Tag Archives: workouts

My Happy Habits!

I admit that I am a creature of habit. For the past year or so I have been getting up at 5 AM Monday through Friday. I started doing this so that I could be more consistent in doing my workouts. When I was doing them in the evening I found I was being inconsistent. Not wanting to be fat again, I knew something had to change. Thus, I began going to bed an hour earlier and getting up an hour earlier.

Now I am very much in the habit of getting up early and streaming my workouts on my laptop. As a side benefit, I found that doing my workouts early in the day made my mornings much more enjoyable, even at work. Plus, I also stopped watching the morning news (unless there’s a winter storm and I need updates). Instead I listen to classical or worship music, or jazz, and I relax for a while before I head out to work.

Even if you are not inclined to exercise at oh-dark-thirty, I encourage you to adjust your schedule an hour as I did. If there is some really great TV show you don’t want to miss, DVR it or stream it a couple days later. Take the time for a leisurely shower, do some reading or writing, and relax with a cup of coffee while you watch the sun rise. The thing is, by giving yourself a little breathing space at the start of the day you can reduce your stress because you aren’t blasting around at warp speed from the moment your feet hit the floor.  Try it!

It's 5 AM and time to work out!

It’s 5 AM and time to work out!

No Resolutions for Me, Thanks.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2015?  I did not, nor do I plan to do so for any forthcoming year.  Let’s face it, the custom of making and breaking resolutions has gotten to the point where the concept of making resolutions at the beginning of the year has become a threadbare joke.

Between you and me, I have better things to do with my time and energy.  That is why I made myself three promises for 2015.

I promise to cut back on refined carbohydrates.  I freely admit that I love bread in all its forms, and pasta too.  I’m going to start things like using the cauliflower pizza crust I have seen online, and I’m going to get a vegetable mandolin so I can make veggie “pasta”.  I will also actively avoid any carb that is not whole grain, with a preference for organic items.

I promise to be more diligent about working out six days a week.  The past month or so has not been conducive to my usual 7:00 PM workout schedule.  Between various church committee meetings, holiday outings, and a cold my schedule was all messed up.  So I am going to start doing early morning workouts-which I frankly hate-on those days when I know there is an evening conflict.  Now, to be clear, I’m not saying I’m doing the toughest or longest programs in my library but I will do something.

I promise to accelerate my decrappification and simplification efforts.  I need to make a concerted effort to catch up on my self-imposed program of eliminating that which is unnecessary from my home and life.  That being the case, I am going to do a room each weekend when I can devote uninterrupted time to the process.  I will use the “three pile” method: keep, sell, and donate.  Once I’m done in any particular room, nothing that serves no purpose will be allowed in.

For the record, when I make a promise it is as good as kept.  So, you can take these three promises to the bank!

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year 2015!

I Need a New Habit

I struggle with certain aspects of my time management.  Specifically, I have gotten into the habit of doing  my workouts in the evening, after I get home from work.  Lately though there just seems to be far too many days when I missed a workout.  Some of them were because I had a really nasty migraine, and there is just no getting around being sick.  Some were due to unexpected life events-not much you can do to anticipate them by definition.

But I have had a lot of days like today.  Too many, to be honest.  I have a church meeting that starts at 6:30 PM, and will run a couple hours.  It will be rather late by the time I get home, well past my normal workout time.  Even so I’m going to do a short workout just so I’ll have done something today instead of skipping it altogether.

From now on when I have days like today coming up in my schedule, I must be better about compensating.  The best solution would be to get up a bit early and do my workout at the start of the day.  I’ve tried in the past and I can honestly say that I truly am not a morning person.

The thing is, I have decided that this is no longer acceptable.  I am going to establish a habit of getting up at 5:00 AM and getting in a workout in the morning.  I don’t recall where I read it but I did once read that it takes 21 days to establish a habit.  So for the next 3 weeks, I’m habit building!

Exercise in the morning before your body knows what you are doing.

January Was Not A Fun Month!

I had  to deal with two illnesses in January, first a severe sinus infection and then a case of near-pneumonia.  (I’m convinced the one led to the other.)  All in all it was not a very fun month for me.  I was out of commission for a total of 19 days.  Needless to say, I wasn’t working out a lot during that period.  In fact, “not at all” is an apt description.

Adding insult to injury, I was on a fairly high dose of Prednisone for a while.   Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs known as corticosteroids. It decreases your immune system’s response to various diseases to reduce symptoms such as inflammation, swelling and allergic-type reactions.  One of the things about this drug is that you can’t just stop taking it, at least, not without unpleasant consequences.  Another is that it supercharges your appetite.

So, between being inactive and hungry all the time, I put on 11 pounds while I was sick.  Fortunately, I’m nearly done tapering off the Prednisone, and tonight I start my workouts again in earnest.  I hope the weight comes off as easily as it went on, but I’m not counting on it.  Tally ho!

Easy Pushups? They are Supposed to Be Hard!

Okay, there’s a device that’s being promoted rather heavily online lately, for helping people to do pushups.  By pressing down on two arms, one is levered up by a padded post under one’s chest.  Seriously, why would anyone buy such a useless device?

It’s not as if a standard pushup is all that difficult to figure out.  Legs straight.  Back straight.  Arms straight.  Lower by bending the arms.  Raise by straightening the arms.  Repeat.  I mean, come on, this is simple.

I know, some folks just starting out may find them difficult.  So, here’s the answer:  do as many as they can, and the next day do one more.  Or, modify by starting out kneeling and work their way up to standard pushups.

I think the fact that there are people interested in this device is evidence that the desire for an easy way out permeates our culture.  And that’s unfortunate because the easy way is seldom the best way for lasting results, in exercise or any other endeavor.