Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Consistent Workout Routine

I never put in the effort to exercise regularly until I moved to the Bay Area, where it felt like everyone was super active and outdoorsy. I'm not either of those things, so it took a lot of effort for me to start working out. Over the years, I've tried a couple of different routines with varying degrees of success:
  • I started attending a hip hop class once a week, with the hopes that it would be funner and more interesting of a workout. It was fun until the regular instructor quit - I ended up quitting too, as I wasn't a fan of the new instructor.
  • One of the companies I worked at had a gym with nice equipment and towel service, which made it very convenient and pleasant to work out. I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine 3-4 times a week. When I quit my job, I also quit the regular workouts.
  • I bought a Groupon for one month of unlimited yoga at a nearby studio. When the month was up, I was too cheap to pay the regular monthly rate so I stopped going.
  • Jeff and I started hiking every week with a group of 6 other friends. We ended up hiking all around the Bay, with the goal of ultimately conquering Half Dome in Yosemite. After almost an entire year of hiking, we all made it to the top of Half Dome! I subsequently lost my motivation to ever hike outdoors again. Did I mention that I'm not an outdoors person? 
Yosemite National Park, August 2007

I could go on and on with more examples but I think you get the picture. I rarely exercised more than once a week - and when I did, I only did one type of exercise at any given time. I also found it hard to maintain a routine for more than a few months at a time. 

I'm still a long way's to go from a perfect routine but I've definitely improved quite a bit in the past few years. Here's what has worked for me:
  • Invest in my health  - For me, this meant joining an expensive gym. I know this sound utterly ridiculous but because the membership fee is so high, I feel obligated to go often to make it worthwhile. There are certainly other investments that are more cost-effective, such as buying workout props, equipment, DVDs, etc.
  • Find a routine that keeps it fun and interesting - Thankfully, the expensive gym has great classes and instructors that help me mix up my routine so I don't end up doing the same workout all the time. These days, I try to incorporate kickboxing, pilates, yoga, and running into my weekly routine. I spend most of my time running but I go to at least 1-2 classes per week to keep it interesting. I try to arrange my workout schedule to attend the classes and instructors I enjoy the most. I still haven't found a way to incorporate weight training into my routine though. I find it boring to weight train on my own and I'm too intimidated to try a Body Pump class. 
  • Make time for mini-workouts - I try to exercise 4-5 times a week but of course, life happens so that isn't always feasible. On days where I have long meetings and I can't do a regular workout, Jeff and I will take a brisk 20-30 minute walk after dinner. It's a great way for us to catch up and connect - we have some of our best talks during these walks. Other times, I will look for workout videos on YouTube to do a quick routine. Anything to get moving, even if it's not a full, sweaty workout.
  • Get motivated - If Jeff has SCA3, I want to be healthy enough to take care of him and any future children we may have. I don't want to be bogged down by health issues that could have easily been prevented. There are enough to worry about that can't be prevented.
I worry about how my routine will change if we have kids. We will probably invest in a treadmill so that we can work out easily and conveniently at home. I will miss the variety of workouts that my current gym offers though. Hopefully we'll figure out something that works if/when we get to that point. Now if only I could do something about my terrible eating habits...sigh. Another post for another day!

1 comment:

  1. Your tips are super useful. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. Hope you have a great day!