Are you always "too busy" to work out ?
You know you need to make fitness a priority but you never seem to do it....
You are crazy busy and it’s easy to make excuses. And they are legitimate – you really don't have enough hours in the day. I get it - believe me – the struggle is real.
But here’s the thing. Moving your body needs to be a priority, it affects your health AND your business, and the good news is that you really can do it without finding more hours in the day.
You can be a busy entrepreneur AND find time for fitness, even if you don't have time to get to the gym.
Alison, is the owner of CUFitness, a health and wellness coach, and entrepreneur, and she’s had exactly the same struggle that you are having now. She’s got some simple solutions that YOU can work into your day, to make fitness a simple part of your daily routine, and finally start getting the exercise you know you have been missing.
Here’s the secret she shares with us on today's podcast (I’m going to spoil the surprise) You can complete a 30 minute workout every single day without ever actually doing a 30 minute workout!
It's true, and it so much simpler than you think. We truly make it harder on ourselves than it needs to be, and Alison is here to help us take the pressure off, start feeling better about ourselves, and start taking care of bodies (and our future) like we should be.
Alison walks us through:
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Kristy: [00:00:00] Hello, Alison and welcome. Alison is the founder of CU fitness incorporated, a fitness writer, coach, she owns an online workout club, hosts destination fitness retreats in a variety of gorgeous destinations, and hosts her own podcast; “The ultimate journey of self care.” Phew, That's a lot!
Alison: Thank you for having me
Kristy: I gave a little bit of an intro there for you, but I would love it if you would tell us just a bit about your story, why you started CU Fitness and a bit more about what you do now.
Alison: Well, I've been in the fitness industry most, all of my life. I grew up a swimmer. I've been in sports and athletics, a lot of my life and always been active. Both of my folks are 81 and they're still active.
So it's like, they just kind of set the tone for all of us growing up, my siblings and me. I wanted to go to physical therapy school and when it became evident that that really wasn't going to work, I was advised to go on and into school in a related field. And so I picked exercise and fitness and I have never looked back.
So it's the plan B that became a plan, a that's what I like to call it. and I worked for other people for a while, and then I decided I wanted to try it myself. [00:01:00] And so I've been an entrepreneur for close to 25 years. I've done it all. I've worked in corporate. I've done rehab. I've advised big gym.
And, I've worked with private clients, I've done group training. And so now what I do is kind of a hybrid. I do, I still see some people in person, but I coach health and fitness and wellness entrepreneurs on helping them build their business as well. And then of course I do my retreats, cause that's really what I've always wanted to do.
and of course COVID put a big halt on that, but I'm back into it now.
Kristy: today we're going to talk through how to make fitness work for even the busiest of entrepreneurs, because we all know that we should be working out or at least staying active, but so often our businesses crowd out our workout time.
Let's talk through kind of hacks and, strategies for making that part of our daily life. And, you know, I maybe if we think about making our workout time, I think about it as being critical to our business. Would that change how much of a priority we make
Alison: it's interesting that you asked me that if you read about the most [00:02:00] successful entrepreneurs in the world, and I'm not talking like the multimillionaire.
So, I mean, we could include those too, but I'm talking about the people who have their dream business and her living their dream. Whatever that looks like they are all physically active. They all have something that works for them that sticks that they stick to day in and day out. One of the first things I always advise my clients to do is think about your activity time.
Notice, I don't just say workout time, but I say activity time as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself. So it's like, think about an appointment with one of your top clients or your best client or your, client that maybe that's been with you. The one. You wouldn't be consistently moving that around to fit, to accommodate something else.
Right. You have top priority for that. And why shouldn't you view an appointment with yourself in the same manner? personally, I think that when you really take care of yourself, physically speaking, and whatever that looks like it can be, walking yoga doesn't have to be a hardcore workout in the gym every day.
All of that shows up in your business, but not only that, but it shows up in your life too. [00:03:00] You show up better, your conversations are better, your relationships are better. And it all shows up in your business too. And that's not an accident. Energy is energy and it just, it spreads.
Kristy: Yeah, and I that's, that's absolutely a mindset shift.
And I know if it's for my business, if it's for growing the business it happens, I make sure that that happens. But when it's something that I feel like is just a nice to have thing, then it can get moving. you're right. If you block the time and you make it.
