Sunday, December 21, 2014

Workouts at Home

I used to go to the gym every single day. For a while, it was convenient. We had a steeply discounted gym membership to a posh gym, and when the kid was little, my workouts were my “me time,” and it was nice to take a shower in peace and have the time to blow-dry my hair without interruptions while he enjoyed their fantastic play care center. I also took group exercise classes, yoga, had a weight lifting schedule, and used the stair masters, ellipticals, and treadmills. Plus, there was a heavenly steam room and a sauna, which I took advantage of whenever I could.

Daily workouts left me in pretty good shape. Although, looking back, I can definitely see that I often overtrained and was in the mindset that more is better. Therefore, I hardly ever gave my body the rest it deserved. Plus, I now seriously doubt all that steady state cardio was very beneficial...

A few years ago, the kid’s schedule became more and more packed, and going to the gym in the late afternoons/early evenings just didn’t work out anymore. We therefore decided to quit our membership as we hardly went anymore. So I had to find alternatives. At first, it wasn’t easy. One positive change that happened right away was that I focused more energy on daily, long walks. Whenever I had a few minutes I walked. I learned to really take advantage of all the extra “free minutes” here and there. I also scheduled longer walks. They are part of my agenda and just as important as other scheduled meetings.

While walks are great, I still needed to get my strength and flexibility workouts in. I take classes at a local yoga studio and at several barre studios in the area whenever I can, which isn’t as often as I’d like as with drive time, getting there early to get a spot, etc., it just isn’t a very convenient and efficient way to work out at this time in my life.

So I started doing more workouts at home again (something I had done years ago but stopped when the kid came along as there were just so many interruptions….). One thing I found is that, just like with walks, it’s important to get things done throughout the day, which is much less overwhelming than doing it all at once.

Typical Workouts At Home

Early morning - 4:30 a.m. 
Yoga practice, barre workout, or meditation - usually between 15 - 30 minutes

Lunch time workout (I’m usually at home for lunch)
Weights or core - usually 15 - 20 minutes

Yoga practice, meditation, or barre workout - anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes, depending on the day

Once a week

I don’t work out three times every day, but I often do. Overall, my workouts are a lot gentler than they were years ago when I went to the gym every day. Yet, I think I am in just as good shape and my body actually feels better than it did back then (I remember one particular year when I got one cold after another and also had constant foot pain in my weak/permanently injured ankle. Probably because I never allowed my body to completely heal…). Plus, now I focus more on meditation and gentle yoga practices, which are oh so good for body and mind… :)

Questions: What’s your exercise philosophy? Has it changed over the years? Do you work out at home? What does and doesn’t work for you when it comes to home workouts?

Be well,


  1. My exercise philosophy changes with the seasons. Okay, maybe not quite.

    I love group fitness and I love the gym. My 2 to 3 days a week of 45 minute swims are sometimes literally the only "me" time I get in a week.

    On the other days, I like to work out at home. My 2.5 year old, however, doesn't let me. If I do planks, he climbs on my back. If I do crunches, he lays on me and gives me a hug. If I do squats, he wants to be picked up. If I try burpees, he will crawl under me (and I try to run to another room).

    I enjoy DVDs - I have several that are great, but they only work when my 2.5 year old is sleeping. I used to get up faithfully at 5:30 am to do them, but lately have been enjoying an extra hour of sleep.

    So instead I have been doing the burpees/ pushups/ planks/ squats/ crunches workouts - because I can literally do them in 30 second chunks. So my typical workout on a non-swim day would be 30 pushups, 50 burpees, 100 crunches, 60 secs total of planks (in 2 sets), 75 squats - but they would be broken up into 10 pushups, 10 pushups, 10 pushups, 30 sec plank, 25 squats, 10 burpees, 10 burpees, 30 sec plank, 25 squats, 40 crunches, 25 squats, 40 crunches, 10 burpees, 10 burpees, 25 squats, 10 burpees, 20 crunches.

    If I did the full workout non-stop, it would take 15 minutes, but generally I spread it out over the day. It's not ideal, but I have to work with what I've got.

    Oh, and I walk on my lunch break at work, 30 minutes.

    I'd prefer to put in my 30-40 minute workout DVDs, because it's like "group fitness", but I just can't right now.

    1. Yes, working out with little ones at home is tough! I love that you break up your workouts into mini workouts. I used to think that if I didn't have at least 30 minutes to dedicate to exercise it wasn't worth it to even start. So wrong. You can accomplish so much in multiple mini workouts throughout the day. And daily, consistent walks are critical for me, too.

  2. I have always been a gym person - I love having all those weights at my disposal. :) BUT as hard as I work out, things have changed! :) Not much room at home for me. We live in a small place.

    1. I really enjoyed the gym when we were members and wouldn't have thought I would ever cancel our membership. But right now, it's just not practical. I can absolutely see myself going back some day however.... :)

  3. Love your exercise philosophy and it's very similar to mine. Although this month has been a little lax, my routine is to mix it up w/ walks/hiking, a stair workout (106 steps up and down 10+ times), tennis, and weights at home. I also hope to get my treadmill fixed b/c it's got a steep incline and gives me a great workout when it's too dark outside.

    1. Sounds like a great routine, EA! I wish I had a treadmill to walk at home when weather/darkness doesn't permit walking outside. I always enjoy your walking/hiking pics on IG!

  4. Kettlebells are a FANTASTIC at home workout! It's both cardio and weight lifting and there are so many things you can do. And it can be short workouts, too, because you burn so many calories.

    1. I have been wanting to learn how to use kettlebells for a long time now! Maybe in 2015!

  5. I am actually looking forward to getting back to my workout routine - I think it will help with all the stress I feel right now - AND getting back to a meal plan - I haven't done that in probably six weeks.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!!

    1. Yes, I'm sure workouts will help a bit... Thinking of you!

  6. I'm glad you've found something that works for you, Andrea! It must be so helpful to incorporate meditation into your routine. Do you find it helps you get to sleep at night? I used to work out nearly every day, but this year I've found that to be impossible. I work out at home as much as I can to save time, so I'll usually do some combination of cardio and weight lifting three times a week. It works! :)

    Happy Holidays, Andrea!

    1. I sometimes meditate at night, and it does help me to wind down at the end of the day. But I more often do some gentle yoga at night when I want to get ready to sleep. I find starting the day with meditation very helpful, especially during very busy times.

      Happy Holidays, Jessie!