Friday, February 3, 2017

The Change in My Approach to Working Out

Working out has been a big focus in my life for quite some time. However, my approach to working out has really changed recently. Up until I moved in with Phil, I had access to a gym within my condo or apartment buildings. Working out was pretty easy because I could be at the gym in 5 minutes which made it very easy to fit in workouts either before or after work.

That all changed last May when I moved in with Phil and I quickly realized how much more difficult  it is to find time to workout when you don't have a gym in your home!  Plus, I had hip surgery the week after I moved in and spent the summer and fall rehabbing my hip joint.  In summers past, most of my workouts would have happened outdoors as I tend to run and bike a lot in the summer, but that wasn't possible since my hip was still healing.

This fall, I started to regain strength in my hip and was able to start to do more intense workouts and classes at the gym. Except I quickly realize that it's hard to get to the gym as often as I would like since my schedule is so busy. Between work travel and after-work commitments, it was darn near impossible to get to the gym 5-6 days a week, which is how often I prefer to workout. It takes me about 15 minutes to drive to the gym, so between driving there and back + working out, I was gone for 1.5-2 hours.  And that is a serious chunk of my free time in the evening.

You are probably thinking - why don't you just work out in the morning instead?  Well, morning gym workouts don't work for me since I take the bus to work and it's a logistical nightmare to drive to the gym and try to take a bus from there. Yes, I could have figured it out, but I need to be at work by 7:30 so it was going to require really early morning and showering/getting ready at the gym (which I'm NOT comfortable doing as I just can't get behind the whole 'being naked in front of strangers' thing). Nor did I feel comfortable leaving my car at the gym all day while I was at work.

Come December, I was starting to feel frustrated. I wasn't as toned as I like to be and I didn't feel great since I wasn't working out consistently.  I knew something had to change.  Here's what I decided to do.

1.  I signed up for a beach body program*.  A high school friend is a beach body coach and she posted some videos of her Core de Force workouts.  They looked really fun so I decided to give it a try. I was attracted to this program because it doesn't require ANY equipment.  Shortly after I signed up, Beach Body offered annual access to all of their programs for $99 for the entire year.  I snapped up that deal as I figured it would be a great way to have access to lots of different programs. I tend to get bored easily so I need variety! Plus it has a handy dandy little tracker that shows you how much you have worked out!

Kind of crazy that I've done 57 workouts since I joined in late December!!  I've done a lot of double workout days, though as Core de Force combines cardio or strength training with core and lately I've been combining T25 workouts with PiYo.

2.  I made an at home gym.  My at home workout space could not have less ambiance (our basement is unfinished so I workout in a room that has cement floors and is kind of dark). But what it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in convenience.  I bought these mats and this weight set. I set up a little table for my laptop as right now I'm using the various beach body programs. It's kind of like working out in a dungeon, but it works for me.  Setting up an at-home gym has made it possible for me to do morning workouts as I don't have to worry about waking Phil up with all of my jumping around!

3.  I kept my gym membership but go to a different location. I have a membership to the Y and was going to a location that is about 2 miles from our house.  Except driving there and back added on so much time, which made it harder for me to motivate myself to go on week nights. So now I go to the downtown Y, which is 2 blocks from my office. That way I can get my workout in but still take the bus home. I just hate driving so much, so anything that cuts out driving is a win for me. I've been trying to run at the downtown gym twice a week and will try to get to the gym in our neighborhood once over the weekend for a class.

4.  I started to work with a personal trainer.  This was a bit of a splurge and is something I am doing temporarily so I can get toned up for my wedding. My company was acquired 2 years ago and we joined their benefits in January. One of their benefits is that they will pay for 50% of your gym fees, including personal trainer sessions, up to $650/year!  That is how I am justifying the cost of working with a personal trainer, who happens to be a friend of mine and is giving me a discounted rate.

My approach to working out will change once the weather warms up and I can run outdoors. There are some people who run outdoors year round but I am paranoid about slipping and falling as our paths can be icy in the winter. So for now, my workouts are all indoors. Come spring, I will likely drop my gym membership for the summer/fall since I can get my cardio workouts in outdoors.

So there you have it.  A long and meandering post about working out.  I sometimes think there is this perception that working out comes easily to those who have a history of being active. This post shows that that isn't necessarily the case. Life changes either due to a move, an injury, being in a relationship or having a child and you have to figure out a new way to get your workouts in. Working out is such an important part of being a healthy individual, regardless of whether or not you are at your ideal weight.  So if you are struggling to fit your workouts in due to your life circumstances, try thinking outside the box. For example, I never thought I'd need an at-home gym to stay active, but it turns out I do!

Stay tuned for my review of the Core de Force program!

What are you doing to stay active these days?  Have you gone through a change that has made it harder to stay active?  

* I am not compensated in anyway to mention the Beach Body programs. However, if you are curious about trying one out, I can put you in touch with a coach.  If you choose to try it out, I'm not compensated in any way.  


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I think that the at home workout programs can be a lifesaver! It sounds like you are really enjoying the beach body program! A couple of years ago, when I was injured, I did a lot of Fitness Blender workouts on YouTube. Luckily for me I have no one to bother, so I watch it on my living room TV and I jump all over the living room! I was only doing it a couple of times a week while still doing some smaller easier runs, but it was a great addition to my routine. In fact, I keep trying (but not very hard) to add one day a week of that now so that I have some sort of cross training!

Currently my routine consists of about 4 times per week of running, with two big days on Saturday and Sunday. It's been raining a lot, but once it stops, I also have a lot of yard work to do (cross training!) and I plan to ride my bike at least once a week. Like I said, I would also like to incorporate one day of cross training / strength training as well.

Charbelle4 said...

