​Invest 1.7% for mega returns and waistline deflation

Invest a tiny amount for mega returns – sounds appealing doesn’t it? In any other aspect of life this would be a no-brainer but why is it so different when it comes to our health and fitness and ultimately our happiness?

168. That’s how many hours there are in a week. We readily spend 35-50 of these precious hours at work, often wishing we were somewhere else. We ask that you train for a minimum of just 3 hours, that’s 1.7% of your weekly time spent in a gym. The other 98.3% you’re left to your own devices.

So if we aren’t asking for a big time commitment, what are we looking for? If it was as easy as rocking up to the gym, doing a few half-arsed sets of a few exercises and sitting on the bike for ten minutes at the end, then we’d all be walking around with the body of an Adonis.

The more we increase the intensity of our training in line with a well-considered and appropriate plan, the more impressive and sustainable the results will be. The key though is balancing this pattern of training with a nutritional plan that makes sense, which starts with the choices we make when it comes to what we put in our mouths on a daily basis.

Nobody wants to carry umpteen Tupperware boxes around them all day, so making wise decisions when it comes to lunch and dinner will pay dividends in the long run. Opt for salads with lean meats or fish. Snack on nuts and fruit as opposed to Jammy Dodgers and Mars bars. Drink water instead of fizzy drinks. It’s not rocket science and again, doesn’t require a significant investment of effort, time or money.

We’re all adults and know what’s good to eat or not. If it comes from a packet and has a thousand ingredients on the back, the chances are it’s not the best thing for you. Yes, eating this way can seem boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Invest in a good cookbook and learn.

The older we get the more this matters. We all know a person who could eat what they wanted when they were younger and now only have to sniff a chocolate bar and their waist increases by two inches. Metabolism slows down the older we get, that’s why training is important as it keeps the fire burning. More muscle equals a faster metabolism. But it’s important to remember we are all human and a burger once in a while won’t turn you into the Nutty Professor.

Don’t kid yourself that spinning the wheels in the gym three times a week is all you need to do. Walk more. Take the stairs not the lift, eat the salad not the chips. Concentrate on making better decisions, stay determined and true to the task ahead.

It’s easy to get disheartened and that’s why having a goal is important. Don’t make it unattainable either. Losing a few kgs is a good place to start as opposed to crossing the Atlantic on a paddle board (you get the gist). Make it attainable. See if you can take that 1.7 to 3%. That’s still only five hours of exercise a week. As with most things in life, the more you invest, the more you get out of it.

With the Christmas party season around the corner, it becomes more important to keep active in the gym. Sweat out the excess from the night before. Realistically you’re not going to break any records, but off-set the over indulgences with some solid training. Then that mince pie or glass (bottle) of wine won’t seem so bad.