Episode Highlights

00:01:46 Making fitness as part of everyday life
00:04:41 Planning when you’re going to do it
00:06:13 Why adaptation is very important
00:09:13 Workout Duration
00:12:09 Doing at least 10,000 steps a day
00:15:16 What are micro workouts?


Fitness Guide





Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 91, and today we’re going to be talking about some of the tools and strategies that you can use to still exercise, even if you’re time-poor. So let’s crack into today’s episode. So really, I wanted to record today’s show because there are so many of us that struggle juggling the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life, whether that kind of commuting to your job, whether that’s a career, picking up the kids and everything else. And so when we decide that we’re going to get fitter often, that is one of the things that suffers when life just happens. Right. We all know that at the beginning of every week we have great intentions to go to the gym or do a workout. And then, lo and behold, you know, Tuesday we smash out Monday’s workout and that’s how good we really feel. Good. And then something happens on Tuesday, and it means that we can’t do the workout that we planned. Maybe we can’t go at lunchtime because of meetings over running or we can’t get away from our jobs. Or, you know, you get home from work and something’s happening with the family. The kids are kicking off. Your other half had a stressful day. And it all just kind of goes out the window.

And what happens is over time, we just let that become an excuse. And on today’s show, I want to share with you five key things that will ensure that you can continue to make sure that fitness is a part of your everyday life and more importantly for me, is not an inconvenience. So it’s not an inconvenience, convenience. Can you get it out that you have to do fitness or you get stressed because you’ve got to do a workout and you’ll never get fit if you don’t do your workout? So the first thing that I want to talk about is planning. Now, if we draw parallels between planning and our jobs, you know, a lot of us have jobs, careers, whatever that takes planning. We have to plan to do certain things at certain times. You know, if you’ve got a manual job, you might have to plan to do your job in a specific order. You know, if you have, like a desk based job or you’re project manager or something like that, you have to plan things out. Right. And the reason that we plan is to ensure that it actually gets delivered. And we understand what we need to do in order to deliver what it is we’re delivering. Right. But the problem with planning is that when I have when I say this to people that are, you know, I just can’t because I don’t want to be sitting down.

Life is stressful enough as it is. And I don’t want to be sitting down having to plan out my workouts. The bottom line is that if you don’t plan it, it won’t happen. Scientist. Scientists have proven that that’s the case. You know, you are less inclined to do it unless it’s planned out. And also, again, like you said, around project management and things like that, things don’t get delivered or created if it’s not planned out. And if you consider an athlete, for example, you don’t actually honestly think that they just show up to the running track or they show up to whatever training that they need to do and then they just kind of do it without really thinking about what they have meticulously planned out. So they ensure that not only do they get done, but it’s good quality and they get everything out of the session that they need to in order to progress. And it’s no different with Dad’s fitness. So, you know, we all have days where we’re just preparing for the week. You know, if you’ve got kids, you will be making sure they’ve got everything for school. And so it’s no different for you. Right. So all you need to do really is just make sure you’ve got everything for the week. You know, you make sure you’ve got enough work out, close enough gym class. You make sure you’ve got your bag packed.

If you’re going to go and do your workout somewhere else or you make sure that it’s accessible to you so that, you know, when you’re poor on time, you don’t want to be rifling around in your bedroom trying to find what clothes you’re going to wear before you work out. And then it’s planning when you’re going to do it and looking at your schedule. I’m a huge advocate of making sure that fitness fits around everything else that you’re doing and so that you can actually plan. And like I said, it’s not an inconvenience. So for me personally, my fitness, my workouts change depending on what’s happening with the kids. So on a Monday, I know that I can work out fairly early in the morning. I don’t have any time constraints in terms of the children. But then on a Wednesday and Thursday, workouts have to happen after I’ve done the school run and everything else. So it’s about planning when you’re going to do it. But more importantly, it’s having it either in the calendar, in your phone, so you get an alert or, you know, you have it written down somewhere, just a place where it’s a visual reminder that that’s that’s what you’re going to do at that time. And then the second thing really is about adaptation. So like I just said, you know, life is not a linear process and things don’t always happen.

Invariably, they don’t always happen in the way that you want them to happen, because things other challenges or things come up day to day that you weren’t expecting. So adaptation and adaptation is very, very, very important because traditionally what would happen is say, for example, you’ve decided that you finish work at five thirty and you’re going to do your work at six o’clock. Right. So you’re going to do your work into a HIIT, work out where you’re going to go out for a run or sprint session or whatever when you get home. You get through the front door and lo and behold, World War Three breaking out in the house, so I’m assuming it happens in your house like it does in my house. You know, everything is all roses and perfect and there’s generally some kind of drama. So obviously, family comes first. So you need to sort that out, which then generally means whatever, however long it takes, you know, the work that’s out the window. So it’s instead of not doing it, then you could then plan when you’re going to do it or do a different session. So as an example, let’s say let’s say, for example, you were going to go to a local park, you were going to do a 20 minute HIIT workout. Right. And it’s got to like seven or eight o’clock.

