“Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time' is to say 'I don't want to'.”
~ Lao Tzu
Sometimes your Power Hour is a great fitness coach--and here’s a personal cause-and-effect story to illustrate why:
Cause: Two Fridays ago, I didn’t have a Power Hour, because it got pushed out by other meetings.
Effect: The following week, I felt fuzzier and more discombobulated than suits me. I like to be on my A-game, but I couldn’t seem to get a confident grasp on much of anything at all, personal or professional!
I know that missing that Power Hour set me up for less mental focus and less efficiency. It also set me up for less physical activity--which, in turn, led to less mental focus and less efficiency. Even though I had scheduled workouts, I didn’t always stick to that time, based on how the day went. In short: I didn’t stay accountable and hold that time as sacred.
To refresh: The Power Hour is one consistent organization-hour each week that you block out on “repeat” in your calendar. Every week, during your Power Hour, you sit alone, possibly with a hot and soothing beverage of your choice, and map out the week ahead.
This week, we’re focusing on the physical health portion of the Power Hour: Nutrition and exercise.
Ah, nutrition and exercise...How easy to let them fall to the wayside with everything else that you have to juggle, right? Even the best intentions all too often just don’t happen.
Your Power Hour helps you do just that.
Even us Walnut women, who place nutrition and exercise high on the totem pole of personal values, rely on the Power Hour as a grounding force when life whirls madly like a tornado around us. And, sometimes, even though we make nutrition and exercise a priority, we can’t find the time or energy to cook, or we push our workouts back to later in the day, or we squeeze exercise in wherever we can. Granted, squeezing it in is better than pushing it out altogether. But still: We want more. We deserve more.
Even if you hire a fitness coach, what are the odds that you consistently exercise on the other days? What are the odds that you really and truly follow your coach’s nutritional suggestions?
We get it: Who has time to exercise most days and prepare healthy meals?
Answer: You do. We do. And it starts with a weekly Power Hour.
Here are five reasons why your Power Your is a great fitness coach:
- You schedule exercise, which helps keep you consistent.
Fitness coaches motivate you to exercise consistently...as does scheduling weekly exercise time.
Scheduling exercise like an appointment that you must attend motivates you to put on your sneaks and get there, even if you’re not feeling it. And, once you’re there, you often find an extra ounce of “oomph” that pushes you to work hard. Or, if you’re really not at your best that day, you at least got some movement in, which is better than nothing!
Scheduling exercise like an appointment consistently helps it morph into a habit, until it simply becomes something that you do. The first few weeks might require more active brain power (and they do for us as well, if we lose our routine groove due to travel, etc.!), but, over time, sticking with it will help you shift into a regular exercise routine that is simply part of your sustainably healthy lifestyle.
Plus, consistency helps you mark progress, which affirms all of your efforts! My struggle doing a 15-minute plank-based workout last week motivated me to re-jigger my current routine into a more confident fitness groove because, darn it all, I miss kicking butt at planks!
Bottom Line: During your Power Hour, find a time-slot for exercise--and hold yourself to it!
2. You "create space” for more exercise, which helps reap more benefits.
Fitness coaches motivate you to exercise more than you would otherwise...as does creating space for more exercise.
Creating space for exercise allows you to see more “time slots” for it. If you can exercise at 7-8am on Monday, odds are that you can also exercise at 7-8am on Wednesday and Friday. See what we just did there? We created two hours of exercise space. Granted, not all weeks look the same. But once you get in the habit of creating space for exercise, you might find that you miss it when you don’t have it. (We sure do!)
Consistency is important, but you won’t notice many results if you consistently exercise once a week. Not all of us are as driven by outcome goals, but it feels pretty darn good when you exert yourself on a daily basis. It not only revs that metabolism, it also provides energy, increases your mental focus, boosts your overall mood, and helps you sleep better at night.
Bottom Line: During your Power Hour, find at least three days of that exercise time-slot from Point #1 throughout the week. Start there and increase it as you can!
3. You schedule meal prep, which inspires healthier eating.
Fitness coaches motivate you to make better food choices...as does scheduling weekly meal prep time.
Scheduling 1-2 hours of meal prep allows you to make healthier choices, becauseyou actively think about foods that taste good and provide nutrients for your body. (We like to do it on Sunday, if possible, so we can prep for Monday-Wednesday.) Grabbing food on the go, especially after a long day, can lead to less-than-ideal food choices. Preparing food yourself requires a certain amount of mindfulness.
Scheduling meal prep removes prep later on. You might not have time during the day to make a meal, and you might be too pooped at the end of the day to take the time. But you can certainly find an hour somewhere in the week to fill a few tupperware containers with some healthy and satisfying foods.
Start with prepping one meal for the week--breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Think simple. Here are some ideas!
Bottom Line: During your Power Hour, schedule 1-2 hours of meal prep.
4. You streamline and personalize your grocery shopping.
The voice of your fitness coach can ring loudly as you grocery shop, prolonging your shopping because, on the one hand, you “should” choose this food, but, on the other hand, this food looks much more appealing...
One of the pros of meal planning: It streamlines and personalizes your grocery shopping!
Not only do you know what to buy (because you planned some meals), but you also get to choose nutritious foods that you actually enjoy eating. (And, by the way, get adventurous! Maybe you do, in fact, love collard greens!)
Say you plan your breakfasts for the week: 1-2 hard-boiled eggs + oatmeal with berries.
What goes on your grocery list? Eggs + oatmeal + berries
Boom! Breakfast is set.
It’s easy to spend far too long in the grocery store, and you often end up buying things that you don’t need, but that look good in the moment. So, to save time and benefit your health, try prepping one meal a week. Start there and up the ante as you come to realize how much you value eating well and creating the meals yourself!
Here's a worksheet to help you get started: Power Hour Nutrition
5. You stay accountable to your Power Hour!
Odds are, if you pay for a training session, you don’t cancel. Your trainer holds you accountable for those sessions, but you also hold yourself accountable--because you prioritize those “exercise appointments”.
You can stay accountable to your Power Hour!
You sat down and scheduled exercise time and meal-prep time for a reason--because you wanted to prioritize it--and you deserve to see it through.
So, yes, life happens. Work comes up, family comes up, something always comes up. But, nine times out of ten, the world will not end if you take that hour to go to yoga before returning to the hustle and grind. And in those rare instances where you absolutely cannot go, you find another time for it. Because it matters to you.
How do we at Walnut Health use the Power Hour mindset for our weekly exercise and nutrition routines?
HERE ARE OUR TWO TID-BITS FOR THE WEEK:
MELISSA ELDER: I generally keep the same daily nutritional framework and switch as needed, scheduling my meals around my workouts. Choosing food that digests well and provides the right balance of nutrients that both fuels my workouts and helps with post-workout recovery makes a big difference!
JAMIE WOLFF: I plan my weekly workouts in my Google calendar during my Power Hour (in bright teal font!). I focus on exercise that I enjoy, and I check in weekly to see what's working schedule-wise and body-wise and adjust as needed. If I get sick of my current "plan", I switch things up!
Next month, we honor Women's History. We also kick off our monthly Walnut Weekly Write-In! What would YOU like to learn more about? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, and we might dedicate a Walnut Weekly to you!
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