I read a good profile in the Wall Street Journal this morning. A busy executive in LA, who travels extensively and is also a single mother, exercises twice a day averaging over two hours a day in total. She also spends over $480/month on her gym membership and personal training.
That amount of exercise (and definitely that level of monthly spending) is not necessary to live a healthy and energized life. The sad truth, however, is that most people will not “get” this story (see the article comments). It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that because she spends so much time exercising she must be neglecting her daughter and/or her job. More often than not, however, people who fit this profile are amazing at their jobs and have relationships. Two quick observations:
1. Did you notice she does not do caffeine? How can she do all that exercise and live a high stress, jet lagging lifestyle and do it without caffeine? And why do people who do not exercise need massive amounts of caffeine just to keep their eyes open? Exercise energizes everyone, every time (if done appropriately). Also, see how caffeine can be a healthy part of your diet.
2. The amount of exercise she does is not necessary, but exercising almost every day is. Exercise motivation is not an intellectual learn, it is experiential. You will not “get” it until you do it. You will keep it as long as you do it. You will lose it as soon as you stop. It will come back when you restart.
To do: Set up your calendar to exercise almost every day – even if that means cutting out exercise time to do so. Exercising 5x week is easier to do (motivation wise) than 3x.
Andy also wrote the book Change Your Day, Not Your Life, a guide to sustained motivation and more productivity.
See Andy's speaking schedule for an event near you.
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