Are you guilty of this?
Starting (and enjoying) an exercise programme and getting great results from it then for some reason just stopping and letting all your hard work, sweat and motivation disappear?
I am and I see it in others. People saying that they wish they could just get out of the rut they are in and get moving. That they don’t have the time to exercise, the space, the money, the equipment. I use all these too.
I’ve gone from teaching 10 classes a week to sitting on my bum all day in about ten very quick and easy months. How do I feel about this? Well, a little bit peeved that I can’t get myself back in the routine when I can do it for others. A tiny bit worried that my years of work sculpting a nice shape is softening slowly. And a bit more concerned that the longer I leave it the worse it’s going to get. But all this is not enough to get me out there doing something about it. Why? Because I don’t love it enough to make the effort. I know I should, but I don’t.
Yep, I really do feel like this too. People look at me in shock when I tell them I don’t do any exercise. Like I should be full out sweaty and energetic all day long. Well I’ve done that and it was good whilst it lasted, but it’s not the new me.
It occurred to me that the thing is it’s how I view exercise that was putting me off. I was perceiving it to be an hours class, or a 5km run or a trip to the gym and all these things take time. And if like me, you don’t want to do this, you’ll use that as an excuse. I thought perhaps it’s time to view exercise differently.
The new me is all about efficiency. It’s about doing enough to feel better about myself and keep my health at the high end of average / low end of excellent. It’s why I now make sure I walk each morning as soon as I get up. It’s about a mile, nothing ridiculous but a great way to clear the head, think about the day and be thoughtful before the world starts around me. That’s 7 miles each week before I start.
It’s also why the burpee challenge I set myself last year worked so well. Each day after my walk I did 100 burpees. Straight off, varying the sets but all in one go and not splitting it throughout the day. It worked and it worked quickly. There were days when quite frankly I would rather have held a frog than do another burpee (that’s another story!) but I still did them and felt fabulous each morning when I’d finished.
They worked me physically well too. Smaller thighs and bum, good shoulders and arms, smaller waist. What’s not to like for 5-6 minutes work?
What I’ve found is that for people like me, who only exercise to get a tick in the box, these short workouts are a great way to stay on top of our game. If you love exercise you’ll probably add them in and around your running, cycling, tri-athlete training because you love the endorphin rush so much! But for the rest of us, we’re just happy to have done something.
Short 15 minute workouts each day can be fitted into even a busy routine. Even when you are travelling on business you can fit a workout into a hotel room as my daughter did just last night and I did last year whilst on a course. Squatting whilst cleaning your teeth twice a day is a bunch of squats you wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Jump jacks whilst the rice is cooking is 10 minutes more than most. It’s amazing how you can fit in a quick, dense workout in very short space of time. Try these for size.
- Squats whilst cleaning your teeth
- Press ups agains the kitchen counter (or on the floor) whilst waiting for the kettle to boil.
- Run up and down stairs 10x
- Build up your burpee fitness. Start with 1 x 10, increase it each day.
- Walk each day.
- Tricep dips off your dining room chair.
- Hold a wall squat whilst doing listening to your child recite spellings / times table / read
- Grab a skipping rope and skip for a minute, take 30 seconds break and do 5x
- Use a hoola hoop
- Hold a plank in the advert breaks on the television.
So, if you’re beating yourself up about what you should be doing, but aren’t currently doing try this on for size instead:
- Define what you want your outcome to be. Is just keeping active enough for now?
- Redefine your expectation of what exercise means to you. It doesn’t have to be the gym, an hour, a sweat fest.
- Choose a time each day to do something. Make it an appointment with yourself.
- Do that for one week and see how you feel.
If you still need inspiration pop over to the FastTrack Fit Camp Facebook page where short workouts are posted regularly.