5 Insanely Busy Men Tell You How They Find Time to Work Out
Whoever said ‘those who can’t do, teach’ must have never met any of the Men’s Healthadvisors.
In addition to devoting hours of their time bringing you up to speed on the latest research and new ways to improve your health, these men and women continue to put in the hard hours required to stay at the top of their respective fields.
But they also have something else in common: They all recognize the importance of not skipping workouts.
Here’s how five of our top experts keep the gym from falling off their schedules.
REMEMBER THAT EXERCISE MAKES YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE
David L. Katz, M.D.
Founding Director, The Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center
For Dr. Katz, a workout isn’t just one more thing he has to jam into his fast-paced schedule—it’s what powers it.
“I have always told my patients who tell me they don’t have time to exercise that I don’t have time not to,” he says.
Dr. Katz owes his vitality to a regular workout schedule. It’s also a massive productivity enhancer, he says—not to mention a low-cost health insurance policy.
“It beats the heck out of making time to get admitted to the hospital,” he says.
COMMIT TO A PLAN
Prediman Krishan Shah, M.D.
Director of the Oppenheimer Atherosclerosis Research Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center
“You have to make time for yourself to exercise,” Dr. Shah says.
Dr. Shah schedules hour-long workouts on Saturdays and Sundays when he knows nothing will get in the way. He lifts for 30 minutes, using modest weights, then jumps on the elliptical for 20 minutes before hitting the mat for 10 minutes of stretching.
Having committed to the detailed plan in advance makes his workouts harder to skip.
In addition, he sets the modest but manageable goal of working out for 30 minutes two days a week before dinner.
He also looks for opportunities to be more active throughout his everyday routine.
“I use stairs rather than elevators at work,” he says. “When you climb five sets of stairs a few times a day, it is a pretty good workout while going about your day.”
FIND A ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D.
Dermatologist in Raleigh, N.C.
Dr. Nasir is an early riser, so he takes advantage of his mornings, getting his workouts in before work when his energy is high.
He also knows he has a tendency to stall when things get too familiar, so he routinely switches up his workouts.
“I vary my routine to keep from getting in a rut,” he says.
Most important, he acknowledges that life doesn’t always go according to schedule, so he always has a backup plan at the ready.
“When I have a real time crunch, I do a seven-minute high-intensity workout, which studies have shown is comparable to a traditional 45-minute routine,” he says.
(For a great high-intensity interval workout you can do right in your living room, check out THE 21-DAY METASHRED from Men’s Health.)
REMOVE ALL BARRIERS
Alexander Koch, Ph.D.
Professor of exercise science at Lenoir-Rhyne University; USA Weightlifting coach
“Find ways to make exercise easily accessible,” says Koch, who converted his garage into a gym so he could never use access as an excuse to miss a workout.
And when he still doesn’t feel like training? Well, it isn’t always just about him. Koch is a strong believer that working out with a training partner is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
It’s just like having a dog, he says: You can’t skip a walk just because you’re not in the mood. And you can’t leave your partner hanging, either.
GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT
Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S.
Co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training and owner of IFAST Physical Therapy
Hartman recommends keeping a meticulously organized schedule to stay on track. But it won’t do you any good unless you prioritize your tasks in the right order, he says.
“The first thing I do is block out my time,” he says. “This could be anything from personal time to exercise time to study time. Business activities and any supportive work would follow.”
The benefits extend beyond simple physical fitness, Hartman says. “Keeping a regular schedule helps to manage stress, fatigue, and worry.”