Clock-watching for fitness

You've got 24 hours. Use them wisely.

Time is the one thing money can't buy. And CeCe Marizu, Equinox group fitness manager and instructor, says that's the key. What are the other numbers to keep in mind? Find out here.

Time. I'm obsessed with it. It's the only thing we can never get back. I would want people to pay attention to how much time they spend working out, or working on themselves. Maybe it is just a walk, or maybe it is 45 minutes in a cycle or Tabata class, or 20 minutes in meditation. Regardless, that is the number they should make count. Time is also honest. It never lies, or moves, and the same 24 hours are given to everyone. So if I ask someone how much time they spent on something and whether they made it count, they have a number—an honest number.

You can look at time through the lens of productivity. For instance, you could sit at your desk for 45 minutes and answer all the emails, return phone calls, schedule what you need to do, etc. But if you sit at your desk for 45 minutes and get little done, your time would've been better spent on an exercise bike—even for five minutes. Time can also dictate intensity. If you know you have only 30 minutes for a workout then you might decide to push the intensity up a bit. If you have an hour you might adjust.

I look at my mom. She’s an accountant and sits for the majority of her day. She gained some weight from mindless eating. So we used time to break her snacking habit. At work, she had a 30-minute lunch break. So she started bringing her lunch to work and, during the 30 minutes, she would walk. Some days she walked faster and others she just made sure she moved for that 30, but she did it. It was all about making the time.

I also look at athletes. With the Olympics just behind us, you couldn’t help but watch in awe at the talent. When I was in college swimming the NCAA had a rule that student-athletes could only practice 20 hours a week. That being said, if you wanted to be better you would add in extra time outside of that on your own. Yes, there are ways to work efficiently, but ask elite athletes what they did differently. The one thing they will have in common will be that they spent the time working on their craft.