Cause I block every week, a couple of hours specifically for business development. And I do exactly that with it. It's a non-negotiable. It's a block time. Nothing else gets put in that time. I don't do that for. Well,
Alison: I think the other piece is that, we get used to, we get really good at what we do often.
I always say that. And we sorta can get in the mindset where, well, Wednesday is not going to work in. Friday's not going to work so I can only get two sessions in. So I might as well wait until next week, we sort of get in that mentality where it's easy just to keep putting it off.
And then what our brain is telling us is is that this really isn't all that important. All these other things. I have to take [00:04:00] priority, but the bottom line at the end of the day, we should be asking ourself is that if we are not in the best physical and mental shape ourselves, how in the world are we going to be able to run a top caliber, top quality business and be an example, not just to our team, but to our clients and the communities that we serve.
Kristy: I agreed. definitely a mind shift I need to work on. So. If we're not necessarily looking at just, I mean, the workout is great. Right. But you have a lot of other strategies that can help us. First of all, why do we think, why do we think we're too busy? Because that's the first thing I hear from everybody.
They're like, oh, I'm too busy. I'm too busy to fit that.
Alison: But, but really what's behind. That is a couple of things. It's I don't trust myself to do it most of the time. I'm not, I don't know that I'm going to follow through, which tells me that they've tried it before and it hasn't worked. And all that means is I just didn't have the right plan.
That's why I didn't want. The other thing is, is that, and this probably goes a little deeper for some people, is that it's a, it's a self-worth thing. You know, as entrepreneurs, especially women, we get used to tying up our [00:05:00] identity and what we do for other people, whether it's serving our clients, being an example to our team, our families, our spouses, whatever.
And we get used to tying up our identity in that. And so if something is going to take our time away from that identity, then there there's this push and pull and struggle bus as some people call it. but my question, my rebuttal to all that always is why can't we live in the end?
Why does it have to be in? Or why can't we just live in the end? What would your world look like if you lived in the end? So what if you could be everything that you want to be to all of these things over here on the right. And then on the left over here, why can't you be everything you want to be for yourself too?
why can't we live in the end so that, I think that's a question we all should start with.
Kristy: So you got some strategies that will help us make it, not such a huge, obstacle
Alison: Where during your day, can you work in the five and 10 minute challenges is what I like to call it. So an example would be next time you go run an errand park your car as [00:06:00] far away as you can. And walk, can you take the stairs during the day instead of an elevator whenever possible, can you carry your grocery bags from the checkout line to your car rather than using a.
what can you do around your house? That's physical, that challenges you? I mean, and honestly what comes up for me is like vacuuming, like chores, you know, yard work, stuff like that. The stuff that we don't really think that. But activity. Here's the thing activity is activity to our body.
Our body's not going to sit there. Well, that doesn't count because that's just taking a flight of stairs. That's not the same thing as lifting a 40 pound dumbbell or whatever. It doesn't work like that, you know,
here's the thing.
The metabolic research also. That all of those things worked into your day on a regular basis. Okay. Regular consistent basis has a much greater effect on your metabolic rate over the lifespan than relying on that 45 minute to one hour workout in the gym, which is what so many people do. Now. I'm not saying you shouldn't do.
but it's easy to work in these small things [00:07:00] first. And I always challenge my clients to do that, you know, especially, because it's a no brainer. It's like the icing on the cake, you know, it's like live in the end. Why can't you have a.
Kristy: And I think, if you make them almost like they're like micro habits, right.
It's much easier mentally to go, okay, well, I maybe don't have an hour today, but I've got 10 minutes and I can do this. And I think that that hour block we're trying to find makes it easier for us to put it off because while I really don't, you know, it's
Alison: really tough to do. I'll give you another example.
If you, if you sit a lot, like we all do in front of the computer, seeing our clients. What have you got up every hour for five minutes and did something. So if you're in front of your computer for five or six hours straight, that's 30 minutes of activity right there. Right. And you don't people don't think about that in five minutes.
What can you do? You can do a couple pushups. You can run up your steps. You can take a walk around your house. You can go outside and walk to the mailbox and back or whatever. I'm just throwing that out there. But you know, activity is activity and it all adds up. It's like the saving money thing. You say 50 cents a day.
