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What's the key to combining work and fitness?

When work and fitness are combined, how do you keep yourself from burning out and maintain a medium balance? Derry East Wemyss Fife, Scotland

A: Achieving a good balance among work, family obligations, and fitness goals can be an ongoing challenge, but is by no means impossible. First of all, figure out how much time you are (realistically) willing to commit to some type of exercise each week. One of the keys to avoiding burnout is to integrate exercise into your days so you're not merely replacing other important activities, or trying to shoe-horn exercise into a schedule that's already full. If training becomes just one more obligation or task that has to be completed,your motivation is likely to suffer and burnout is right around the corner. There's no "right" answer to how much you should exercise; however, once you've decided how many hours per week you can devote to fitness, then schedule the workouts into a calendar so that you don't overbook yourself and run out of time.

If you're worried about burning out, find some different activities you enjoy and some new ones you can try. Remember, you don't need to go into the gym all the time to get fit, nor do you have to stick to your primary sport. There are lots of opportunities for activity out there.

Join or start a pick-up sports team with friends at work, bike to work a couple of days a week, or run errands on your bike. Go hiking with your family. If you're an endurance athlete, try adding racquet sports (tennis, racquetball, squash) to your program; it's great for developing side-to-side stability and power.

No matter what you decide to do for exercise, keep in mind that improving your fitness may ultimately give you more time by making you more productive at work, improving the quality of your sleep, and keeping illness at bay.

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Filed To: Wellness