Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exercise Thoughts

When it comes to exercise, I think the key is to be consistent. But there are so many things that can derail your exercise routine (time, energy level, boredom…). I find it helpful to reflect on my exercise routine once in a while, and here are my current thoughts:

  • Do what you love (most of the time).I truly believe you’ll only stick with something if you truly enjoy it. I love to hike, and I really look forward to my hikes. However, I probably wouldn’t lift enough weights or do any HIIT if it were all up to me. That’s where the “most of the time” part comes into play.
  • Plan your weekly workouts.This is key for me. My workouts are much better when I plan them at the beginning of the week. Right now, I plan them on my Facebook page. Do I always stick to the plan? No. But I more or less accomplish everything on the list (just not always on the planned day, and I sometimes substitute different workouts.)
  • Lift weights.The older I get, the more important this gets. I can really see and feel the difference when I don’t lift as much for a while. However, I tend to get really bored with weight workouts really easily. The key is to mix things up. I put together different weight workouts that I alternate at the gym and also like to do circuit-type workout DVDs at home (Right now, I really like Jackie Warner’s Circuit Training and Timesaver Workouts). But sometimes I feel I just can’t lift one more weight. Then I take a week or two off from lifting weights. That always does the trick, and I enjoy my weight workouts again after a little break. Right now, I think I am a bit sick of the gym and will do Jackie’s DVDs again.
  • Pay attention to balance and flexibility. – This is another area that is becoming more and more important the older I get. Yoga and barre workouts are really helping with balance and flexibility.
  • Get outside your comfort zone. - I do this by trying new classes. A great way to try new forms of exercise are Groupons and similar sites. But honestly, it’s been a while since I tried something truly new. It’s about time to get adventurous again!
  • Move more throughout the day. – By being mindful of moving as much as possible throughout the day, you can really increase your overall activity level. This can mean parking further away, taking the stairs, getting up to talk to a coworker instead of sending an email, etc. I also really like “mini exercise bursts” (especially when I’m grading a big stack of papers). For example, I’ll do 50 jumping jacks, 10 push ups, 25 squats, and 50 crunches. If time permits, I’ll repeat the exercises once or twice more.
  • Rest enough. – I used to not be very good about this point. About a year ago, I hardly ever took a day off from exercising, and it wasn’t healthy (and I wasn’t healthy). While I truly believe in taking rest days, I also know that I need to move a fair amount every day, or I just don’t feel right. So I’ll still go for a walk and/or do a short yoga routine on my rest days. 
Questions: What are your exercise thoughts? Do you plan your workouts at the beginning of the week? If not, do you think planning them might be helpful? What was your last workout?
Be well,


  1. Anonymous8/31/2011

    i haven't workout properly since June and I'm fine with it because I'm on vacation and I do a lotmof walking and hiking. I just don't like to workout as it is my job or as a duty. I like to workout when I enjoy it. well, that's 90% off the time. sometimes when I feel lazy I either convince myself that I will feel much better after I workout, or I just don't and give me a break. the breaks are important for me to know that I choose to workout not thatni workout because I have to,
    when I'm not on vacation, I workout most of the days and I tend to balance between cardio and strength. I don't plan ahead but more less do half and half each week. it works for me because I hate following a plan, the moment I set a plan or rule, the moment the plan will fail. but I do believe that some people with less self discipline or just starting a workout routine, it's helpfulmto have a plan and stick to it.

  2. Those are great tips, Andrea! I agree with you on the rest days. I used to feel guilty if I took a day off, but I realize now how important it is to prevent burnout and give my body a rest!

  3. I am a planning a holic so typically I'd have to say yes. I am however, on a little hiatus from ALL OF IT and I am taking the time off to figure out my routine.

    I am so burnt of running on the treadmill every lunch hour.

    but I am trying to move a lot more and on the weekends me and the toddler to a similar mini workout bursts too.

    great post Andrea!

  4. I think it's so important to make exercise fun! I love trying new classes to keep it interesting. But like you said, there are exercises I definitely like more than others. Some days, I don't feel like weights but I know the benefits are worth it.

  5. I think I need to start planning my workouts like you suggest. I always tend to think, "Oh, I'll get to it," and then it never really works out (pardon the pun!).

    I just saw your twitter feed to my right and a tweet about Hubs cooking 6 times this year. I'm pretty sure he's about on par with Matt ;) What would they do without us?!

  6. Great tips! I'm an especially firm believer in your first point. If you love it you will be consistent and that will give you the results, regardless of whether you are a runner, a yogi or a cyclist. I do plan my workouts ahead of time. Fit Chick in the City has a great 'Say It Do It' theme she posts on Sundays that keeps me accountable. My last workout was a Physique 57 barre class.

  7. Love all your exercise thoughts! I need to be better about planning ahead, but I've been pretty good lately with getting my exercise in. I like to mix it up a lot and agree that weight training is really important, especially as you get older. I love hiking too, plus trying to play more tennis and ride my bike.

  8. Andrea we could be sisters when it comes to the way we look at exercise.

    - I do what I love.
    - I plan my workouts for the week (if I don't I probably do nothing)
    - Started yoga again for flexibility
    - Bought DVD's to build strength as I don't like to lift weights but do understand the importance of strength training.
    - I try to have some activity for at least 30 minutes a day which usually works fine because Bella has to have a walk every day.
    - I make sure I have at least 2 rest days a week, this old body needs it :)

    I found your Facebook page and follow you now. I reactivated my account this week. If you want to be my friend send me a request and I'll be happy to accept it.

  9. we've been trying to plan them again, and it does help! I need to start doing weight training again, but this garden is taking up all of my time!

    either way, my arms are sore from shredded so much zucchini on my mandolin last night. does that count as arm work? :)

  10. Anonymous9/01/2011

    i love these tips esepcially do what you love and lift weights! well written andrea :)

  11. Great tips, Andrea. The one that I am really trying to convince both my parents and my clients to do is to get out of their confort zone. Some people don't understand why working out five times a week, doing the same thing (with minor changes) doesn't work for them anymore! I ask whether they are pushing themselves, and they say "well, yeah, I sweat!", and that's just not enough. Someone once told me that you have to do things you dread every once in a while (for me that's burpies....yikes) because those are what really help you see results! Something else I dread is Jillian Michaels workouts. They are tough, but fun at the same time, but I see results after she kills me!

  12. I usually have a general idea as to what my workouts for the week will be. Admittedly, I don't do near enough strength which is something I need to improve on. Pilates keeps my balance and flexibility in check and I just signed up for a Zumba class... :)

  13. Awesome tips and its wonderful that you have found a balance that works for you. I try to walk 3 miles at least 6 days a week. I am very active through out the course of the day but have to admit that since I have started blogging I spend more time sitting at the computer!

    I need to schedule and plan my other exercise activities so they happen. Thanks for the inspiration to do so.

  14. These are great, practical and simple tips, Andrea! I don't LOVE exercise, but doing it really makes me feel so much better. My favorite "exercise" is to walk with a friend. Time flies by then!

  15. I'm all about planning my workouts but now it's proving to be quite the challenge since we are so busy getting ready to take off.

    I really do think people should do what they love as long as they strength train. IMHO, it's non-negotiable. If they don't like it then they should "learn" to like it! Geez I sound like a hard azz. ;-)

  16. Hi Andrea! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    I picked to comment on this post--because I sooo agree on what you said!!!! We have so much in common in the exercise department! I'm so glad we found each other. I will definitely be back! :D

    Your food looks lovely, btw.

    :-) Marion