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Fit For Life: Time for YOU!

Saturday, March 25, 2017


It’s not just the lazy people that neglect themselves, and let their health demise. Quite the contrary. I wanted to talk about the average everyday person, who’s out hustling to make a living, take care of a family, and live the American dream. I am talking to the people with busy lives, who put themselves last on the priority list. They are putting everything in front of their own needs, and they are breaking down physically and mentally because of it. The super-moms with jobs and careers, the guys hustling two jobs, or trying to run a business and feed their families. This is the demographic that needs to pay attention.

I was talking with a client last week, and we were talking about mental and physical burnout, and discussing different ways to avoid both. She is a working mom who is busy juggling career, family, keeping up with household tasks, and staying fit. I know her personally, and am overly impressed with her because despite all the obstacles she has, she is still a physical specimen that keeps herself looking at least 20 years younger than she is. Oh yea, and she just recently battled cancer, which puts her on another level. A level of strength and stamina that not many possess.

During our conversation, she confessed that what I was seeing on the outside was not a clear reflection of what was going on in her life. Her job was stressful, she was taking care of sick parents, a husband, kids, and receiving chemotherapy all at the same time (and she still managed to keep herself fit and looking great). But she was overwhelmed and knew she needed to make some choices, and change some things in her life, or she was going to implode. So, she did.

She took some time off from work and regroup. During our conversation, she admitted that her life was so busy and hectic that she looked forward to her treatments because that meant she could spend some downtime in the waiting room reading mind trash magazines to mentally escape the turmoil of life for a few hours.

Can you imagine being so busy, and stressed out that you look forward to waiting in a doctor’s office to get time to unwind and escape? We both agreed that it was a crazy thought, but the truth of the matter is that we focus so much on doing “stuff” and tasks, that we forget about ourselves.

I can’t work out, I don’t have the time. I didn’t eat properly today because I was busy. I only got 3 hours sleep last night because I had to meet a deadline.

Yes, its noble that you are a go getter and work hard, but it’s almost a guarantee that your health will demise if you don’t stop and take care of yourself and start making your physical and mental health a priority.

  • What good are you to your boss if you are sick and un productive?
  • What use are you to your kids if you are too out of shape or too busy to interact with them?
  • What good are you to your spouse if you are sick and burden them with taking care of you?
  • How fun are you to be around if you are stressed and irritable all the time?


It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t take getting sick for you to realize that you should be a priority in YOUR life. Or you shouldn’t have to look forward to a doctor’s visit to mentally unwind and have time to yourself.

Today is the day. You can start doing things immediately to help improve your physical and mental health. Here are a few simple things to get you started. Stop using time as an excuse. Remove the phrase “I don’t have the time” because you do. We all have the same 24 hours during the day, and it’s how you prioritize your time that makes the difference.

Make the time to:

Workout--- We offer 11-13 thirty minute sessions at Providence Fit Body Boot Camp daily starting at 5:25 am ‘til 7pm, so if you say you don’t have the time, you are lying to yourself.
You have it, you just need to make “you” and your health a priority.

Eat healthy— Choose organic food and avoid the cheap processed crap everyone eats when they are on the go. If you say you can’t afford it, you are telling yourself you are not worth it. If you say you don’t have time, well it takes the same amount of time to make a bad choice that it takes to make a healthy one, so stay informed and make smart choices.

Stop saying" I should have” -- I got this one from my client. She removed this saying from her vocabulary because it mentally stressed her out when she would say this at the end of the day.
It doesn’t do any good to dwell on what you didn’t do, but it does great things for your sense of accomplishment when you recall all the things you DID do. Save the negative thinking, and focus on the things you accomplish more that the items you “should’ve” done. You can’t go back, only forward.

Create a routine— Part of being successful with anything in life is to take positive steps consistently. Carve out the time every day to do something to move you in the right direction. Work out and read something inspirational daily. It will help you physically and mentally.

The moral of the story is that poor health and being out of shape doesn’t just happen to lazy people. Hard working active people fall into this trap also. They fall because they don’t see themselves as a priority, and don’t recognize that putting yourself first will improve your ability to do for others. They give so much of themselves that they neglect to take the necessary steps to recharge and grow, rather than burnout. I am saying to “take action” today and make some positive changes to YOUR daily agenda that will improve your physical and mental health. You can still be a hard worker, and give your time to helping others, but to be most effective, you need to be firing on all cylinders, and not broken down and sputtering through the day.

Don’t wait for the doctor’s office or hospital to be your time to “unwind”. Take control of your life today. You will feel better, and others will appreciate you more.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one!


Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android


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