And you can’t do that now, right? Oh, you don’t feel like doing it. More importantly, and I would hazard a guess, that’s probably more the case than not having the time to do it right. Because we all have time to do everything if we make time for it. So that being said, we then decide that we’re not going to do a 20 minute HIIT workout, but then at least do something so you could decide that you’re going to just literally raise the heart rate for 12 minutes so you could do a cut down version of HIIT work out in the lounge, in the dining room, in the kitchen, wherever you want to do it and just do 12 minutes. The very fact that you have then done something is two things, really. One, it’s building a habit. So you’re consistent, which is key to getting results. And then two, is the fact that you have actually raised your heart rate, you dropped your heart rate, you’ve got the anaerobic state of your body, which is the state in which you work at 85 to ninety five percent of our maximum heart rate up. You got a bit of a sweat and you’ve done something. So you’ve adapted to it. And I think that’s really, really important that we’re able to do that. And so the third thing I want to cover is workout duration now, I don’t know where this is coming from or that you never did any research into this.

But we have evolved and we’ve been indoctrinated into thinking that we need to work out for an hour. Now, that might have come from the gym culture, the fact that you know what you want to get maximum. You can have you work out of your membership. Should I say and say you go to the gym for an hour, your assumption is that because you’ve gone to the gym for now, it must be good. Well, unfortunately, that’s not the case if you don’t have a plan. So, yeah, you don’t need to work out for an hour. You can do it. I mean, I’ve just released a series on YouTube, actually, of seven minute workouts. And if you watch the latest video that I’ve just done, you will see that in the space of seven minutes, you can get pretty out of breath and you can get a swelled so you can do short workouts. I personally advocate doing a workout set of 12 to 20 minutes because in that time you can generally get. About six different exercises in and obviously it depends on how many sets you do, which obviously dictates the duration, but generally I like to do six different exercises. Three different sets generally takes about 18 minutes. Okay. If you do that in a Tabata style workout, which is you work for 40 minutes or you work 40 minutes, 40, 40 seconds, and then you rest for 20 and you go again.

Again, depends on how advanced you are generally. Do 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest. And that just generally gives you time to kind of get your breathing back down to a normal right before you then go again. So, yeah, 12 to 20 minute workouts. So that is literally all you need. If you don’t like doing HIIT, then there’s lots of other things that we can do. For example, you know, I love doing this session in a swimming pool at the time of recording this. Obviously swimming pool access is a little bit difficult because of what’s going on with the pandemic, but you can still do a similar thing. So you could do like a 100 meter warm up and then you could do depending on the size of the pool. You know, you could do twenty five meter sprints, all out sprints. And again, it’s not necessarily about the actual exercise, it’s about what you’re doing to the body. So you’re raising the heart rate and you’re dropping the heart rate. You’re working in an anaerobic state. So the body will be accessing and burning carbohydrates when you’re doing that. And then you can do the same thing when you go running. Running, you could go to a park. Ideally, you want a 100 meter length, if you can’t if you can’t find 100 meters, 50 meters is fine.

Like I said, the objective really is that we are raising and lowering the heart rate and we’re burning carbohydrates because we’re working in an anaerobic state. And then you can do the same thing on a bike if you have a push bike to find a long road or little here with a little incline and you can do the same thing. So my point about number three is you don’t need to work out for an hour because we are hugely, hugely time constrained and you can still get an effective workout. Number four is walking now. I believe that this is really, really missed, underestimated, not spoken about enough. However, since the pandemic, the benefits I’ve seen in the pandemic is that more people are going out for a walk. Now, there is a little bit of science around this. I would advocate doing at least 10000 steps a day, ideally fifteen thousand steps and at a reasonable brisk pace now. The detail around this is that when you are walking at a brisk pace, your heart rate is elevated to its aerobic state, which is a lower heart rate. So that is generally between 55 to 65 percent of your maximum. And what happens during that period is you are accessing a different energy source in the body, fats, basically. So you’re burning fat. So walking essentially is fat burning. So walking is very good for that.