What do you have at the end of.[00:08:00]
Kristy: and also good for your mental clarity to get up every hour and you're going to be more productive. Right? You cured head, you come back, you get blood flowing.
Alison: but yet it's, it's so easy to ignore that, everyone out there is saying, yeah, right.
Five minutes isn't anything. Well, five minutes, times five or six hours in a row is something.
Kristy: All right, what else should we be doing?
Alison: the other thing I always recommend are like five to 10. What I like to call micro workouts. So one of the things that I always like to teach and I'm pretty much a master at this is coming up with what is the best use of your time.
So if all you have is say 10 minutes at the end of the day, or during your lunch break or whatever, I promise you, you can get a lot done in that 10 minutes. So for example, you could do some crunches, some plans. Some squats or lunges and a few push-ups and you could do like, kind of think of it like a micro circuit, and you could repeat that two or three times in a row and kind of make it a game with yourself.
Set, set a timer on your phone. How many times can I, how many sets can I do in five minutes and challenge myself? Cause I think we [00:09:00] all like the challenge component to it.
Kristy: Absolutely. And you could even just schedule your day if you normally end your day at five o'clock and ended at 4 45, do something before you walk out the door of the office or your home office.
Alison: Because as much as we like to say, I'll do it. When I get home, I'll get up an hour earlier. I'll spend my lunch hour. It, you know, it's so easy for that not to happen. And then that turns into a habit to, well, I'll start tomorrow. Well, I'll start next week and it doesn't work out. So I always challenge you.
Let's work with what you got first let's work with the parameters that you've got, because there's everything is figureoutable. You just have to have the right stress.
Kristy: Yes. Okay. So we're getting up. Let's recap. We're getting up every hour for five minutes. We're sneaking in 10, 15 minutes, somewhere in the day, just to do a little micro circuit and we're just trying to extend what we do.
So walking, you know, parking further away taking the stairs instead of the elevator, everything we do throughout the day, just thinking about how can [00:10:00] I make this a little more? Yeah, well
Alison: in our bodies or we have, what we have to remember is that our bodies are created to move. We are created to be active.
We're not created to sit still and hide away in a cave and wait for the summertime. We're not, we're not, that's not what we're meant to do and everything that I've just suggested. These are all what you call functional moves. These are already moves that we're doing anyway in our everyday life. So why can't we do them as part of a workout routine?
It's just simple and the simpler you keep it.
Kristy: Okay. Great. And then is there any other fitness tips or even just kind of health and wellness ways to sneak that into our life? You know, right now, what we coming out of COVID
Alison: and and
Kristy: just everybody is so busy right now.
And I find with everybody the overlap now, you know, is intense. There's no ends and beginnings.
Alison: another thing I always suggest. How, how much can you stay on during the day? You know, everyone's buying standing desks now. So that's an easy thing to do, but think about when you're doing dishes at home or when you're standing up and you're cooking, you can [00:11:00] stand on one foot and kind of practice balance.
You can kind of pull your abs in at the same time or whatever, and kind of make it a challenge with yourself. I mean, so many people struggle with balance anyway, and we lose it as we get older. so that's a simple thing. The other thing I always recommend is give yourself five or 10 minutes of quiet time.
And my recommendation is to do it first thing in the morning. So if that means you have to get up 15 minutes earlier than do it, but this is so key because this sets the tone for your day in terms of what intentional thoughts are you thinking? it's part of the mindset work that I teach us in helping you develop a belief plan, and it's, it's really dialing into those intentional thoughts and giving yourself time to just clear the.
that's one thing, one excellent way of, if it's not physical activity, then it's definitely self care. And the third thing I would recommend is in the evening, trying to get off the devices early, give yourself about 20 or 30 minutes of what a colleague of mine calls a soft landing in the evening.
turn off the phone, turn off the TV. And I'm saying [00:12:00] this because I'm equally guilty of not. So I'm voicing it because of something that I'm working very hard on myself, you know, we get so attached to our devices. We don't want to miss anything. And, but really try to disconnect from that at least 20 or 30 minutes before you want to be in the bed.
So think of it like a backup time. So in the evening you could back up your bedtime by say 10 minutes to start and then 15 minutes. So that's not like such a hard thing to do at one. And so many people
Kristy: are using the wind down time as time on their devices, right? Instead of after, well,
Alison: again, well, I mean, I am too, and again, just schedule it, like it's an appointment, you know, it's a non-negotiable with yourself.
