Set Aside Time Each Day to Improve Your Personal Health

From the Dec. 31, 2008 edition of The Lancaster News

Have you been bitten by the busy bee?
What steps have you taken to change your future?

I am not referring to changes related to money, but those having to do with health and wellness. If you are honest with yourself, you will come to the conclusion that you will never be satisfied by material things.

Did you implement anything in 2008 to enhance your quality of life or have you made one excuse after another?

This question is something to think about. I have fallen prey to the excuse plague myself. My mornings start about 4 a.m., with loads of work that keep me busy throughout the day.

Training and working with clients is only about 45-50 percent of my work day.

The remainder goes to writing, preparing and researching material for heath fairs and health talks that I do two to three times a month throughout the greater Charlotte area.

Needless to say, the other things that I deal with on a daily basis include e-mails, personal training, phone time with running my own business, and last, but not least, family matters. All of this, and still I’m coached by mentors twice a month and put in hours of hard work as a body builder. That doesn’t include homework and team meetings twice a week, which can be quite draining.

I’m constantly working on building my business and learning the big picture. With success come new tools and business concepts that I must learn every day.

I would’ve never guessed this “little old country boy” would be so busy that I find myself overwhelmed at times. My days seem to fly by. Before you know it, it’s time for bed and time to prepare for the next morning. Now, I’m smart enough to know that this isn’t a healthy lifestyle. I’m also honest enough to tell you that sometimes I fall short and become a slave to my profession.

Given that, I try to be conscious of every positive thing around me. I try to surround myself with health-conscious people to help me keep tabs on my own health.

I simply ask myself: What is monetary value without monetary health? Now you may get this or you may not, so let me explain. The value of a CLS 500 Mercedes is great, but without good health, the value of anything in life is worthless. You’ll never enjoy the ride if you’re in bed with an illness. You can’t enjoy the beautiful home you’ve paid thousands of dollars for if you are in the hospital.

Do you see my point?

The value of health is priceless. It can’t be bought or sold. For me, it’s a no-brainer; when I find myself chasing the almighty dollar, I get back to reality really fast. To avoid the excuse plague, I set aside some time for myself each day. No matter how busy I get, I always dedicate 45 minutes to an hour for strength and conditioning training.

I make sure to eat the right foods, so my body is properly fueled for the rigorous, busy days. Don’t misunderstand me; I realize that with today’s society and demands, we are all busy.

But you have to realize when you are being plagued with excuses that detour you away from your health. You have to make time to do the right things. Take Dr. Wendell A. Goins, for example. You may know him as a highly regarded and respected surgeon of Mid-Carolina Surgery Specialists. He is busy in his professional life and as a parent. But Goins is also a sensei and martial artist, whom I met through our classes at Universal Karate Studios.

Goins doesn’t have a personal trainer, nor is he spending mega bucks to stay fit and health-conscious. Even with a busy weekly schedule, Goins still makes the time to attend a Saturday morning martial arts class. He even goes the extra mile to bring his daughters there, too. I think that speaks volumes for someone who is extremely busy.

There are a few who have daily schedules more complex than a doctor, like President-elect Barack Obama. Obama follows an innovative nine-step system featured in a recent edition of Men’s Health magazine. He talks about it in an article entitled, “Lessons in Leadership.”

At times, the media attacked Obama for being “too skinny” and refusing to eat junk food on the campaign trail. He works out at least 45 minutes six days a week. Before announcing his candidacy, Obama was a fitness buff. He spends time playing basketball to work up a sweat and strengthen his cardiovascular system. Now who out there can honestly say that they were busier than Obama in 2008?

I love Obama’s methodology – using a simple system to balance every facet of his life from health and love to leadership. These types of tools, systems and business models are used by all successful people.

You can use a similar approach to your health, too. Choose simple words – family, grandchildren and success – and apply them to a system that will start you on a path to better health.

When speaking to fourth- and fifth-graders at Clinton Elementary School in October, I passed along the SOFT theory (Success, Opportunity, Faith and Time), which is sound advice for adults, too. Apply these values to your own busy lifestyle.

Stop making excuses about how busy you are and how much you don’t have. There are others out there who are just as busy as or busier than you who find the time to take care of their physical health without making excuses. Don’t get sidelined by excuses. Make up your mind to train hard and eat healthy.

– Fitness expert and bodybuilder Kennett Washington is president of Healing Strength Personal Training.