Column: How the workin’ man can fit in fitness
The workin’ man has little time for fitness. The workin’ woman has even less. (When I say workin’ man, I am referring to all of us who work hard for a living. “Workin’ entities” hurts no one’s feelings, but just doesn’t sound right.)
Achieving fitness goals can be challenging. The workin’ man doesn’t have time for cardio, extra stretching or even a 10-minute chair massage. The workin’ man barely has time to eat and sleep, and almost no time to shop for new workout outfits or minimalist shoes. The workin’ man has a beard, but that is only because he is a workin’ man, not because it is temporarily in style at the gym that’s not a gym. The workin’ man doesn’t care about style anyway — because he is busy, working.
Seriously, how does the working man stay fit? Making up for inflated inflation and paying for endless effective community government programs by actually working can be an arduous task. I find that middle-aged working people are the most abusive to themselves as survival sucks up all available resources. I’m in this group, so I get it. The transition period between our 20s and 60s can make or break us. Jobs, kids, spouses, parents, politicians, roundabouts and trainers asking you to do more cardio can make staying fit nearly impossible. This is often the time when many of us just submit to the insanity and become unrecognizable at the 20-year high school reunion.
Here are some tips for you working people who live in the real world and have very little time to work out.
You can get great results with brief, intense, resistance-training workouts. In fact, these kind of workouts will increase your energy, relieve stress, lift your spirits and keep you in decent shape until you have more time to work out all day. I see too many people killing themselves in and out of the gym, working, running, climbing and skiing themselves into expensive repetitive stress injuries. Don’t get me wrong, the reason we all live here is so we can enjoy outdoor activities. I’m just saying, “Don’t go so hard!” You will need your body just in case you become a working man or need to walk under your own power in your 70s.
The working man has ethics. Therefore, he does not want to do sissy workouts because he does things the right way! Instead, due to time constraints, the working man avoids the workout situation entirely, devoting his time to work, family and usually some kind of extreme and/or self-destructive behavior(s). My advice is that if you want to be there for the long haul, you must spend some time least maintaining the machine, just in case you live past 50.
For example, better food intake will make a big difference. A big trap that I see the working man fall into is the convenience store breakfast and lunch. Everyone knows that this is a sure way to save time and spend way more money all while improving your health. Don’t get me wrong — I love flashy, high-priced processed garbage as much as anybody, but a steady diet of artificial breakfast sliders, crack-in-a-can pre-workout sport-drinks and scratch tickets is not helping your situation. Eat breakfast at home and have better choices available by bringing your own lunch.
The lunchtime break. This can go either way. If you are actually working, I recommend you take a break, sit down and eat an actual meal. If you are sitting all day, get outside for some sunshine and a walk for 20 minutes to straighten your body out from staring at your Facebook page all day (and getting important work done, of course). This works great, especially in the winter when you get out less and literally destroy your body by making it sit all day, give it no sunshine, fresh air or exercise.
Steve Wells is a personal trainer and co-owner of Midland Fitness. His column appears on Tuesdays. Steve may or not qualify to be described as a workin’ man. He is a personal trainer, which is not technically a real job; Steve has other people do all the work while he sits around and drinks coffee. However, he has had real jobs in the past, which may qualify him to comment on actual work and/or what a working man would experience, even though he has not recently attended any weekend workin’ man’s workshop certification clinics.
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