Eden Mercado

Eden Mercado performs Pilates at BBJ Athletics.

IT is hard to stay fit, especially for parents with a full-time job. How indeed do you make time to exercise  while taking care of a  child or children and working eight hours a day?

Certified National Academy of Sports Medicine personal trainer Jerry Diaz is a family-man who faces the same predicament each day, but it hasn’t stopped him from finding time to get some sweat going.

“I’ve heard first-hand from clients the challenges they go through when trying to stay active and fit throughout the year,” he said. “These include family trips, off-island business meetings, holiday season, double jobs, finding a babysitter or class schedules.  These challenges can easily spoil your fitness plans.”

But Diaz said no matter how busy we are, we can  find at least 10 minutes each day to perform a physical fitness exercise with no gym equipment required.

He recommends push-ups, pullups, squats, lunges and Primal Flow.  You can also perform Yoga or Pilates exercises such as warrior poses, bridges, rotations, or lying roll ups.

But consult your doctor first to make sure you’re fit enough for any of these exercises.

Diaz said a daily exercise routine could become tiresome so “to keep it fun and not boring individuals can shuffle exercises around or skip a few of them.”

He recommends finding different ways to add resistance or modifying the total number of reps and sets according to how much time an individual has.

“The important thing is to consistently perform full-body movements each day,” Diaz said. “One must be disciplined and motivated to reach one’s fitness goals.”

As a family man and a special education teacher, he has to create a fitness plan based on his family’s routines and work schedule.  

If he has to skip training, he makes sure he can squeeze in at least 10-15 minutes of core dynamics and calisthenics.

As for his job as a part-time personal trainer, he consults with his clients so they can come up with a schedule that works for everyone.

Despite his hectic schedule, Diaz still finds time to keep his body fit. “Throughout the week, I share my training schedule with my family to avoid conflicting routines. This way, our day runs smoothly and I am able to cross out things from my to-do list while getting at least 45-60 minutes of strength and conditioning training,” Diaz said.

One of his clients, Marianas High School teacher Eden A. Mercado, shared her thoughts on balancing her exercise and daily life routines.

“Staying healthy does not require the approval of others,” she said. “Our focus should be on our self-improvement. As a single working  mother, an educator and an organization leader, time management is indispensable, and should include self-care.”

For professional fitness nutrition inquiries, send a message to Jerry Diaz through Facebook or Instagram at @BBJ_Athletics.

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