Simon, thanks for being with us today. I am very excited about your experience in combining fitness and career. As a former amateur soccer player and current management consultant, I think you perfectly fit into our target group of busy professionals who want to stay fit.
Based on your current role, I assume you are quite busy at work, Isn’t That Right? How does your everyday life look like?
Yes, that is correct. I am traveling a lot for work which means that I am usually not at home from Monday to Thursday. I usually work longer than 7:00pm and sometimes I have days when it gets quite late and exhausting.
Also, due to the high travel and working hours, I spend a lot of time sitting, which has a very negative effect on my mobility.
What Role Does Fitness & Health Play In Your Life?
Sport plays a big role in my life. Before my time as a management consultant, I played in a soccer club and trained 4-6 times a week. In the past I also had a lot more time to think about clean eating.
Since I started working, my sports sessions have been reduced to 1-2 times a week. However, not only the amount has been reduced, but also the duration of my sessions. While I used to played soccer for at least 1.5 hours, my sport activities today are limited to a 30 minute Freeletics workout.
What Does Combining Fitness & Career Mean To You?
My job is currently the top priority. I am still looking for the ideal way to combine both. It would be cool to find a balanced combination. But sometimes it is easier to grab some fast food because there is no healthy alternative.
What Were Your Challenges To Keep Your Fitness Level While Being Busy At Work?
Personally, I have two main challenges. I find it difficult to eat properly because the opportunities to eat healthily on the go are limited and the healthy restaurants are often not within reach.
The second difficulty is motivation. Although there are weeks when I manage to do sports twice a week, there are days (e.g. due to long working hours or days when the weather is nice) when it is hard to keep the focus on fitness and healthy food.
Furthermore, the lack of support from colleagues and changing working locations make it even more difficult. For example, if I would like to continue playing soccer, I would need to find a soccer club at the locations where I work and bring all my equipment with me. This seems just impossible considering me traveling with either train or plane to my work projects.
Did You Also Have Times When Your Had To Struggle To Keep Your Motivation And Your Fitness Level Up?
Yes of course! I used to have fixed dates for football training and my teammates relied on me being there. Today, I do everything on my own responsibility and I am not obliged to anyone. Combined with a stressful job, this requires a lot of discipline.
Is There Something That Has Changed In Your Workout Routine over time?
As already mentioned, in the past I only played football. Today, I often train with the Freeletics fitness app and focus on home workouts to stay fit. I have never been the type of guy who like to go to gyms.
What Part Did Nutrition Play In Your Fitness Routine?
Since I used to train 4-6 times a week, it didn’t really matter what I ate. Today, this is different. As I am less active, I should pay more attention to my diet. However, I often resort to fast food due to convenience reasons. Therefore, I am currently not really focusing on nutrition although I know that it plays a crucial part in a fitness routine.
How difficult is it to eat healthy between work, hotel and home? What would help you to eat healthier?
I had developed a couple of routines in the past. I cooked a lot of healthy food and ate little sweets when I am at home during the week. I’ve been traveling a lot for a few weeks now and I’m eating a lot of unhealthy food again. From my point of view, eating healthy on the go is very difficult. There are just a few healthy lunch options around my office and if there are any, the taste and price of these options are not worth to talk about. Healthy and tasty snack alternatives is something that would really help me to keep my nutrition a bit better.
What Would You Recommend To People Who Struggle To Be Active? Based on your experience, anything you would do differently today?
My number one advice is to find companions or groups that you can join. It makes training and working out much more fun an easier. Training in a group creates a kind of positive environment which enables you to keep your focus on sports and nutrition much easier.
Simon, thank you very much for sharing your insights!