Working out & work don't have to be mutually exclusive.


By Sue Markovitch

Professionally, the beginning of Q2 is the time to look back and make adjustments for the rest of the year. Personally, many of us set resolutions in Q1 for improvements in our health and fitness. We say, "This year I am going to start exercising, lose weight, reverse my blood pressure, improve my health and feel better." But the first quarter of 2016 is over. Now what?

In the spirit of making adjustments before the year flies by, let's look at three common saboteurs-or lies we tell ourselves-that prevent us from starting and sticking with fitness.

1. If I am going to start exercising, I must devote many hours a week (and I don't have extra hours).

This is all-or-nothing thinking and it sabotages every health resolution and fitness goal. There is nothing true about it. Busy professionals can start with much smaller, doable steps, such as one workout each week. Schedule it, fit it in, and see how it goes. Keep going with one workout a week until it becomes clear that it's time to add another.

Retired executives often tell me they regret not doing something to support their health and fitness earlier in their careers. The belief is, we'll start when we have the time. The truth is, we make the time once we begin.

2. High-level performers at work shouldn't have to struggle with a personal goal.

This is another lie that can keep executives from showing up for health and fitness. But we all have an Achilles heel, and for many, it is fitness. This can be rooted in the belief that one shouldn't have to exercise, change eating habits, or ask for help. But getting past the shoulds, and owning that this is an issue, is empowering.

We all need accountability. Make the decision to hire a trainer or fitness coach and get moving in the right direction. Q1 might be over, but much of 2016 remains, and every day is a chance for a new beginning.

3. If I start exercising, I'll have to change everything else.

It is overwhelming, for busy executives, to think about changing habits all at once. The temptation is to think that one workout a week doesn't have enough impact, so why bother. But remember the Lao Tzu quote, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Changing everything all at once is unrealistic and unnecessary. One good choice encourages another. One workout this week supports the decision to work out again next week.

The great thing about fitness is it's like climbing a mountain. Take one step, and then another. It doesn't feel like you are getting very far, until you take a moment and turn around. It is then that you see how high you've climbed.

Sue Markovitch is an author, speaker and owner of Clear Rock Fitness, which specializes in fitness coaching and personal training for women over 40.