I have pinned a few home gym ideas, if you've joined pinterest you might be interested in checking that board out. One of my suggestions is a lamp for down there and some fun cheap posters like what we decorated dorm room wall with... Music always helps too! I think it's awesome that you have figured out a way to make workouts happen at home! I had been a member at lifetime fitness, I joined under the group deal where 5 people make it $20 a month. Except when people leave the group your cost goes up and no one warns you. The price kept increasing without warning. I had it changed back but then it happened again and so I decided to cancel and join the Y where Michael goes. Being able to work out with him is a huge plus because that way I don't feel stressed over when will I get to work out. I also just joined planet fitness, because with a black card membership $20 a month you can go to any PF, which gives me access to several gyms. Bonus I can bring a guest for free. Also I have friend dates at the gym next Monday and Tuesday with Nicole and Tiff because they both have memberships. I prefer running outside too but when it's raining or the weather is awful I will suck it up and go inside. I've discovered Marshalls and TJ Maxx are both fantastic places for at home gym equipment!!! I'm with you even if working out has been a long standing part of your life it's not always easy to make it happen!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Totally relate to this post. My parents always worked out when I was a kid, so I just assumed it would come relatively easily after I had a kid. Not so at all. (After talking to my mom about it she said I'm only remembering when we were a bit older and it was very hard for her to work out when her kids were as young as mine are now). My gym is a similar distance so I'd be gone for 1.5-2 hours also and that was just difficult- actually impossible when I was working and also nursing. Eventually I just really didn't want to spend that much time away from Max after already spending 8-10 hours at work. I have also shifted to more at home work outs and actually canceled my gym membership right before I had Jack because I figured with 2 kids and nursing one I'd never get there for at least a year or so. The other major shift I had to make was lowering the number of days I work out. Now 3 days is a good week. Right now I'm repairing my core again but then I hope to get back into working out 3-4 times a week. Let's hope!

Carolina John said...

I've heard piyo is a blast. Very cool!

and you're exactly right, you have to make you schedule fit the situation you're in. Like changing YMCA branches is a perfect move. Let all of the days' stress melt away after work instead of trying to get in exercise before your 7:30 workday start. BTW, that's an insane workday start. I usually show up around 9 am, but plenty of people hit my swim team's 5:30 am practice. that's insane.

Jeanie said...

Sounds like a good plan. I'm doing precious little these days. I had been spinning last year till I was hurt and in PT and had to stop. By the time I was ready to begin again, it was nearly summer -- pool and lake time. As it was, it turned into all lake, lots of swimming because the gym had a fire that required total gutting and it just reopened at Christmas and I wasn't going then. Then travel, blah blah. And they're still working on it, though it IS open and I don't REALLY need a locker room when I live only a short drive away. So there you have it. But truth be told, chalk it up to no-mo, too many other things I want to do and just yuck!

Sandra Bond said...

Yeah, I haven't tried the "at home gym" approach yet, because I am so bad with my strength session as is... but I hear you about the whole "rethinking" of your routine and finding new ways to fit the workouts in! I am glad you were able to tweak how you do things and feel better again about your workout routine!

katielookingforward said...

I go to corepower 1-2 times per week, or less if life gets crazy. in good weather i run on my lunch break, or walk if i don't want to deal with changing clothes. I now have my trainer so I can bike at home, but I only do 30 minutes once a week. (which is all i really need/want at this point). And I've started an yoga challenge on youtube that I'm really enjoying, its 30 minutes and pretty low key, but feels good.

Stephany said...

I haven't had a good, consistent workout routine since I moved to my apartment in September. I have an apartment gym, but it's tiny and doesn't open until 6am, which means I can't do morning workouts. I am probably going to end up joining a gym near me just because I really, really miss getting a good, heart pumping, sweaty workout. And there's just something about being in a gym environment that is so inspiring. Plus, if I'm paying for a membership, I know I'll get to the gym WAY more often than I do now, haha.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Having to be at work for 7:30 would definitely make it difficult to work out in the mornings, and I totally hear ya about the evening workout taking up so much time. A home gym is where it's at!!

Amber said...

Yes how I workout has also changed so much over the years! I did lots of at home workouts when I first started strength training heavily again and doing the NHerShoes shreds, then I shifted to mostly going to group classes at the Y and I would go on my lunch break with coworkers, since moving north I have shifted back to mostly at-home workouts. I already go to the gym two mornings per week to teach spin classes but I just couldn't get myself to go there for my own workouts strangely enough. Especially since we have such a long winter season where it's dark, snowy and cold. Doing fitness blender workouts at home has been an amazing solution for me! I'm really excited for our new place where we will have space to set up our exercise stuff in our basement since it is in our living room right now by our couch and kind of an eyesore.. I have done beachbody programs before and really really like them so I'm not surprised the core de force workouts have been so great for you! I saw amazing results following the 21 day fix a couple of years ago.

Gracie said...

I get so much use out of my home gym, which is just a set of adjustable dumbbells and some mini bands! Since hip surgery, I've been way more aware of my muscle strength, and I try to do real weights - not just body weight exercise - at least three days a week. I'm far more likely to do it at home than at the gym, even though my gym is convenient. I agree with choosing a gym near work - mine is just a few blocks away - but I still don't make as much use of the gym as I should. Maybe during this current marathon recovery period would be a good time to get back to it.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I've debated trying out the beachbody workouts because I have only heard positive things. I just don't know how I feel about the investment when I am not a follow through kind of gal. Even with money involved. SO if it's a wash I'd be irritated. Not irritated enough to make myself do it ha. I do have a workout area downstairs but my treadmill has been shoved out of the way and stuff is on top of it. I need to do better. I just need someone yelling at me to do it ha.