For the longest time, my excuse for not exercising was “I don’t have time.” That’s just what it was- an excuse. When I think back, I have plenty of free minutes in my day to do something active, even on my busiest day.
For a time, I was waking up at 5:00 am and going to the gym for an hour. Sleepwise, that wasn’t working for me. Jordan was only about a year old and it was just daunting and I was bored with it. Get up. Go to the gym. Hope on an eliptical or treadmill for an hour and then go home. I think I didn’t really know how to exercise, if that makes sense. When I lost all the weight doing LA Weightloss before I got pregnant, I was just walking my dog a few miles a day twice a day. So I usually walked 4-6 miles almost every day depending on the weather.
At the gym, I felt like I was stuck in a ditch, slamming on the accelorator but not moving. Just wheels spinning. The biggest issue I have with exercise is that I get bored really really easily. When I signed up for the gym affiliated with my employer, I started getting brave and going to classes. I started yoga, strength and flexibility, and BOSU classes. I wasn’t really losing weight, but I was more toned and I was at least maintaining. I wasn’t gaining. My flexibility and balance improved greatly and that in itself was rewarding.
Now, I am back at the gym on my lunch and being more adventurous. I’m more open to trying different things. I haven’t gone back to yoga classes yet, but I will soon. Right now I am working with the resistence training machines and some other equipment. I’m also going to try the Body Pump class when it recycles for a new 8 week session.
A lot of the things I want to try I’m just too intimidated to do. Body Pump is something I’ve wanted to try forever but I’d look in on the class and turn away. There are a few things I am self conscious about, and not being able to perform is one of them. I get really bad anxiety about it. I mean, there are machines at the gym that I stay away from because I’m like “If I get on that thing and can’t use it right, I’m gonna look like a moron.”
In addition to the gym, I’ve been working out at home, using routines I’ve clipped from fitness magazines, websites, or mobile apps. And they are working. Why do I need to workout at home if I worked out at the gym? Well, because I’m pushing myself and because honestly, it feels good. My energy level is increasing and I can feel my strength improving.
Today I tried an arms (which is really a full body) routine from the Beach Body Made Easy issue of Self magazine. I could do 4 out of 6 of the moves. It feels awful when you can’t do something. It’s discouraging. I’ve been working so hard and I’ve lost 6 pounds in the last two weeks. But it goes back to that feeling of wheels just spinning out.
So, I’ll try again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after. And I’ll keep trying until my strength in that area is so that I can master the exercise.
Now how do I make time to work out sometimes not once, but twice a day? By getting creative.
Not everyone has the luxury of going to the gym. I’m fortunate that I can go on my lunch, even though I don’t always feel like it was enough time. I almost feel like the two-a-days are necessary for me to feel accomplished. I’m a hopeless overachiever with an addictive personality. It’s just how it’s going.
Here are some of the ways I am finding to fit everything in:
1. Taking it Outside
I’m working out doing kettlebells, dumb bells, and jump roping on the patio while my son plays in the yard. Not only am I getting outside and able to keep an eye on him, but it’s a good way to get a nice tan for the summer.
2. In Front of the TV
Do I typically watch The Five? Yep. Today the weather is kinda chilly, so I did a routine right in the living room while my son played with his toys and watched my show.
3. Wii Active
Have you ever tried Wii Active or Wii Sports? So much fun. And my son likes to do this with me. Not only am I exercising, but he is exercising with me. (I dropped a full jeans size in two months playing Wii Active 4 times a week and barely changed my eating habits a few years ago. And then I tore up my foot and was out of commission for 3 months. Cause that’s how life goes! lol) The program is great. It’s a fun way to do circuit training in your living room and it seriously is extremely effective. Plus it is customizable. You get what you want out of it and I never got bored with it.
If you don’t have a Wii and have an X-Box, get the Kinect. It’s a one time investment and it is cheaper than the gym in the long term. There are so many fun dance and work-out games for your videogame systems it is unreal and they really do work if you stick with them.
4. Playing Outside
Have a kid or a dog? (Or both?) Take them outside to run around. Jordan and I play sports in the yard. Walk your dog. Hell, chase your dog. The quality time is great for your mental health and the physical aspect is rewarding as well!
5. Walk It Out with a Friend
Grab a friend and take a long walk. Gives you a chance to catch up and I’ve found if I walk or run with someone, I go a lot further because I’m not thinking about the task.
Can’t afford a personal trainer? Get on YouTube. My brother has been doing kettlebell routines along with some guy’s YouTube channel. You can do ANYTHING via YouTube. It’s not just for videos of cats. Who knew? Too intimidated to try a yoga class in person? Try a class on YouTube first. To make the screen bigger, get cables to hook your laptop up to the television. Instant personal trainer for free!
My excuse list for why I can’t exercise has worn down and expired. For every reason I can’t workout, I’ve found 5 ways that I can make it happen and involve my son in the process. Time is no longer my enemy.