Getting Workaholics Fired Up About Fitness

When you don’t have time to go to the gym, why not bring the gym to you?

When you don’t have time to go to the gym, why not bring the gym to you? With the increasing time pressures faced by workers, some people have started exercising anywhere they can, whether it’s at home, in the office or at the nearest park. “It really all depends on the client’s schedule,” says Lauren Whitfield, a certified personal trainer. “If they have time for three sessions a week, that’s great. If they have time for one session, I might send them away with some workouts to do later.” Whitfield and her business partner Carmen Moxham are the owners of Fired Up Fitness, a Calgary company the two founded in 2008 that provides flexible personal training options for busy professionals. The pair will be speaking at “Ringing in Fitness Without the Pressure,” a dinner lecture hosted by the Business and Professional Women’s Network, Calgary Chapter, on Wednesday, January 11 at 5:30 p.m. Fired Up also runs “fitness boot camps” for larger groups. Whitfield says the classes are popular for businesses, as companies are increasingly realizing that employee health plays a big role in workplace productivity and morale. Fired Up Fitness works on the philosophy that anyone can become active, anywhere and anytime. Whitfield, who struggled with weight gain after the birth of her second child, says she was inspired by her own experience to help people incorporate regular fitness into their lives. “We’re moms and we’re business owners so we know what it’s like to feel like you don’t have anything left at the end of the day,” she says. “But we’ve learned, through training and experience, how to do it, and so can anyone.”

Five Tips for Starting a Fitness Routine on the Go

Do a little bit every day Whitfield is often told by prospective clients that their days are simply too hectic to commit to an exercise routine. It isn’t true, she says. “You can get a really good workout in just 20 minutes a day. It would be hard for someone to tell me that they don’t have 20 minutes in their day,” Whitfield notes. If time seems to be an issue, Whitfield suggests tracking the amount of time spent watching TV or surfing the Internet in a typical day, then taking 20 minutes of that time to do physical activity. Improvise and adjust Those who are new to a workout routine should choose exercises that can be easily modified, Whitfield says. “Advanced push-ups are done on your toes. If you can’t do a push-up on your toes, you can do them on your knees. If you can’t do them on your knees, you can do them against a wall,” she says. Making small adjustments to a routine can also keep things interesting, like jumping rope instead of jogging or adding hand weights to an aerobics workout. WHY is more important than HOW While many people list their fitness goals, far fewer people think about the reasons for wanting to change. “Suppose you want to lose a certain amount of weight. Why do you want to lose that weight? What is the goal at the end?” Whitfield asks. By setting concrete goals in writing and tracking your progress, you’re more likely to stick to a workout plan. Eat foods that support your fitness goals Poor diet and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand. Regular exercise, on the other hand, can help control your appetite, increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whitfield advises avoiding heavy meals or fast food before a workout, drinking plenty of water and limiting intake of alcohol and soft drinks. Stay connected to stay motivated Ask a friend to be your “online workout buddy” by sharing recipes, workout advice and support through e-mail or chat programs. Or, use video messaging programs like Skype to participate in online fitness classes without leaving home. For more fitness tips, recipes and sample workouts, go to firedupfitness.ca. Tickets for “Ringing in Fitness Without the Pressure” are $35 for BPW members, $45 for non-members. For tickets, e-mail info@bpwcalgary.com, or visit www.bpwcalgary.com.

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