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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fitting in Fitness

I'm a day later than planned on this one, sorry for the delay!

Two of the most important things to consider when planning an exercise strategy are choosing something (or a variety of things) that interests you and finding a way to fit exercise into your daily routine that doesn't feel forced or unnatural. When you look forward to working out and it fits naturally into your daily life it is much easier to consistently meet your fitness goals.

Prior to Sweetpea's arrival, for me that meant getting up at 5:00AM and meeting my mom at our local YMCA 3 days a week, taking a morning pilates class another day and attending my favorite class, cardio kick boxing, on Saturdays. This worked well for me because EmDee was on an early morning schedule and was leaving about the time I needed to get up. It meant I got to spend quality time with my mom, and I felt refreshed and energized for my day after a good early morning workout.

Lately I've been struggling to get up at 5:00AM due to periodic middle of the night feedings or simply not going to bed when I should. EmDee is still leaving early in the morning for work most weeks, which means I can't go to the YMCA because their daycare doesn't start until 8:00AM. I need a new plan!

One strategy I have been successfully implementing is fitting small bits of exercise into my day while I get ready and while I'm on my way to work...don't laugh, this may sound strange to you when I explain it!

I do push ups and sit ups before I get in the shower in the morning, usually 25 push ups and 50 sit ups. I do squats while I'm washing my hair, calf raises while I'm brushing my teeth, and pilates breath exercises while I'm driving into work. These are times when I'm otherwise preoccupied with things I have to do, but I can multitask pretty easily. These little bits of exercise add up and reduce the amount of strength exercises I need to do separately.

What I've decided regarding cardio is this - I'm committed to making a class at the YMCA each Saturday. I have a 10 minute solutions kickboxing DVD that I am going to challenge myself to use each day for at LEAST 10 minutes. I think that sounds realistic, and as I get used to fitting these smaller cardio sessions into my day, I'm hoping I will add additional sessions until I'm working out 30-50 minutes at least 4 days a week.

What do you do to fit cardio and strength workouts into your life? I'd love to hear what works for you!

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Jen said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! Hmmm...I also used to be on the 5 AM schedule, but this hasn't worked for me for about a year. Since then I've focused on blocking out 30 minutes most days - easier said than done. I like your idea of fitting in smaller fitness activities throughout the day. I may have to try that!

Rachel said...

I used to exercise in the living room during the day, with Lane under my feet trying to copy. Then I switched to night time, and now, well...
I need to start up again.