Now we are talking about the topic of the podcast obviously is about time poor. So you might ask me, well, how can you do ten thousand steps if you don’t ever have time in the day to go out for a long walk where you don’t need to do it all in one go is really the answer. You could go out for a little brisk five to 10 minute walk multiple times a day and you will achieve by the end of it 10000 steps unless you are extremely sedentary. Or, you know, joking aside, you may have I mean, I work with people that are in the NHS and they have obviously a shift pattern that they work and they might be sitting on a desk answering the phone. And so therefore, you know, they might not be able to get up and go out for a four, five to ten minute walk. But step five. Answers that problem. So I launched a Facebook video post earlier on in the week and. It was really in response to a few people that I’ve had commenting to say that, well, you know, you live on a different planet. We can’t go and do 10000 steps that we don’t have time to do this and all the rest of it. So I thought, well, what can we do in order to at least get them moving? So at least we get the heart rate up.

We are basically getting our energy systems working. And I come up with this concept of micro workouts. So here me out, micro workouts are little mini workouts that you can do if you are static in a position for a long period of time during your day. So let me give you an example. Your desk if you have a deskbound job. You invariably will get up multiple points during the day, you’ll have a little break or go to the toilet, get a cup of coffee or whatever. On average, people work between eight to 10 hours a day, right? So let’s say, for argument’s sake, you get up from your desk, you have a break every hour, and you work 10 hours a day. So that’s 10 opportunities to do a Micro workout, which lasts between one to two minutes. And literally all you do is you get up from your desk and you could do 10 bodyweight squats. You could do 10 burpees, 10 star jumps, 10 mountain climbers. It really doesn’t matter what the exercise is. The point about this is that you are moving and you raise the heart rate again and you’re not doing it for a long enough period of time where the heart rate is going to be elevated so much that it will be accessing carbohydrates. You’ll generally be in a kind of a fat-burning mode. So if you were to get up. At least 10 times I knew where to do that 10 times.

That is a hundred exercises or 100 reps that you would do throughout that day if you compound that over five days. That is a huge amount of reps that you would be doing over a week over a five day working week, I almost five hundred. So obviously, if you’re in an open office, maybe getting up from your desk and then doing some, but maybe not going to be taken too lightly. But you know what? If I was running the business, I definitely would advocate you doing it. You know, you might look a bit crazy if you’ve got clients coming into your office and everything else, but it’s so, so good. So really that for me is an alternative to doing the 10000 steps. And like I said, it will have profound impacts. So it’s really just about moving. So let’s do a quick recap of time. Poor Dad’s fitness for time is poor. That is going to be the name of the episode for today. So, number one, we talked about planning. How does that fit into time? It just makes sure that you’ve planned out your fitness and you know when you’re going to do it so that you know that it’s actually going to get done. And then, number two, we covered adapting. And I talk about this a lot. And you’ve probably heard me talk about this on another podcast and another solo episode that I’ve done.

But adapting is really, really important. So it’s the conscious awareness and the ability to change what you had planned and not just not do anything. OK, number three, or you don’t need to work out for an hour, 12 to 20 minutes, although I would suggest you try out my seven minute workout that I’ve got over on our YouTube channel, Fitter Healthier Dad so you can get a good, solid workout in 12 to 20 minutes, and that was number three. Number four is walking very simple, very basic. Ten to fifteen thousand stat, fifteen thousand steps, ideally, but if you are constrained in terms of your job and everything, actually you can’t get out then know that’s probably not going to be possible. And there was something else that came to me on the fifteen thousand steps that I would like. Oh, yeah, that was it. If you have a job where you are on the phone quite a lot and do your phone calls walking outside, you know, if you’re on a conference call for argument’s sake, stick a pair of headphones on, if your zoom was to say that you can’t walk around what you’re doing, it obviously you don’t want to have noise interference by other participants on the call. But that’s another option that would get you a little steps in. And then finally, number five, if walking is not an option, then micro workouts, I would highly recommend that you try that throughout the day.

So if you get out at eight, 10 times, you could be doing eight to twenty eight to one hundred reps throughout the day, compounding not the way you could be getting up to five hundred reps a week. So I hope that helps. I hope that giving you some food for thought and please, please, please implement at least three of the five that I suggested today. And you will start to get some great results for that. If you have any questions, let me know. You can hit me up on social media, Facebook, Instagram, direct message me, email me, [email protected] And if you want any of my programs, I’ve got a special one I’m doing at the moment, which is a 30 day meal guide to guide.fitterhealthierdad.com Or the Fitter Healthier Dad website. If you want to get involved in the 90/10 transformation system. So enjoy the rest of your day and I look forward to speaking to you on the next episode.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the things mentioned in the website will be in the show notes. And a full transcription is over at fitterhealtherdad.com