There are many myths and misconceptions about how to create a successful and healthy plan when you are not in the gym. On average, a little more than 3% of the week is spent on exercise in a gym. A typical gym-goer will spend around 1 hour a day 4 days a week inside the gym for a workout. So now the question is, what can we do with the remaining hours? I have found in my time working with clients, the more realistic the objectives, the higher rate of success and sustainability. Below are some of my recommendations on how to find continued results for times you’re away from the gym.
Get up and Get moving
We live in a digital age where 90% of people I meet with daily have a computer-based desk job, seated for countless hours at a time which negatively affects the hips, core, back, posture and alignment, and worse of all our metabolism. A study from the PMC US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, titled “How many steps/day are enough for adults?”, concludes that every individual should be aiming to hit on average 10,000 steps a day. Every little bit adds up throughout the day. If it seems like a daunting task, the key is to make it routine. Try to go on a walk every evening after dinner. In terms of metabolism, a 30-minute walk a day would accomplish the use of around 200 kcals on average, making for 1,400 kcals in the week. This creates a caloric deficit in addition to any other gym activity you are already doing. Success is built on consistency and patience.
I think it is funny when I ask the question “how is your diet?” and get a response “I’m not on a diet”. Over the years there has been this guided negativity to the word diet. When in reality, it is basically what you eat in a day. Being aware of what you’re eating does not mean following a crazy program or extremely limited intake of calories or types of food. The phrase I tend to use is “conscious eating”, which is being aware of everything we eat. As we talked about earlier creating a calorie deficit in the week attributes to the continued success of remaining healthy. We want to look at what our day consists of, what our serving sizes look like, when is the last time we are eating in a day, and what that food is. The “midnight snack” is going to be something to tackle as well, and can certainly be a hard one to give up. Finding the right substitution is key. We want to look for something in the 150 kcal range for this snack. It may not seem like enough at the moment but it will help satisfy that craving and prevent a heavy source sitting in your digestive tract as you sleep, which is our lowest activity state, where we burn fewer calories because we are less active.
What We Drink
The final piece I want to tackle is what we drink. In an article titled, Rethink your Drink. It is pretty staggering how much a dramatic difference we can see in someone’s results when the biggest factor we influence is the amount and type of drinks they take in daily. On average, a typical adult will take in around 1,000 kcals a day in drinks alone. This number will completely hinder results when we are looking for a healthy lifestyle. Typically, we burn about 1500 kcals per day from just being alive and any additional burn of calories comes from additional exercise. If we are consuming 1,000 kcals, we are only negative -500 calories on the day which does not account for our intake of food on that day. We are creating hurdles that make our success very hard to accomplish over time. The chart below from the CDC gives examples of how to switch out your high-calorie beverages for smarter options.
There are a number of factors that contribute to our success in a healthy lifestyle. We need to be active, exercise, watch what we eat and what we drink. Consistency over time is what creates a long term healthy body. We can create a foundation of success in the gym, but the greater percentage of our time spent outside has a large effect on the work we put in while we are in the gym. By using a few of these tips, instead of hindering our results, we can boost them.
Stay healthy my friends!
Arizona native, grew up in the West Valley and went to Brophy Prep in Phoenix, following my dream of baseball accepted a full scholarship to Tennessee Wesleyan, in 2012 won the Nation Championship for NAIA and was named the Tournament MVP for setting 2 National Records, number of Home Runs total (7 in 5 games) and number of Home Runs in a game (3), being my senior year I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science and was selected by the Detroit Tigers that same year. After 4 seasons of professional baseball, playing internationally in Canada as well, returned home to Phoenix in 2015 and was hired by Mountainside during the opening of the Arrowhead location in 2015 as a Personal trainer certified Personal Trainer, Functional Fitness and Senior Fitness. Since then I have worked my way up to Fitness Manager and overseeing 6 of our locations. In addition helped create and currently oversee with our Regional Manager Jeff Ginbey, our in house Personal Training Certification “Elevate” and in 2019 was Named PT Club of the Year for the work put in at the Peoria location. During the shutdowns I helped build database of minimal equipment workouts for our members to use daily to keep motivation and things interesting without the gym being available.
Tudor-Locke C, Craig CL, Brown WJ, et al. How many steps/day are enough? For adults. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011;8:79. Published 2011 Jul 28. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-79
Benton D, Young HA. Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2017;12(5):703-714. doi:10.1177/1745691617690878