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Zen to Fitness For The Busy Person

Posted Feb 19 2009 5:29pm

H u s t l e  &  B u s t l e

Fitness with a Busy Lifestyle

The truth is in this day and age many of us are extremely busy. With full time jobs, families, commitments and hobbies it makes it hard to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle, its hard but not impossible. Here’s a guide on how to put it all together without compromising your work or life…..


I am going to start with workouts as I believe they are the easiest thing to fit into a busy lifestyle, the  main hurdle comes with nutrition more to come later……..Workouts do not have to be long and tedious or even done more than 3 times a week. You can easily be healthy and fit with only 2 workouts a week. You just need to learn how to utilize your time correctly and know what your doing with yourself when the time to workout comes along….

You will ideally want to be doing a weights workout twice a week three times if you have the time and feel enthusiastic enough. By this I mean workouts done with resistance wither in the gym or at home with equipment like Kettlebell’s or Dumbell’s. See these workouts as the one’s that really stoke your metabolism for the coming day’s allowing your body to build muscle throughout the week as muscle’s will be re-building for the next 48-72 hours therefore allowing you to utilise your food more efficiently with improved nutrient partitioning/ insulin sensitivity and sending you into deeper sleep. Check below for some links and ideas for what to do in the gym, always try and base your gym workout’s on compound movements:

- Getting Strong in the Gym

- 4 Exercises to Focus on in the Gym

- TTP Example Workouts

- Power Law Training Explained

Keep your workout’s short and intense around 30 minutes with little rest between sets. Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program is a pretty good introduction to short intense compound movement gym workouts, he keeps a record of routine’s on his blog and he has a very good twitter page that’s worth following…..

Sprints - These are something else you want to be throwing in once a week. Why? becuase they are so easy to implement and serve as a great time effective workout all on their own. Simple find a place that is quiet and gives you some space and do 5-10 sets of sprints (run as fast as you can for 100-200m) rest and repeat. Sprints have so many benefits you would be silly not to throw in a session or two a week. Check out Mark Sisson’s tutorial below.

Zen to Fitness on Sprinting - Benefits and how to do them…

Body Weight Workouts - These are simple to implement and should be seen more as a mix of mobility and getting your body going. They can be done every morning you have time before breakfast and should take no more than 5-10 minutes.

- 5 Minutes of Pushups and Squats

- Dynamic Stretching

- 100 Rep Challenge

Doing little things like this will serve you well in terms of recovery and improving mobility.

  • Aim for 2-3 “Proper” workouts a week (Short and Intense)
  • 1-2 Sprint sessions per week
  • Body Weight Stuff and Stretching when you can fit them in (ideally before breakfast upon waking)
  • Develop a Simple Fitness Plan that you can stick to!


This for me is where the challenge comes in not because its not possible to nail your nutrition with a busy lifestyle, but rather due to the huge amount of bad food choices available in society today that are polluting the ability for us to eat real wholesome food. When you go for lunch we are surrounded by carb orgies and presented with cake’s, pasta, and huge baguettes and sandwiches which are all high in carbs and low in protein. Not a good mix for a sedentary office worker who wants to stay lean and focused in the office avoiding any afternoon slumps!

You ideally want to stick to the following:

Vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, fruit, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar.

No two ways about it that is the key to a healthy diet. If you shop on the perimeter of your grocery store you will usually run into just fresh healthy produce. The truth is you can’t over eat on healthy, real foods unless you really really gorge. Just eat until your satisfied and stick to real food. Check out the guide’s below for some cool tips…..

Flipping the Pyramid - Are things upside down?

Eat Real Food

What’s the best Alcoholic beverage?

A  Simple Guide to Healthy Snacking

See the way you eat as a Lifestyle rather than any type of diet, people with healthy bodies and minds know the importance of good nutrition and will always keep an arsenal of good snacks at their desk (Fruit, Nuts, Beef Jerky etc) to make sure you steer clear of the myriad of junk available today.


This is something oh so important, if you neglect the mental aspect of being healthy your going down a bad road. For me a healthy mind takes priority in life and everything else will just fall into place as a result.

All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain? - Buddha

I think its important to give yourself time each day to focus on your breathing and relax for 20-30 minutes in a quiet room. Every time you feel your mind wondering bring your thought back to your breath and feel the relaxation throughout your body.

My Guide to Relaxation

Meditation for Beginners

A Time of Reflection

The above guides can get you going on relaxation and meditation and I think it is essential you get started as soon as possible. This is especially applicable for busy people who are on the go all day, being bombarded with questions and thrown into stressful jobs. A time each day for you to clear the mind can be a life saver and will be the best 20 minutes you set aside all day.

Another tip is to meditate when your feeling relaxed a good time for this is after a big meal. This is because the meal will serve to relax you allowing you to get into a deeper meditative state. While the meditation will help you digest your food via the good breathing and relaxation response induced.

Sum Up

  • Aim for 2-4 Quality workouts per week
  • Use the mornings to Stretch and do some Body Weight work
  • Get on your feet and walk around as much as you can
  • Eat real wholesome food
  • Carry healthy snacks around with you
  • Get your sleep in when possible (in bed by 11PM)
  • Set aside 20 minutes each day to relax
  • Have fun and socialize with friends and family on a regular basis!

Thats it in a nutshell. Keeping fit and healthy with a hard work schedule isn’t as hard as people think. It just takes some planning, dedication and good mental attitude believe in yourself and you can make it happen!

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