How many workouts in 2013?

One question I often get asked is....

Chad, How many days a week should I work out? I wish I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question, I'd have — a lot of dollars.

Let me first answer your question with a question. (Something I learned from my too smart wife who wins every argument).

How many days a week do you take a shower?

Let me ask you another question: How many days a week do you brush your teeth?

I'm really hoping you answered "Every day."

Now that you admit to brushing your teeth and taking a shower every day, let me ask you another question. Just a couple of hundred years ago, did our ancestors brush their teeth and take a shower every day?

Highly unlikely.

As a matter of fact, they didn't. We didn't have running water until the mid-19th century in the U.S. And as far as toothbrush, one was invented in China in 1492 but the modern toothbrush wasn't invented until the 1930s, according to the Library of Congress.

So over the years we've trained ourselves to automatically take care of our hygiene.

It's a nonnegotiable.

For some reason we tend to "negotiate" ourselves right out of a workout, don't we? Working out is "hygiene" for your mind and body. So here is my challenge to you as I'm sure you are thinking of New Year's resolutions for 2013. The very next time you "negotiate" yourself out of a workout, you might as well "negotiate" yourself out of a shower and a tooth brush for the day. I bet then you'll think twice about missing your workout, wouldn't you?

Something to think about: before Jack Lalanne aka "Godfather of Fitness" passed in 2011, he was working out twice a day, and never missed workout in more than 75 years. How many have we missed just this year? Jack was a living, breathing example of what a lifelong love affair with fitness can do when you develop the discipline to train like it's part of your daily essentials.

Put it on your schedule every day. Reschedule, but don't miss. Got a busy day at work? Go to bed early and train in the morning, but don't miss. On vacation? Stay in a hotel with a gym or which is close to a gym, but don't miss workouts. Re-prioritize your training, and make it as important as brushing your teeth and showering. Do this, and 2013 will be the year you finally look, feel and live your best ever.

Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to for more information.




Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps