Category: Getting Fit

Prioritizing Time

A few weeks ago, someone asked Arnold Schwarzenegger for advice on what to do if you don’t have time to exercise or be healthy. He said he usually responds to this question by asking the person to pull out their cell phone and look at how much time they’ve spent on social media this week. He also mentioned it’s usually about prioritizing time, not a lack thereof.

The comment sunk in, but I didn’t give it much more thought since I’ve been putting in the time lately. Then this weekend, I got to see how this worked firsthand.

A friend of mine gets into a pretty severe depression about his weight and eating habits pretty regularly. He beats up on himself, and I hate to see that. I’m always doing my best to extend grace and be encouraging. At the end of the day though, it always comes down to a lack of time. He has young kids and a stressful job, and he just doesn’t have time to exercise or meal prep.

And I think I bought that excuse for the most part. I know I’ve used that excuse for years, who am I to judge someone else for using it? But then this weekend, I watched my friend make a conscious choice to stay up all night messing with a hobby, after he’d already wasted several hours on it earlier.

That got me thinking about how my friend prioritizes his time. A good portion of it is spent watching YouTubers with hot takes on entertainment. Even more time is spent in Facebook groups following various hobbies. That’s when I realized, my friend does have the time, he just chooses to do something else. The same way I had the time, I just chose to watch TV or play video games, or worse, browse the internet instead of walking or exercising.

I guess, what I’m getting at is, we have the time, we just have to prioritize. It has to be important to us. And as my new banner in my gym says:



Apple Watch

Last fall, I was gifted a Fitbit Sense. This was right around the time I was planting the seeds about getting healthy and despite having never owned a smart watch, I was excited to test its potential. Sadly, the Fitbit was a massive disappointment. The lack of accuracy made using the watch useless, and glitches that have existed for years (such as saying I’ve walked up several hundred flights of stairs when in fact it was two) just made me stop wearing the watch.

I went online to see what watch was listed with better accuracy but could also function in some other ways to assist me in my daily life. The Apple Watch seemed to fit the mold the best, and so I began thinking about getting one.

It’s been six months, but I finally bought an Apple Watch SE. I won’t bother to review it, there is plenty of that online, but I will say, thus far, this watch has exceeded all of my expectations.

Not only is the fitness accuracy on point, the ease of use and comfortability is top notch. I utilize things like Spotify, notifications, timers, etc., and thus far I’m very happy with my purchase. But I think the biggest surprise I discovered was my three free months of Fitness+ that came with the watch.

See, I didn’t need the watch to get fit. I can definitely get healthy without it. I don’t see myself posting photos of my rings or any of that mess, but I did wonder if the watch and the rings system would encourage me to do more. And that’s where Fitness+ came into play.

Fitness+ is Apple’s online fitness program. They range in variety from yoga and meditation to HIIT and cycling. There are multiple instructors, multiple styles, and new videos being added all the time. When combined with my Apple TV, I can watch my watch statistics on the TV while working out and the classes are no-nonsense and just enjoyable.

I love the quick ten-minute yoga classes, but surprisingly, I’ve been utilizing the heck out of the meditation classes. I don’t typically like guided meditations, but I’ve enjoyed what Fitness+ has to offer and I’ve been exceeding my goal to meditate for six minutes almost daily since I got the watch. Heck, last night I meditated once in the afternoon for ten minutes and then did a ten-minute sleep meditation that actually put me to sleep!

The Apple Watch and Fitness+ are tools. They won’t make you healthy on their own, but if you utilize them, I think it can help you develop more healthy habits. I’ll admit, for years I judged smartwatches as pointless and ridiculous, but I was wrong. Time will tell, but I think my Apple Watch is going to help me along this journey.

You Are Only as Strong as Your Weakest Part

Getting into shape can stink, especially after so many years of not being active. You notice the mobility you’ve lost, the lack of muscle definition, and how things have become more difficult. Of course, most of it can be improved with enough time and effort and that’s what I’m working on right now. I’m building that foundation, so I can grow strong and sturdy.

If you have a crack in your foundation or you put up a load bearing wall wrong, this can cause issues in the future. Maybe your house isn’t so sturdy or maybe even comes crashing down on you. I’ve been focusing on some weak spots in my body, and I’ve been giving them extra attention. I’m okay with my quest for a healthier life being slow, but these are areas I need to see improvement a bit faster than the others.

1. My Lower Back
Lower back problems go back several generations in my family. We have been cursed with a lack of backside, which seems to go together with back pain. Add extra weight and inactivity to the mix, and I’ve spent weeks if not months of my life in various stages of back pain.

I’ve been working on it for the past seven or eight months though. I began a short walking routine at work, I’ve utilized my standing desk, and I stretch most nights. When I began working out regularly, I embraced the McGill Big Three, which I try and complete five nights a week.

Apart from some sciatica pain, my back has been feeling the best it has in years.

2. My Wrists
I have small wrists and they have always been weak. How weak? It’s not uncommon for me to wear braces at night a few times a year and the last yoga class I attended the teacher noticed how much I kept propping up my knuckles, she modified the class so I could stay off my wrists. Yea… not fun.

A few years ago, I purchased a set of three recovery balls. These silicon balls are made to increase strength and agility in your hands, fingers, wrists, and forearms. Surprisingly, they made a huge difference in my wrist pain. So, I’ve begun using them again, in combination with a Grip Master while at work, and I purchased a set of grippers that I use at home. My goal is to increase my grip strength, but also continue to strengthen my wrists.

At this point, I feel like my wrists and grip strength may be at an all-time high with just a couple of months of exercise in.

3. My Knees
As detailed the other day, I have not been focusing on strengthening my knee and it came back to haunt me. I forgot about a weak part, and my body reminded me that I needed to strengthen it if I was going to keep working on this foundation.

After hours of research, I’ve decided to approach my knee from a couple of different angles.

First, I’m going to invest in a high-quality compression sleeve to help “hug” my knee while working out.

Second, I’m dusting off the aerobic step and I’m going to work on completing workouts on it to help strengthen my knee.

Third, I’ve researched various physical therapy exercises which I intend on working into my workout. In a few weeks, I may make them daily goals (the way I use the McGill Three) but right now I just want to test the exercises and make sure they are strengthening and helping first.

And fourth, I’ll be modifying knee exercises going forward. I’ve been researching lunge modifications and I’m going to make some changes so that I don’t put that much pressure on my knee again.

I’m sure another injury will occur and remind me of some other part of my body that deserves some extra attention, but until then, this is my guideline.