healthier
  • blah blah blah
  • are you still reading?
  • decrease heart disease! avoid heart attacks! reduce early death! 
Multi-tasking, obviously.

Multi-tasking, obviously.

Ok WOW that escalated quickly. All my to-do lists begin with small and defined tasks before progressing into saving the world. I am being entirely serious. I want to save the world.

I even left off some things like going to the grocery store and watching LSU, UT, and the Saints play football (make fun if you want, but it requires some serious wardrobe changes and time management). I sometimes even write “drink coffee” or “shower” so I can put a couple more check marks.


Setting Expectations

I wrestle constantly with the decision of where to set the bar for my clients. It’s tough because everyone’s time demands are different, everyone’s affinity toward exercising is different. If you love exercise and see it as a blessed break in your day, it’s not a burden to do. If you’re slammed busy with a spouse and co-workers and kids depending on you, carving out another 30-60 minutes in your day to do something you don’t even wanna do is, well, tough.

So where do I set the bar for my clients? In the past, if I knew exactly how much or little exercise could get my client to his goals, I would suggest doing exactly that. The problem is, what if I estimate wrong, ask him to do too little, and he (obviously) don’t reach his goals? That’s a real problem.

It’s time I change my approach.

<Note to other coaches: I would LOVE your input about your philosophy here. What do you ask of your clients in terms of work demand? Email me: kathryn@kathrynalexander.com>


Heart Disease and the Very Real Implications

I was rocked this week by the death of a gym-goer and friend. Heart disease, way too young. He exercised and ate healthy, which illustrates that we aren’t in control of all of our risk factors. For this reason, we should do the best we can with the risk factors we can control. 

Why don’t we do better, when we can control SO MUCH of our health status? It takes so much time. In addition to all the other things we have to do, going to the gym or getting out the door for a walk really cuts into our day. I get it. But we have to do better!

After all, we won’t get to put any checks on that to-do list if we are dead.


AHA Recommendations

The American Heart Association recommends, in addition to 2 days a week of moderate to high intensity muscle building activity, either:

  • at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days a week for a total of 150 minutes. These can be broken into 10 minutes chunks. OR
  • at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes

You can read more details here.


What To Do Next

The takeaway is that we must start taking the time to add more exercise in, despite how busy we all are. Be creative with how you can fit it in. If you truly can’t fit in 25 minutes of activity 3 times a week, you probably need the stress relief most! 

  • Lace up your shoes and walk right out your front door. 15 minutes out, 15 back. 
  • Try new hikes or routes in your city. Window shopping on South Congress? Yes please. 
  • Ramp a treadmill up to a high incline and walk at a high speed for a vigorous aerobic session if you don’t like walking. Vary the speed/incline by minute to avoid boredom. 

To my clients, expect to see some changes in your workouts soon, and be thinking about how you can fit in 2 more homework workout sessions.

If you have more ideas on how you sneak exercise into your day, please let me know! I hope every one of you finds a way to make healthier decisions and life better!