A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to shake things up on the exercise front. It’s been a bad winter and my trail walks have not been on the schedule due to the impeccable timing of storms and the subsequent blockage of said trails with snow and ice.
There are only so many times going up and down the stairs in my house can offer an effective number of steps before I am bored to tears. My trainer, bless her, offered to create a program that I can mix and match from to ensure variety and coverage in between sessions.
Now while there are times I feel like I am in my own real-life version of a Choose Your own Adventure storybook, creating my own routine by choosing one to two options from each of column A, column B and column C really works for me.
The exercises are simple as my dyslexia often causes me to reverse positions, choose the wrong direction consistently, or just make a complete hash of something I have learned to do multiple times. Even now as I think about doing a series of bird dog repetitions, I have to think very, very consciously which arm to lift and which leg to push out.
The exercises also do not require any special equipment. I have lots of tubing thanks to physio, and I did buy a couple of bands to avoid falling over knots in bands I made myself. My laundry room provides useful bottles to serve as goblets for squats or wonky looking kettle bells, and my stairs offer leverage for split squats and stretches.
So I have a program, I have a way to implement it, now I need to fit in the routine into my daily schedule. Experts say forming a habit requires at least 30 days of practice to develop and maintain. I was interrupted in my new habit by overseas travel but I made up for it by getting a whack of steps in and getting a new Fitbit badge.
I am back now and have set up a spreadsheet. I even found a cute star jpg to mark off the days. I have set an alarm on my Fitbit to act as a reminder. I work from home as a writer and researcher, which means I do a lot of sitting. I know I should move more, but I often get lost in my work when I am on a roll. The Fitbit alarm is a vibrating one and it is annoying as heck, but I’ll take whatever works to jolt me back to the here and now.
However, despite my plans, I know I need an incentive to aim for. I have decided once I reach 30 stars, just like Starbucks, I’m going to get a little treat. So yes, I am a little detailed in my plan, but as I say to my clients, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I’ll let you know how I make out next month.
I am curious though what you FIFI readers do to ensure you keep fitness on schedule in your lives. Is this something only women worry about because of competing demands from work, life and family? Or is this a gender neutral consideration? And what incentives do you use to keep yourself going? Or is a fly by the seat of your pants approach one that works for you? Share in the comments!
— Martha enjoys getting her fit on by lifting all the heavy things in the gym.