Recently, Brenden Stuart has found himself disappointed by how distracted some of his gym-goers are.
Thirty years in the industry, and never has he seen so many people rush to their cubby holes mid-workout to answer their cellphones.
The owner of City Gym Tauranga has also retired his sauna, and at his last gym, the plunge pool because very few people were using them.
In our busy, busy world we're taking less time for health and community, and we're paying the price, with poor choices leading some Kiwis to get "fatter", Stuart says.
When clients sign up to his gym for free, they pay their first month in advance, which includes personal training. However, many never make their first $10 weekly payment thereafter, cancelling and blaming "work".
"I've given them a (beginner) programme, as much enthusiasm as I can, and tell them 'it's 45 minutes to an hour, three times a week', for your health. It's a very, tiny amount of time."
Mostly, people pull out because they have to hightail it to other commitments, he says.
"They don't take the time out. It's rush, rush, rush."
For some, it's a choice, for others they have no option, they must work long hours to "make ends meet".
But by taking time for yourself and exercising "you've actually got more energy", he says.
"It's making it a priority (as well as) organising your food. Not going for a pie and a can of Coke next door at the tuck shop. It's making your lunch at night time - having a cold chilly box.
"If you're eating rubbish food, it's like putting sludge oil in a car, it's not going to run. So if you put rubbish food in your body, you're not going to have the energy to do anything."
Exercise goes hand-in-hand with good eating and changing your mindset, Stuart says, explaining it can take six weeks to get into the routine of coming through the front door of a gym.
"That's the first hurdle. Don't worry if you have a crap workout, or you don't feel that well today, just get through the front door and then you'll feel so much better once you've left," he says.
"Hold that accountability to yourself. You've done your three days a week and that's all you need to do, and then it gets easier and easier over time."
Wrestle back control
If you've tried various permutations of the work-life balance and are still struggling, you can get professional help.
Wellness coaching has taken off in New Zealand, with people living at such a frenetic pace, they struggle to manage their own health.
Rachel Grunwell, who fronts multinational and national companies giving motivational talks, runs a 12-week science-backed programme, sorting out how you eat, move, sleep, and manage stress.
For example, you might not be losing weight because you're stressed.
"I had one client and she was eating amazing, and she was working out, but she was so highly strung she wasn't losing weight, which was her goal," Grunwell says.
"All she needed to do was something calming that helped to unwind the stress nervous system.
"As a society, we're on a speed setting. We think we need to do more, be more, and everything needs to be at a faster pace, but being busy is not some goddamn badge of honour. We need to kick the culture of being busy.
As a society, we're on a speed setting. We think we need to do more, be more, and everything needs to be at a faster pace, but being busy is not some Goddamn badge of honour. We need to kick the culture of being busy.
"Connection and taking 'me time' is actually the foundation of not just how you look, but how you feel. It's the absolute baseline of your wellbeing."
What's more, businesses who prioritise wellbeing for their staff and provide opportunities for it, are likely to perform better, she says.
For Greg - not his real name - a real estate boss, working 60 hour weeks and being on call 24/7 for staff, meant his life was "out of balance".
In the first coronavirus lockdown last year, the 50-year-old ate and drank too much and only went for a walk once a fortnight.
He put on 9kg in three months.
"I found it very tough, mentally," he says, explaining he sought help from Grunwell, who worked with him on personal development, fitness and diet, which changed his life.
He worked out by cycling, walking and gyming; and set goals to do with food and drink consumption, while also being held accountable by Grunwell.
In 12 months he lost 20kg and now works out six days a week.
"I've got the same stress and pressures in life, but it's a totally different world. A different way of dealing with them. It's pretty cool."
Health changes can be amazingly simple, says Dr Anna Rolleston of Tauranga's The Centre for Health, adding that interestingly, a lot of people don't know how to be unoccupied.
She suggests taking a hard look at your priorities and when you've decided what matters, you'll have the motivation to begin to scale back the crazy-busy to the manageable.
"If it's not high up on your list of priorities, you're just never going to get to it," she says.
"Use your diary to (pencil) in an hour a day, or if that's not possible, an hour every second day to do your exercise or health and wellbeing rest-activity, and just notice what the benefits are for you.
"It's also space to think about something other than the busyness."
Often we're too busy to even notice how busy we are, and we need to be conscious of that, Rolleston says.
"How am I going to switch this around so I'm not perpetually like this?
"Blocking time out for those things is important because then it just becomes like another meeting - you just go there."
Rolleston says the biggest obstacle for people to live a healthy, nutritional lifestyle is planning and making a conscious effort.
"If you start with simple stuff from a dietary perspective on what you can improve, and make that change, and then add another one in a few weeks time, (for example) start to do some exercise, that's all it is.
"Break it down into little bites."
How to make time for your health and wellbeing
• Take moments daily to stop, pause and connect with someone you love. Life is about authentic connection. This underpins your mental health.
• Make better use of your social media time by following people who share science-backed health and wellness advice.
• Choose two to four days a week to move your body at a specific time, for 25 minutes. It can be a walk at lunchtime or a free online class. You need a specific plan so that you have a target to aim for. If you don't have a plan and target, then you are planning to fail.
• Have a winddown routine at night to help you sleep better. For example, a bath before bed.
• Meditate for two minutes daily. Sit in a comfortable spot, eyes closed, breathe deeply from the belly area, and find strength through stillness. This calms your nervous system.
• Eat a handful of blueberries daily. They're good for your brain.
Source: Rachel Grunwell from her book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness