It’s not just important to make health and fithess a priority in order to live a long, healthy life—it’s critical. As I discussed in my last article, there are days where we miss a workout due to work demands, staying home with a sick child, or our own seasonal cold. In fact, just in the last two weeks I have only gotten to the gym three times because our son was sick and I needed to stay home with him while he recovered.
Priorities and habits dictate our life. We make plans from a thirty-thousand-foot view on our lives. We are living the marathon and not the sprint. When we plan our week we assume things will go according to schedule, and the way approach our week is important in order to keep us on track despite life’s circumstances.
Everybody Hates Mondays
Monday happens to be my favorite day of the week. Go figure. I have always laughed at all the social media posts about people hating to go back to work and starting their week off. The way we see it is that anything that you give a meaning to, whether positive or negative, will inevitably affect your mood that day. I love Mondays because it allows me to start my week off with a bang. It’s the law of momentum. Any object in motion will stay in motion. The way we start is the way we will finish.
Look at Monday as the day when you hit the ground running toward your fitness, finance, and health goals. My Mondays tend to be very busy. I get to my office by 8:30 am and typically don’t leave until 8:30 pm. I do have some free time mid-day to incorporate some movement for about 30 minutes. I will typically squeeze in a workout that will look like this:
- 20 calorie row (or a 400m run)
- 20 pull ups or push ups
- 20 95lb front squats
I spend about ten minutes warming up and then I go right into the workout. Intensity is exactly what you need if you only have a short amount of time to spend in the gym. I find that most people have the right intentions but lack the knowledge of how to get a quick workout in that is effective enough to get them to their fitness goals. As a young dad, I am not into bodybuilding anymore. Gone are the days of caring about how big my bench press is. I want to focus on health. I don’t need 90 minutes to go through slow moving body building movements and then mix in some cardio on the treadmill. The intensity of my workouts is by far the most important part.
Intensity Burns More Fat
Much of the old-school adage that you must “put in the hours” is no longer relevant if your goals are long term health. You can put in the work, but it must be the right type of work. With a busy schedule, the most important thing is to get in, get the work done, and get out.
For example, if you only have ten minutes to do a workout, then set a timer and do as many rounds of 10 burpees and 10 sit ups as you can in that ten minute time frame.
The nice thing about doing a short, intense workout like this is that you can be anywhere and still do it—go to a local park, do it in your living room, or use the area behind your desk at work.
The more intensity you use in your workouts the faster your metabolism will be when you’re in a resting state. If you workout with intense focus for at least 20 minutes per day, your body will burn more calories at rest and you’ll drop more body fat. Try to embrace your Mondays by making a plan for your nutrition and fitness. I think you will like the result.