Category Archives: Health Corner

Comfort Zones

Tim Walton

Tim Walton

Well, by now most of the long term gym members are probably witnessing what is commonly referred to as “The Thinning of The Herd”.  This is a two-pronged statement concerning people who made a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape and took advantage of the “Specials” gyms run at that time of the year.

The first prong is the dropping out and quitting of the majority of” resolutioiners” who just quit because it’s much easier to give up (accompanied by a myriad of excuses) than to just make the effort to better their health.  You may see some of them make another attempt later on or occasionally wander in now and then.  Some may even come back in on a consistent basis, but it’s more going through the motions and socializing than actually accomplishing anything so they can make a statement like, “Well, I go to the gym every day, but I just must be one of those people who is genetically stuck with my shape no matter what.”

The second prong is the people who made the commitment, stuck with it, changed their lifestyle (Including their eating habits.) and are actually “Thinning” or getting into shape.  Consistency is the key here as I’ve seen it before where someone will turn this corner of their lives, accomplish another level for their shape and health, then flush it all away because of “Summer Time” or “Holiday Time”, etc. Then, once they blow it, it’s back to square one.  This yoyo effect is not good for your system in the long run and sooner or later, that yoyo is going to stay on the bottom.  It doesn’t mean you have to live like a Spartan all of the time.  Just keep the relaxing phases of life moderate, brief, and under some control.

So what about working out at home?  Some people are self-conscious and don’t want to go to a health club or gym.  Others are restrained by time/family obligations.  Nothing wrong with that at all.  But when I hear someone who discusses the 3 hours of tv programs they watch every night say that they just don’t have the time, it brings me to my next point: Comfort Zones.

Comfort Zones (CZ’s) are an area of your life where you feel you can just relax to unwind physically and mentally.  This is one of the problems with working out at home.  It’s your haven, your safe place.  Hmmm, the kids are occupied or gone off to school or a friends house.  Your other half is not at home.  A little “Me” time.  Do I jump on that elliptical and get some cardio in?  Pop  PX90 in the DVD player?  Do a circuit with the weights? Oooorrrr, do I grab a few extra zzzz’s, watch a TV show, surf the internet, etc.?  Much easier to relax than to push yourself.  This same trap can also be fallen into at a gym, so it’s not just inclusive of home workouts.  I’m sure you’ve all seen people who do more talking, wandering, and socializing than actually working out at the gym.  They’re in their CZ with basically a captive audience.  There is one guy who is notorious for this at one of the places I go to.  He was there before I arrived one day and was already “Doing sets with his jaw”.  I busted my butt for an hour and during that time, he wandered over a few times to blab.  I told him before that I’ll only talk between sets during my workouts  and then just long enough till it’s time for my next one.  I believe he might’ve actually done 5 sets of something during that hour and they weren’t good ones.  He was still there when I was leaving.  He probably spends 3 hours a day there and still looks below average because he’s in his CZ and wants to invite others to join him there.  Be polite, or firm if you have to, but don’t let anyone talk you into their CZ.

The best way to avoid CZ’s whether at the gym or at home, is to make your workout scheduled just like an appointment.  It’s nice if you can make health and fitness a habit such as brushing your teeth, but you don’t make an appointment to do something like brushing your teeth.  You might have a certain time though such as right before you leave out the door in the morning, within 15 minutes of finishing a meal or right before before bedtime.  You can do the same thing with getting your workouts in.  If you can’t make it a habit , make it  an appointment.  Seriously.  No excuses, this is my “Me” time.  If you find yourself sliding and putting it off, letting things get in the way, or having everyday mundane things distract you or take precedence, then YES, it’s time to make that time for YOU an actual appointment with yourself.  Treat it like a doctor’s appointment that you can’t skip.  Is it too much to ask of yourself and/or those around you for 1 hour out of every 24 to better yourself for you AND for them?  You can’t go to the store and buy another pound, scoop, or bag of health.  You have to get it from within yourself as a commitment and if takes setting up an uninterrupted hour appointment for yourself each day, then do it.  As the saying goes, “Successful people have the same number of hours each day as the unsuccessful ones.  They just choose to make the most out them instead of making excuses during them.” Stay out of not only your own CZ trap , but others as well because failures like an excuse partner.