You've got to establish some tight boundaries around what it is that you really want. And here here's something else I'll say, is that. We all are setting our goals right now for 2022 and beyond. And we will only go as far as what we think and believe in this moment. So in order to really change that and to really be able to step into what we are truly [00:13:00] calling in for ourselves for 20, 22 and beyond, it means we're going to have to learn to think on a different level.
And that sometimes makes. It's getting those boundaries a little bit tighter and establishing these little micro habits and being ridiculously consistent at doing that because what, how you do one thing is really how you do everything, right?
Kristy: And I think you're right. It's going to become more and more important because the boundaries are just blurring everywhere and they're not going to be any clearer anytime soon.
Alison: it's easy to do. It's really easy to do because as entrepreneurs we're over-scheduled anyway, and we don't operate on a nine to five schedule. That's why we're an entrepreneur, right. That's why we're doing our thing, because we want to do it to our own March, to our own drum beat.
But, but we have to be so conscious of what that actually looks like, or you will crash and burn.
Kristy: absolutely. I call my scheduling aggressive. I have, I don't always get through it all. I just move it to the next day since
Alison: me too. And, you know, and, and how notorious are we for making to-do lists?
[00:14:00] You know, I still keep a pen and paper calendar after all these years, because I'm a writer in general, you know? And it's just, when you look at some of my days and you look at all these lists, What am I thinking? You know, but it's just, it's, it's a habit, But all that says is that I'm trying to put too much on Mike. That's something I'm really working hard to change too,
Kristy: We have, we have so much to do so for people that are listening and they're saying, okay, well, this is great, but I'm, you know, it's too late. I'm too old. I can't change this isn't going to work for me. What does.
Alison: Well, what I say is, is I challenge on that because I just think, pardon my French, that's a BS story that you're telling yourself, you know, we get really good at what we do often. So my question is, so is this how you want to be the rest of your life?
Is this really the message you want to be putting out into the world? I don't think so. And you know, you don't have to start with all of it. You know, I think we're so used to, in our society to having everything. You know, social media doesn't help that because we sort of assume if we put something out there that will immediately we'll get it.
And if we don't immediately get it, that something's wrong with us, [00:15:00] but really what it comes down to is, starting with those small things and getting really consistent with that. That's really, what's going to get you the results. I don't know anybody who has gotten results, fitness, health self-care wise without first starting.
and starting small is the best way to go because you're just reinforcing to yourself that you actually can do it.
Kristy: with anything start small and build that habit and build that belief in yourself. Yeah,
Kristy: So you've got some really great resources.
you've got some online classes and you've got some great stuff to help people with this. But before we do that, you are definitely a woman entrepreneur. You are an everything I had to look through your site and you're doing tons of stuff. no wonder you're busy.
So what is your. Best advice for new women founders. We've got a lot of new women entrepreneurs that are listening. So, and all the years and all the things that you've done, what would you say is your best advice? I
Alison: think my best advice is to really get clear on what you think your purpose is really think about what it is that [00:16:00] really excites you and really drives you.
And why should it be you in the world doing it? Not somebody else. You know, we, I think we, we get, we blur the lines when we say, well, I'm going to do this because I'm really good at it. I'm going to do this because it's what I've always done. I'm going to do this because it's just who I am. You know, I hear that too.
But my thing is, that, when you dial more into what your true purpose is, and sometimes it takes a little time to figure it out, but it's like a colleague of mine says, follow the breadcrumb. You know, really dial in. That's why having that quiet time in the morning to really dial into what you want to be thinking is what's going to put those bread crumbs in front of you.
It's going to help you better drop the decisions you make on a daily basis and not get hung up in. Well, I'll do that once I get this done and I'll do that once I get this done. So really ask yourself is what I'm doing today, helping me move the needle. So that I can be more connected to my purpose. So really think [00:17:00] about that.
Spend some time every day, thinking about what that. I
Kristy: agree. I think we don't, especially when we first start out as entrepreneurs, we don't put enough focus on what we're passionate about it. And I think we tend to think, oh, well, you know what? As long as it's successful, it'll all work out and I'll do the things that I'm passionate about.
But I think if you actually can nail that passion and that purpose from the beginning, it turbocharges your success. It's something that you just can't get enough of. And you're so excited.
