The Best Exercise, Weight Loss and Lifestyle Tips for Busy Guys
Who doesn’t like the gym? You are not alone.
Even if you like it, who has time to get there and back every day?
Is the gym the only way a modern working guy can keep in shape?
Gyms are great and can be an effective tool in a weight loss strategy, but you do not need to step inside a gym to work on your health.
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Stress and the Working Man
You can go to the gym every day and still not lose much weight. It happens.
Unfortunately, the pace of modern life is working against us.
Everything from the invention of indoor lights that have disrupted our circadian rhythms to non-stop social and work obligations, was life meant to be this hard?
The result of all this is stress. Stress can have profound effects on quality of life. The connection between stress and cortisol, a hormone involved in many functions in the body, including metabolism, is well documented (1).
It’s easy to overlook stress as a vital player in weight loss, fitness and overall health. Busy career men, with little to no “me time,” risk creating a work-life imbalance with severe health consequences. Stress can thwart any effort you make to lose weight or get fit.
And what makes working men stressed?
Work days are not restricted to office hours anymore. Thanks to email, mobile phones and employer expectations – the day can start early and stretch well into the night.
Societal and social expectations often match the pressure to succeed in the workplace, pinning men against the wall.
There is little room to move between obligations. A gym is almost useless if you are drowning in stress and do not know how to change your life.
The cortisol can upset glucose levels and work against your genuine efforts to change your diet and exercise.
Your stomach may grow despite trying, and you don’t know why! So what else is stopping you from losing weight?
There is one precious element that no amount of money or knowledge can buy anyone – time.
No Time for Anything
Juggling our obligations has become a life skill, but for some, the balance is difficult to achieve. And the first thing you let go of is often the weight loss or fitness regime.
You deem your needs as less important than the family or workplace. You lose the fight for your precious time. And it is not so much time, but you are exhausted and seek to relax and not push yourself through a workout.
Once stuck in the exhaustion-pleasure-seeking cycle, it is hard to break out – you are too tired to make an effort anymore.
Time is never really the reason you can’t look after yourself. It’s your priorities. You don’t rank your health or yourself high enough. It’s not selfish to get fit. It’s the opposite. You are taking responsibility for your life.
If you have kids or a family, it’s a way to show them you are responsible and care about their future. If you are not healthy, it will be their burden to carry.
And all family members need a role model for health. You may be starting out your working life and be single. A healthy and fit body helps a healthy mind.
Promotions and success at work are all the more difficult when you cannot stay awake without caffeine.
Tweak Your Lifestyle – Suggestions for a Gym-free life-balance
So you are stressed and don’t have any time for yourself?
You might need to shift things around.
Here are some suggestions:
- Conduct a Mini Life Audit. What are your stress points? Make a list of your top ‘stressors’
- Address Each Stressor – note down ways to address the issues identified above e.g. Problem 1. – No social life outside work. Solution 1. – Set aside one night a fortnight to go out with friends.
- Rearrange your Priorities. Try and place your health higher on the list. Give yourself time somewhere in the day (i.e. first thing in the morning; in the evening after dinner etc.)
- Exercise at home. There are effective home workouts in as little as 15 minutes a session, three times a week (see article).
- Reduce Stress. (This does not mean yoga – unless you like it!).
There are plenty of ways to reduce stress:
- Slow down your lifestyle and go back to basics
- Don’t commit to any new projects or social obligations until your life is in balance
- Take more breaks and vacations if you have leave allowances
- Make time each day for something fun
- Identify your favourite activities (TV watching is okay if this takes your mind off stress)
- Start a health routine, even if it’s 5 minutes a week! just start to prioritise your health
- Join a support group or social group
- Treat yourself occasionally. Get a new hairstyle, buy a new book – something for just for yourself
Time your workout with another activity i.e. a favourite TV show.
Exercise during the ad breaks.
Or listen to a podcast and go for a run or walk.
Link your workouts to a daily routine or something enjoyable to increase the likelihood of compliance.
It is not selfish to look after your health! And you do not need a gym to succeed in your fitness goals. Some guys love the gym – it is their zone, and the stress melts away. But not everyone can access a gym.
You do not need a gym to improve your life.
You need to put yourself in the picture and become capable of meeting the challenges that modern working men face in a modern world.
Harsh is the founder of menPsyche. He enjoys using his extensive research and writing skills to communicate ideas and concepts, with the aim to improve people’s lives.
Harsh trained as a Communication Engineer and published a MSc (Research) thesis, as well as worked in a variety of marketing and consultancy roles.