Most days just surviving the day is exercise enough (does it count as arm curls when drinking wine?) however, we are trying to get/stay in shape as best we can and here is what we do.
I used to have a gym membership and then I realized I was paying a lot of money for something I rarely was able to utilize. Between work and the kids and sheer exhaustion I was lucky to get there twice a week. Then my old job had an onsite gym (for only $8 a month) and I was able to get in a workout about 3 times a week. It was awesome….then I got a new job and that went away. So without a gym and given the chaos of our life it was hard for me to do anything and get motivated. I went onto Pinterest for some inspiration and there are a few simple routines I try and do daily. I always do some type of stretching daily (I am not a yoga person but I do find I feel better if I stretch a bit everyday). I also try and do some planks and squats/jumping jacks. I used to HATE running, and if I am honest, I still don’t love it but hey, it is a free activity so I reluctantly jumped on that train and try and do this 3 times a week. In order to stay motivated throughout my jog (because lets be real, I am not a runner) I downloaded the Asptiv (formerly Skyfit) app. It is a great app that allows you get it a personal trainer in your ear and set the workout for you. It definitely pushes me to keep going. For example, I pick Outdoor Run and then I pick the type/duration of a workout and hit start and I get some great music and someone coaching me through the run.Here is what the app looks like…
It costs $9.99 a month (you can get better rates if you pay for 6 months or 12 months up front). It also has workouts for treadmills, ellipticals, cycling, yoga and strength training. I have no clue what I will do when the cold weather hits because I am not an outdoor runner in the cold type of gal so maybe Santa can get me a treadmill 😉
I also do wear a Fitbit and I find that it does serve as a nice reminder throughout the day to try and get up and move a little more. I try and wear it as often as I can, but in reality wear it about 4-5 times a week. Especially on the days I am working all day it is nice to see, how heck I only have done 2,000 steps I should get up and go walk around a bit.
Finding time to work out is the last thing on my to do list and the baby weight (from nearly five years ago) is still hanging on. Like so many others, I made a New Years Resolution to get some of the weight off and get back in the gym. I realized it wasn’t just the weight, there is something to be said about getting in a bit of a workout and how you feel when it’s over. Not the sweaty pig feeling, the relieving of stress and letting go, with carved out time for yourself.
I made a goal to workout in a class once a week and do something everyday at home. Like Jen, a gym membership was not for me. My husband has a gym membership, so tagging on wouldn’t be that much money, especially since I get a discount through work, but it’s the time. I’m the type that needs structured classes and I need something that would work with my (overbooked) schedule. And with my knee and arm restrictions — my doctor thought spin classes might work for me.
photo credit: Tensile Strength Studio
Much to my surprise, it was a lot harder to find a spin studio near me, so I make the 22 minute trek to Barrington to Tensile Strength Studio – Barrington Yoga Loft. While the drive is not ideal, the studio is a perfect fit. On Sunday mornings, I reserve a bike for the Studio Cycle class, a high cardio 45-min workout with music and video to keep you going. It’s a great way to start my Sunday morning and sets the tone for my week. With Friday’s off in the summer, I could get a Pilates class in at the studio. I love the stretching and core workout I get from the class. Now school and fall activities have started back up and my week day free time is limited. The studio also has some small group workout classes, it’s worth checking out if you’re in the area.
Jen also turned me on to the aaptiv app for some strength training. The app is for any ability and time frame, so there is no excuse for me to not get some sort of exercise in since the app has 12 min workouts. The Abs Intensive is my go-to, since that area is my trouble spot and the 16 min Yoga class has been my evening relaxation.
To try to keep me accountable, I asked for an Apple Watch for Mother’s Day. I wear a watch every day and love the functionality of the Apple Watch. One of the most notable features of the Apple Watch is the “Stand Reminder”, which, is a reminder to stand up every 50 minutes and move around for a bit. This feature is the gentle nudge I need as I sit all day at a computer and need the reminder to get up. The watch is how I set my goals for the day with activity and workouts, but sometimes it’s 10 minutes into the workout before I remember to set it. When I work from home, I don’t put the watch on right away, so that is something I’m trying to get better at.
When all else fails and drinking wine is the only exercise we can fit it, we at least try to get a workout in before opening the bottle.