Alison: You know, somebody once said to me, when I was first starting out. Still teaching classes for, uh, for a local gym. And I was doing a couple other things and I was trying to get my business off the ground.
Um, cause when I started my business, I had a thousand dollars in the bank and a clean credit card. I had nothing, I had no bank loan or anything like that. It was pure 100% belief. I think feel like at the beginning, we sort of have to feel kind of clunky until we sort of figure out our own way to do it.
But when we feel, when we have lots of choices, I think we feel freedom [00:18:00] or at least that's what we think we feel, but it's only when we dial down and make that choice as far as what we want to actually be doing, that we actually feel what real freedom is. So don't confuse. Having all these things to do as being free, because you're really not, you know, it's when you dial into what it is you really want to be doing and what you're excited about, that's when you're going to feel.
Kristy: And, and when things get tough, you know, and, and it's going to get tough at some
Alison: times, it
Kristy: always does. If you're passionate about it, you're going to keep going. If you're not, it's hard to
Alison: slug. That's why having that time in the morning to dial into your thoughts and beliefs, that is what's going to drive you when the times are tough.
And when the money's not there and the clients aren't calling. And you're wondering if anybody is listening to a word you're saying online, which happens a lot. Yeah. You know, it's the belief that's, what's going to carry you through that. So that's why you have to be so connected to that because it really is like you're crushed to link.
Kristy: Agreed. [00:19:00] So we're going to put in the show notes links to, all sorts of things so that people can find you and take advantage. But why don't you tell us just a little bit more about what's coming up in your world and, and how we can find that. Terrific.
Alison: Well, I will say this, I do have a brand new option that I'm offering with my online club.
I call it the accountability upgrade because online clubs all sound good. Especially when you've got videos to choose from, but there's really no way to check in. At least that's what I hear from a lot of people. So one of the things that we've added to our online club, as a way for you to be accountable and for $99 a month, we have our accountability upgrade and it's no minimum timeframe.
You can check in three times a week with your coach, which has me or somebody on my team. And you get little micro coaching tips and. You know, a little, little bits of motivation. So we've got that out there. The other thing that we have is we've got a full calendar of retreats next year. So I have my first two retreats are the, in February and may of next year.
I'm going to Charleston, South Carolina in February, and then to key [00:20:00] west in may, which is one of my favorite places in the whole world. I go all the time. So I'm pretty much. and then the rest of next year, we're going to go to the mountains. We're going to go to Antigua and Jamaica. And we'll say those are the locations right now that are on the map.
And then after that in 2023, we want to get to New Zealand and a couple other places. So what are you
Kristy: doing? The retreat. That's what I said.
Alison: It's five days, usually five to six days. A lot of people who come choose to extend their stay by a day or two, and we usually have a way that you can do that.
my retreats are what I like to call a magnetic visionary experience. And we do a series of group activities to really help you drill down more into what your purpose is. And we do workouts every day. We do some visionary things and we always do some fun activities with the area where we are. Like, for example, in key west, we we're going to do a sunset cruise.
We're going to do a couple of things to really capitalize on the fun and the geography of the area. but everyone always has free time to [00:21:00] themselves. so it's, it's really a perfect combination of fun and travel and self care. And. You know, personal development, other stuff too. the
Kristy: best of all worlds.
So how do we find out more about that? again, we'll put this link in the show notes, but if you're listening somewhere else,
Alison: you can go to my retreat website, which is CU fitness, retreats.com. That's the letter C the letter youth fitness retreats.com. And you'll see that I have the Charleston retreat up there now.
And the QS preview. I'm going to have the key west full spiel, probably up by the end of the. Okay. And then I'll be adding the others usually within four or five months of when we go is when you'll find all that information. Of course you can reach out to. And I can give you some specifics on that they do fill up quickly.
So once I open it up, it's usually a few weeks and it's full, so,
Kristy: So we're going to put that link and we're gonna put the link to Alison's, site in the show notes. If you're listening on a platform where you can't see the show notes, you can always head over to one step empire.com, all the episodes, all the show notes, all the links are going to be there.
Everything [00:22:00] that you need is there. So if you write. You're driving and you haven't got a pen or you want to just head over and get some more information. It's one step empire.com and we'll have all of those links for Alison in the show notes.