Monday, December 7, 2009

Exercise: An Appointment I Won't Miss Anymore

Looking back, I can say that I have always been active in one form or another. Exercise was part of life when I was growing up, mainly because my dad was an avid runner when I was young. I remember being barely older than the toddler is now and watching him compete in 10k's and half marathons. He was such an inspiration and always encouraged me to be active. When the teenager was born, I remember that I wanted to be a great fitness example for him, just like my dad had been for me...

And over the years, I have always done "something." However, there were certainly periods when I was a lot less physically active than I should have been. When life got busy or complicated or stressful, exercise was often the first "appointment" that I canceled. Looking back, I realize that I didn't value myself and my health enough to keep my exercise "appointments" (they have really always been appointments with myself).

This time of year is busy for many people and also for me. I am finishing my fall classes and preparing for some new classes I'll be teaching the first week of January. There are a number of birthday celebrations, and I have several "annual" brunches and teas scheduled with friends. And there are several holiday parties.

In the past, I canceled a lot of my exercise appointments in November and December. In fact, I often didn't even schedule them in the first place. Not this year. This year, I wrote an exercise appointment in my day planner for every day (time; length; type of exercise). And I decided that I simply could not cancel an appointment without rescheduling it. I certainly have been busy in the last few weeks and had to reschedule several of my appointments. Here are some examples of what I did when I couldn't keep my regular appointments:
  • When I couldn't go to the gym because the toddler was sick and couldn't go to the childcare, I worked out at night when the toddler was asleep with an exercise DVD.
  • When we missed the childcare hours at the gym one Sunday, we put the toddler in his jogging stroller and went for a jog around the neighborhood in the afternoon. The toddler hadn't been in the jogging stroller for a while and really enjoyed the "ride."
  • Last weekend, I had an "annual brunch" scheduled with a friend at 10:00 a.m., my normal Saturday workout time with hubby and the toddler. I got up early and was at the gym by 7:30 and got my workout done before the brunch. After the brunch, I got home in time to make lunch for the family, and we could spend the afternoon together.
Questions: Do you schedule your workouts? Do you allow yourself to cancel them? Or do you make yourself reschedule them? What are your tips for staying active when life gets busy?

Be well,


  1. I find working out at home helps me stay on track when life gets busy.

  2. Umm... I don't exercise. LOL!

    Tomorrow? I'm back to the gym. (I hope my little one will go to the child's area so I can workout...)

  3. love your ideas here...I don't "schedule" my workouts per se...but I do plan them in that like today...Is my jog night. if something came up, I would do my best to do other things like Pilates or the like...and than shift my jog to tomorrow. I have gotten pretty good about planning OTHER things around my runs...but I don't go to a gym either.

    I used to dump the exercise first too. I haven't done that at least since I got my treadmill....

    I too love setting a good example for my family!

    Happy Monday

  4. I love that you have make being active a priority. I had a similar experience as you as a child, although my parents NEVER ran 10k's! They were always going on long bike rides, or purchasing new exercise equipment, and actually USING it! So I grew up knowing that it was important to be active.
    I always make sure to get in 5 days of exercise each week, NO MATTER WHAT. I leave two days free for those times I just can't make it, plus I split my workouts up if I have to. This has really worked for me, and on weeks that I can't only workout 4 days, I do 6 the following week.

  5. Anonymous12/07/2009

    great job on scheduling workout and stick to it! :D I never schedule because I have a commitment issue, but otherwise I think it's a great idea!
    I usually try to do some kind of workout 4-5 times a week, but do not schedule when and what. it depends on my physical state of that day and also time schedule. It works for me because I find it more flexible and less stressful.

  6. I'm going to the gym today for the first time in a week and a half, after getting over a cold. Ugh! If I faint in my spinning class, hopefully, somebody will revive me. ;)

  7. I have to work out on days when I'm not busy. If i don't, I feel weird. The only time I won't exercise is if i have to get WAY early to work on a show. Other than that I make a promise to myself that won't miss it.

  8. great post, adn very motivational too!!! I ALWAYS make time for my workouts. It can be quite easy for me since my job is working in a gym, so i can squeeze in a workout AT work, but I always make time. I have a bag packed and work my day around my workouts, this way it becomes a priority for me!

    you are doing so great to keep your regular appointments! the key is just finding something that works for you!

  9. I schedule my gym time over my lunch hour at work. That way I know I can get it in without something getting in the way.

  10. At this point in time I schedule my workouts for after work. It used to be in the mornings though. If there are days when I need to "cancel", then I just make it a point to workout out on what I thought would be my rest days.

  11. i just write in all the classes in my planner for the week, that way i always know that if i miss one day, or can't make one day, what else i can go to. it helps to have all your options in front of you!

  12. If I really can;t fit it in then I cancel, but I try to go. I have been really busy recently too. I prefer to get 8 hours of sleep at night than to get 6 hrs and cram in a work out. I work a few part time jobs and there is driving between and yes I know I live overseas, but I am sometimes all voer the place with school and work and stuff. I always feel like I am making excuses, but some days I am really up and doing things for 12-16 hours without resting and just trying to fit in the gym can be stressful. It makes me so sad that I can;t go sometimes. Other weeks I can go 5 days and then sometimes not for 2 weeks. I hope to go tomorrow.

  13. Wow, I love hearing that story about your dad! My parents weren't big on exercising but my husband and I really try to keep our health as a priority, and I'm always so happy to hear about how kids growing up with that as a model remember the experience! :)

  14. My post today is similar to this.

    I think most of us have been there, but I think you hit the nail on the head by referring to workouts as "appointments". For me, training was always helpful because I'm a very goal-oriented person and crossing off my scheduled training for the day was just like brushing my teeth or getting up when my alarm went off -- it wasn't an option, it was a necessity. I think it's important to treat exercise that same way, but to always remain realistic about exercise goals and balance.

    Great post!

  15. Convicted! That is how I feel right now. :( But you've inspired me. The only time I really have to exercise is in the morning before work. I mean I could exercise after work, but by the time I've made dinner, eaten and cleaned, it's nearly time for bed And I have to have time to digest! :P Anyway, I frequently miss my appointments. Cause I end up sleeping in, or just whine about being too tired.

    You've challenged me. Thank you!

  16. Anonymous12/07/2009

    I usually schedule my workouts in the morning. That way I have no excuse (since nothing is usually ever scheduled in the morning). If I can't make it for some reason (ahem, Black Friday shopping), then I just move it to a time I can.

  17. I guess I do schedule them (always morning. first thing) but I never ever ever break them.

    unless Im sick or there is an emergency it is an appointment I always keep.
    I owe it to myself, sure, but I more owe it to my FAMILY to keep myself healthy.

  18. Writing exercise appointments into your planner sounds like a great idea! I try to work out first thing in the morning so that things don't comp up...

  19. Good motivational post to encourage people to exercise. I think mutual encouragement is very helpful. I play badminton 3-4 times a week and make it a point to be there, whether rain, sun or snow. It's team game so it keeps me going cos I don't want to disappoint others. Besides, it's competitive and fun & I look forward to it every time.

  20. I haven't worked out in two weeks and it is really driving me nuts. My body feels different and I've been cranky! It's so important to keep it in a routine!