In-Depth Focus on Fitness: A Realtor’s Guide to Health and Fitness
Kenyatta Jones-Arietta | February 2017
There is absolutely no denying that real estate sales can be bad for your health, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, we as real estate agents spend hours at a time on the road, in and out of homes and never experience the same day twice. With such an unpredictable schedule, it’s easy to pull into the nearest drive-thru for a quick bite and return home too exhausted to hit the gym. However, with the proper preparation, your waistline and mental health don’t have to suffer.
Following are tried and true tips that will not only improve your physical health, but will also assist you in reducing stress and anxiety, prevent cognitive decline, boost brainpower and simply make you feel better. In turn, these tips will boost your confidence, which will make you a happier person to be around, a better agent and an inspiration to your clients and fellow colleagues.
From 2010-2013, not only was I selling houses, but I was also a National Physique Committee/International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness figure competitor. Needless to say having to be ready for competitions by a certain date left me with NO TIME FOR EXCUSES. And these little tricks helped me to get into show shape while working on the road.
If you know that you have a day of showings scheduled with your buyer clients this weekend, prep your meals ahead of time.
When prepping for competitions, I would plan my meals out at least one to two days in advance. It mostly consisted of a measured-out portion of protein weighed on a food scale and a veggie. If I planned to have carbs with my meal, it would be either brown rice or a sweet potato, as they are complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs take a longer time to break down, thus preventing drastic insulin spikes associated with simple carbs, which cause you to crash, leaving you tired and in need of a nap.
Its not enough to just pack a lunch. If you’re planning to be out for 4-6 hours or better, pack enough meals and healthy snacks so that you are able to eat something every 2.5-3.0 hours depending on your appetite and exercise regimen. I found the more often I ate, the more my metabolism worked, in turn the more calories I burned. But we’re talking portion control (4-7 oz. of protein depending on fish, meat or chicken and ½ to 1 cup of rice). All meals would go into an insulated lunch bag to keep it fresh until consuming. For a snack I would pack a shaker cup of protein powder, which would later be mixed with water (mixing with milk or juice adds unnecessary calories) and a rice cake with peanut butter. I am also a big fan of raw almonds (about 15-20 per serving) and Skinny Pop—100 calories a bag. Yum! However, be sure to pack a few extra bags just in case your clients are in need of a snack.
Dehydration can disguise itself as hunger. If you are not drinking approximately eight glasses of water a day (eight ounces each), you may be dehydrated. When you are feeling hungry, go for water first. When competing I would carry a gallon jug in my car to make sure I was taking in enough. I know you are probably concerned about having to go to the bathroom a lot, but there is always an opportunity between showings if you have to go…make a quick stop into the office or the nearest gas station.
Avoid sodas, too much coffee and unnecessary sweeteners. The sugar and caffeine can also dehydrate you. Reach for water first or even club soda to quench your thirst. Not into water? Grab a hot green tea. Green tea is filled with lots of antioxidants and other properties that assist in improving brain function and promote fat loss.
The challenge with working out is that most people consider it optional. When I competed, I had to get my workouts in if I wanted to be competition ready and I wanted to be ready! Working out was as necessary as eating and breathing. NOT AN OPTION. I was committed to my fitness goals. Be committed to you!
If I couldn’t go to the gym before the kids went to school (they were too young to be left alone), I would wake up around 5 a.m. to get my workout in at home before they woke up for breakfast. No gym equipment at home? No excuses! Though my husband eventually got me adjustable dumb bells and a workout bench, I initially used my staircase to do up to 30 minutes of cardio (up and down, up and down) and strength training using my own body weight. After the kids were off to school, I was ready to start my workday! Getting your workout done early also prevents the need to get it done at the end of the day, ensuring that you get it in.
Aside from working out, you can also find ways to burn additional calories while you are on the road—parking away from the property you are showing gives you an opportunity to walk a bit. Showing a unit in a condo complex with an elevator? Use the stairs. It’s good for the heart (and the glutes)!
Considering joining a gym? Chose a gym with multiple locations. I loved my New York Sports Club membership. Living in Rockland, there was a location in West Nyack, Nanuet, Garnerville and in New York City. No matter where I was showing, there was always a place to get my workout in (and use the bathroom).
Working out after or between my workday also meant, aside from having my food prepped, I also needed to have a bag prepped in the car with my workout wear. My bag included sneakers, a change of clothes and socks, ear buds (at least two pairs), baby wipes, an iPod and an iPod holder, training gloves, heart rate monitor, a jump rope and a headband, hair scarf or ponytail holders. Most facilities have cleansing products, towels and a hair dryer, but I would also keep dry shampoo just in case.
Never worked out before? Not sure what to do in the gym? Bodybuilding.com is a great site for workouts and motivation. You can also set up a profile and set fitness goals. It can be great for accountability. Another alternative is to subscribe to magazines like Men’s or Women’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers and Fitness RX. All of these magazines have great workouts, as well as great, clean recipes. Rip out the workouts and the recipes. Place them in plastic sleeves and store in two separate binders. Take a workout with you when you are planning to hit the gym.
If you are not into working out alone (which I love, it’s my “connect to me” time), schedule working out with a partner. And no matter what you do, schedule it! As independent contractors with a flexible schedule, make it a priority to block your workouts out on your calendar. It’s an appointment with yourself and you have to work around it.
Go to bed!
Yes, we super agents have a hard time shutting down but when you don’t shut down and get a good night’s sleep (approximately eight hours), your body doesn’t have a chance to properly recharge. Recharging is the best potion to getting your creative juices flowing. It also helps to improve your memory and just makes you feel good. Not getting enough sleep reduces your inhibitions, which is one of the leading causes of late night snacking. Late night snacking means more calories/energy that gets stored and not burned. Stored energy turns in to (you guessed it) fat! Get a good night sleep and you will have the energy to wake up for that 5 a.m. workout and crush it!
Research shows that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. Follow these tips for the next 21 days and it will improve your real estate business, your health and it will change your life!