In planning my latest Entrepreneur column, I was trying to come up with something that might set me apart from others. While I was thinking about it, it occurred to me that I had been asked the same question at least three times last week: "How come you have so much energy?"
Hmmm... interesting question. I guess it is my consistent energy level that sets me apart.
I'll be 44 on my birthday in July, and I own and manage All Canadian Fitness as well as a clientele of my own. My days start by teaching boot camp at 5:30am and two to three times per week I also teach an evening class. I write a column for the local newspaper besides this Entrepreneur column and am married with two young children that have sporting activities to attend almost daily. Once per week I play in a band, and on the weekends, I go mountain biking. That's a lot!
Being able to do all that doesn't happen by chance and requires some planning and forethought. Without preparation, business would suffer, my body would break down and my extra-curricular activities would die.
So, here is my formula for thriving in life and in business with energy to spare.
First off, I would stress the value of going back to basics. Move. Eat. Rest.
After many years of contact sports, my body hurts. Sometimes it hurts a lot. Much of my exercise is devoted to working around pain and discomfort or recovering from injury. I treat myself just like a client. I plan for the year and outline specific events (beach vacation) and seasons (hockey, cycling). That way I can focus on what I am working towards and create several periodized plans to peak at the right time without overtraining. I like to use many different cross-training techniques to keep things fresh and to avoid repetitive strains. There really is no typical training week for me. It is constantly evolving depending on the current need. Be flexible!
When it comes to nutrition, I practice what I preach. I eat every three hours and I never, ever have a meal without at least one serving of vegetables or fruit. I don't rely on supplements other than a multi-vitamin and an EFA. I drink coffee in moderation, consume lots of water and enjoy foods that nourish the soul as much as the body. I LOVE food and eat what I want... in moderation. My mantra is to prepare, plan and pack. Always know what you are going to eat and have it with you.
Recovery is as important as training. To me, this means a daily nap and participating in activities that take me away from fitness. Primarily, this means music and reading. When I have the time, I play and read as much as possible and always come back the better for it. Let your body rest and then feed your soul. My father once told me that he believed in "Everything in moderation, INCLUDING moderation!" Sometimes you just have to do something for the fun of it.
So really, the secret is no secret. Do the things that move you towards health and vitality and strive for balance in all parts of your life. Have an outlet that lets you blow off steam in a constructive way and then enjoy some down time away from the daily grind. This has allowed me to outwork, outplay and outlast others half my age.
ErnieSchramayr is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of All CanadianFitness, a private training studio in Hamilton, Ontario (www.allcanadianfitness.com).