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,