Tips for Finding and Maintaining Balance with a Busy Life from Shaun Stafford

We caught up with owner of City Athletic and FFF ambassador Shaun Stafford to get his lowdown on the best way to juggle the different aspects of managing a business, keeping his training in check and still making time for family.

1. How do you stay on top of your nutrition when life gets busy?

When life gets hectic, it’s natural to default to the path of least resistance, but that isn’t always the healthiest or best choice for success! That’s why I have “safeguards” in place: I always have a protein bar or shake in my bag, or better still, I grab one of my Fresh Fitness Food meals in the cool bag and take it with me. Not having to think about it, leave my desk, or even wash up after eating is a luxury that becomes essential when time is getting squeezed! Making sure the default is a good, healthy choice is the best way to stay on top of your nutrition when life gets busy… Fail to plan, you plan to fail!

2. What’s the most important thing to you when it comes to your nutrition?

All of the above! Making sure that I am on or around my calorie level is key, but also that I’m getting enough protein to fuel my recovery around training whilst keeping my appetite in check. But being consistent with that is the long play! If you want something to be effective and have an impact on how you look and feel, you have to do it for a significant period of time. That means it has to be convenient and have the ability to slot into your daily life: this can be carrying a big bottle of water with you wherever you go, or slinging your cooler bag over your shoulder on the way to work. If it isn’t convenient, you won’t make it consistent, so start with the low-hanging fruit and try and get into your new habits quickly.

3. How do you fuel your body pre and post-workout?

I usually train early so just grab a little bit of caffeine (or a pre-workout) before hitting my session and then I either take a protein shake or my first meal of the day straight after.

4. How do you juggle being a dad, running a business and staying lean?

It’s a combination of a good routine, a good support network and “putting the church at the centre of the village”. In short, if it’s important to you, you make it a priority to do the little things that all contribute to the overall goal, and that means eating well, sleeping well, staying hydrated and being active. If you can knock over these things most days, you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling great, regardless of what else you have going on!

5. What helps you to stay motivated?

I think it’s a combination of knowing the intrinsic benefits of being healthy and active, and how effective this can make you in other areas of your life that are important: whether it is playing football in the garden for hours (literally) with my kids, or pulling 12hr+ days at work, the resilience you build in yourself over time is worth maintaining and keeping up with… plus, it makes every other area of your life easier, which is a big motivating factor.

6. What does a week look like for you in terms of workouts

I try and lift weights 3x per week for about an hour and it usually follows a “Push/ Pull/ Legs” format. I’ll then go for a run on the weekend and try and get a sauna in too.

7. What do you do in terms of recovery?

I’ve recently got more into using the sauna and having a cold shower after: I like how it makes me feel and I’m pretty sure it helps my recovery. I also make sure I see my osteo once a week to keep everything free, open and recovering properly! I’m a big believer in “pre-hab” rather than rehab so I’d rather maintain being pain-free than be in pain and be working to make it go away.

8. How often do you change up your program?

Not as often as I should. I know what I like when it comes to training and have a good few “go-to” routines that I alternate between! If I’m being honest with myself, I know I should be re-writing (or even better, getting someone else to re-write for me) my programs every 8 weeks, but in reality, it’s probably every 12 weeks instead!

9. What is a product or tool you couldn’t live without?

I definitely couldn’t live without my Fresh Fitness Food: I think I’ve been a customer for over a decade, and it makes my life so much easier (no shopping, cooking, cleaning, thinking about food) that it would be a paradigm shift in behaviour if I was to stop using it. But if it aint broken, I won’t be fixing it!

10. Any final tips for staying consistent throughout the summer months?

It sounds crazy, but get up a little bit earlier: I rarely set an alarm in the summer and instead wake up with the sun around 530ish. It’s amazing what you can do with the extra hour when you aren’t snoozing and everyone else is asleep. Just getting a jump on the day puts you in a much more productive state of mind and buys you so much more wriggle room when it comes to being consistent and getting stuff done!

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