Richards: With 168 hours in a week, there’s more than enough time (column)
Make It Count
We choose to make time for what we prioritize in our lives.
The No. 1 excuse for why people don’t exercise is because of busyness. With 168 hours in a week, there’s more than enough time for exercise, work, family life, recreation, volunteering, down time and whatever else excites you. The challenge isn’t enough hours in a day, it’s managing those hours carefully.
Three years ago, after I opened the Bunkhouse in Minturn, I went through a divorce, was still running a full-time fitness business, co-parenting my son and still had to find time for things that brought peace into my life. I was so overwhelmed, I often found myself sitting in my house not able to move; paralyzed by life, I didn’t even know where to begin. Sometimes I would sit for hours with my brain running 100 miles per minute, in 20 different directions. A time management overhaul was imminent.
I was listening to an interview on the radio, and Dan John, a notable fitness coach, was discussing productivity. His message was simple, and it resonated with my streamlined approach toward life.
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John referenced shark bites and pirate maps. Sharks don’t nibble or bottom feed, sharks attack with massive bites, annihilating their prey.
Each day, take shark bites as you approach specific tasks. Don’t open that email unless you’re going to own it, read it and reply immediately. Finish each and every task to completion. Multitasking is a misguided waste of time. Focus on one thing at a time, rinse and repeat.
If you can imagine a pirate map, they often resemble dots that lead along the path of least resistance to the treasure. Get to the point in life quickly, with a map. Make grocery lists, lay out your clothes for the next day, write out to-do lists on Sunday night, clearly articulate your message throughout the day. Stop wasting time on social media, television and other distractions that rob you of time that should be invested elsewhere.
Prioritizing exercise is no different. You must have a plan, and make time for it.
Lately, I’ve been busy growing the Bunkhouse, so I’ve gotten creative with exercise. Instead of going to the gym where I spend most of my daily working hours training others, I built a gym in my garage. The gym is a distraction when it’s your place of business, and working out at home saves me time and potential wasted effort. You don’t need fancy equipment, or any at all. I acquired all of my kettlebells that were collecting dust, hung a pull up bar from the garage ceiling, mounted some Olympic rings and I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. every morning.
Here are a few of my routines, that take no longer than 20 to 30 minutes.
Squat, Swing and Push: I’ll use two, equally weighted kettlebells and perform five double kettlebell front squats, 10 double kettlebell swings and 20 pushups; rest one minute. I’ll repeat this effort five to 10 rounds depending on how much time I have, and how heavy I go. So, that’s 25 squats, 50 swings and 100 pushups; or 50 squats, 100 swings and 200 pushups.
Squat and Pull: 10 bodyweight squats and three pull-ups; 20 bodyweight squats and five pull-ups; 30 bodyweight squats and eight pull-ups. Rest one to two minutes, and repeat for three to five rounds. Whatever works. That’s 180-300 squats, and 48-80 pull-ups.
Hockey Pushup Challenge: I love playoff hockey. If the day’s gotten away from me, but I really want to watch hockey, I’ll perform a pushup ladder anytime the whistle is blown. For instance, if the whistle blows, I’ll perform 10 pushups. The next whistle blow, I’ll perform seven pushups; then five and then three. I’ll do this the entire game. It may add up to several hundred pushups. Perform this with a favorite TV show, or a movie when a specific word is said, during commercials or other creative strategies you can think of. Use burpees, squats, lunges, sit-ups, planks, side-planks and other bodyweight calisthenics, too.
Five Minute Morning Challenge: Perform this five days per week, and pick one bodyweight exercise per day. Perform as many repetitions as possible in five minutes. It’s hard. But, who doesn’t have five minutes, and you need no equipment. Again, use exercises such as pushups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, getting up and down off of the floor, etc.
Life is busy, I get it. But there’s no excuses for not getting exercise done on a regular basis. OK, let’s keep talking about this stuff. Have a great week.
Ryan Richards is a fitness professional who has been keeping the Vail Valley strong for over a decade. You can find him at ryanrichards.com or 970-401-0720
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.