By Kyle Kiffer

During college I had no issue maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Participating in college swimming for four years, my schedule was set. Wake up, practice, eat, class, nap, study, practice, eat, study, sleep, and repeat.

Needless to say I was always moving.

Since I was in the pool 10-12 hours a week, it seemed easy to be in shape. Swimming thousands of yards per week gives a lot of people the confidence in their body, as well as confidence in life. Adding to the fact that I am a Christian, I felt good inside and out. I thought this would be an easy transition when I graduated and entered the “real world.”

I was wrong.

Working a nine to five job for a number of years now, I still struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What I have learned and tried throughout the years has made it easier, but the struggle is still there. Some professions allow for movement, or at least maintaining a constant flow during the day from place to place or meeting to meeting. Not mine.

As an Auditor it is me and my trusty computer.

Eight to ten hours per day looking at a screen with interaction with your other peers only online. A meeting to me is a video conference call. I'm not complaining about the job I have but I have learned that I have to be realistic in maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle once I leave work.

If you are struggling with maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle through your busy schedule, below are a five strategies that you can try out today.


Staying stagnate at work is more than enough. At home is a time to be active and enjoy the company of family or friends. This does not mean sitting down and watching three or four episodes of the recent Shonda Rhimes releases! Cutting cable from my life six years ago has helped me tremendously. I still have my favorite shows through Netflix and Hulu, and yes I still have my occasional Netflix binges, but cutting cable has allowed me to control what I watch. Not to mention it will save you a good number of dollars per month.


It is no surprise that eating a lot of fried food can have a serious impact on your stomach as well as your waist line. It is imperative to train yourself to limit these foods in moderation. Next time you have that urge for fries or wings, substitute grilled veggies or the house salad. And if you get the house salad, don’t you dare order the ranch dressing!


Throughout the years I have learned that with a goal/race in mind I become more motivated, more determined, and it forces me to plan my workouts for that goal. Whether training for a 5K or a Marathon, that goal and ultimate race date will be the catalyst to get you moving. And once I have accomplished that said goal or race, I am literally on my phone the next day looking for the next event. If there is any lag in time or uncertainty about what is next, I tend to lack the self-discipline to work out and train. 


This goes along with the old saying “Control Your Schedule, Do Not let it Control You.” Too many times I go throughout my day and when it is time to go to bed, I reflect on where the time went and why I did not work out. I then make excuses and try to convince myself why it is “okay” that I did not work out. Shame on me for that. The nights before, or if you are a morning person the day of, plan your workout to fit your schedule.  This will take some time and will be frustrating at the beginning, but find a way to make it work. 


There are times in my life where I am having a difficult time with prayer. One of the greatest pieces of advice I have received from a friend and priest is to incorporate prayer into my workouts. Instead of running to the latest music hits, I now tend to listen to Christian music and sometimes even recite prayers during my runs. This has allowed me to focus and actually make a conscious effort in my personal relationship with Jesus. This type of prayer may be a little awkward at first and may not be for everyone, but there is nothing wrong with trying it out.



Kyle Kiffer is a graduate from Hiram College and works as a Auditor. He is a Head Swim coach and loves everything about Cleveland, Ohio. An avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer, Kyle has ran six marathons and is currently training for his second 70.3 IronMan Triathlon. He tries to live his life by this saying: "The future starts today, not Tomorrow" by Saint Pope John Paul II

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