Sean McCawley, Fit for Life in Napa Valley: Making time for exercise

My baking hobby ensues at full capacity throughout the holiday season. One of my favorite baked treats I’ve mastered throughout years of trial and error is the lime white chocolate blondie.

These vessels of mind-blowing lime and rich white chocolate require a refined yet simple recipe I developed throughout years of surfing the internet and browsing cookbooks to acquire a path to blondie heaven I could confidently repeat and create on demand.

Throughout my trials to produce blondies suitable for gifts to my friends and family, I discovered I needed the correct baking equipment, precise measurements, and, most importantly, time.

The world knows investing time in optimizing our health offers a feature in our lives that outweighs countless hours of working and making money. Investing time in exercise allows us to live happier, longer, healthier lives in which we can allocate the bi-products of our success in our careers to when we have vacation time or after we retire. Without our health, we’re hard-pressed to enjoy the life we ​​work so hard to create throughout our careers.

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Similar to the creation of my jaw-dropping blondies and devoting energy toward the busy lives required of our careers and family obligations, exercise involves time. However, exercise requires less time than baking holiday treats, an eight-hour shift at our jobs, or running errands around town.

Luckily, our bodies are equipped with the tools needed to exercise on demand at any time in pretty much any environment: a brain, heart, and muscles. No measuring cups, baking tins, or ovens are necessary.

Every organism on this earth has two pieces of resistance-training equipment required to conduct an effective workout: gravity and the ground. Performing exercise using only our body, such as squats, pushups, and planks, offers us an equally if not more effective workout than heading to a local gym and using their fancy exercise machines.

The features we have been gifted with since birth make it seem like a structured exercise routine should be simple to achieve. However, we need to remember one variable in accomplishing exercise: time.

The complex structure of thoughts in the human mind is a miraculous blessing. However, our minds are also fantastic escape artists at finding reasons to avoid exercise.

For example, people are too busy with the demands of their jobs or managing family dynamics. Deadlines, emails, texts, and phone calls before or after the normal workday sucks up time throughout the day.

Additionally, finding the motivation to exercise presents complications. The thought of carving time out of the day to achieve a bout of exercise could be boring. Getting that extra hour of flipping through text messages and social media on cell phones while in bed sounds like a far more entertaining experience than exercising.

Sometimes, investing time in venturing to the drive-through and sitting in the car after a long day of work to wait for an In-N-Out burger and fries seems more stimulating than making a quick trip to the gym.

There is a connection between baking, looking through text messages or sitting in our cars at the In-N-Out drive-through. They all take 15 minutes or more to participate in these tasks. What if we took that time and devoted it to exercise?

A simple and effective tactic we recommend to our personal training clients posed with similar aversions to exercise is setting a timer to complete the exercise. The simple act of opening the timer in our cell phones and setting a time limit to perform an exercise routine for 15, 20, or 30 minutes can produce substantial benefits to an individual’s health and well-being. During this period, simple and effective exercises such as body weight squats, pushups, planks, or stretching exercises can be achieved in this small window of time. The best part of this tactic in setting a timer is that after the timer goes off, the person who isn’t the fondest of exercise is allowed to do their favorite movement in their exercise routine: stop exercising.

Understandably, the exercise isn’t appealing to the entire population. Humanity has been blessed with so many wonders that give us something to do through the advancement of technology. However, the anatomy and physiology of our bodies always remain consistent. The only way to keep our bodies in optimal operating conditions is through compliance and consistency through an exercise program. If exercise is challenging to achieve because the demands of life impede the ability to take time out to exercise, set a timer and get a few exercises in. This short amount of time can significantly affect how our bodies operate and feel in our everyday lives.

We all know the benefits of exercising regularly but starting out can be tough so here are some tips to keep you motivated.

Sean McCawley, the founder and owner of Napa Tenacious Fitness in Napa welcomes questions and comments. Reach him at 707-287-2727, [email protected], or visit the website

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