Aquafit for the WIN! Now how to schedule it?

As spring turns the corner around to summer, and my work-from-home job is feeling more normal, I am turning my own thoughts away from my professional goals and back to my goals related to my health.

In the lead-up to starting my new job in March, I had spent an intensive year looking for a job I felt really good about. For quite some time now, my professional goals have taken priority for me. I’m thrilled about my return to a career in insurance claims, but I am also needing to find balance. Work is intense and I am sometimes finding it hard to turn off my brain. Much to my consternation, I am having some mild low back pain, a totally new thing to me.

So this week I snuck away from my desk for an 8:30am aquafit class offered by in a public City pool. I went because I was feeling achy and stressed and wasn’t really feeling focused.

Much to my surprise, I had a GREAT time even though I hadn’t been in the water in quite a few weeks. Even more joyous for me, my brain was completely cleared. What a cool thing that was. I had a productive, enjoyable work day. Wahoo!

I like aquafit and find deep-water classes the perfect amount of fun versus challenging. When I started attending aquafit intermittently, almost 20 years ago, I was usually the youngest person in the pool. Often, I still am. I’ve often written here about my struggles with exercise here – how fun to get to say something that feels purely positive.

Photo of an indoor swimming pool with lanes and a small climbing wall in the background
My “home” pool – an older and modest pool that I love!

I’m writing this at the end of the week and my back got achy again. Clearly I need to set myself a schedule for self care – that is not something I’m good at. In fact, I’m writing this as a way to keep myself accountable, and to also create some more positive brain waves.   

I’d love recommendations for exercise planning if you have any. I am thinking I need a balance of aquafit, weekly yoga and meditation. My gosh, when I write that, honestly, I’m a bit dazzled. Who even am I? Not the kid who used to literally quiver walking into the school gym for PE class.  



Work life balance? What about just (physical) balance?

I’m struggling to figure out how to keep myself sufficiently active these days. I have a new, intellectually stimulating job that I’m generally really happy with. But it’s working from home, and although you just can’t beat the commute, I find myself far less active than I was in my previous university administration job.

I can’t say I actually miss the 5 flights of stairs I walked up each morning going into work, but I kind of do miss the energy of rushing myself out the door and up to my office for the start of the day.

I get that I have the power within me to go for a start-of-day walk to get me going, but oh my gosh, when I’m learning a WHOLE bunch of stuff for an intense job, I really have been wanting to take advantage of that extra time in my day for sleep or just getting to my desk early.


Last month I wrote asking for suggestions for how to keep active while working from home and I got some great advice – thanks! It boiled down to self-discipline though in some ways.

That is an ongoing challenge for me, in terms of exercise (see: Wait, I Like Exercising?)  However, I also am thinking I need to give myself a little space here. I have been at my new job 6 weeks now, and although it’s awesome it’s A LOT. I am back in a career (claims adjusting) I haven’t done in almost 20 years, and I am handling complex commercial losses that are far outside of the kind of work I did previously. Honestly, it’s cool. But it’s also intellectually demanding.

A woman wearing shorts and a tank top resting her head on a pillow on a couch, while laying with a dog
How I feel after a long day reading policies and claims

Maybe I just need to let my brain be my exercise for a month or so? I don’t think that I want a sedentary lifestyle long term, but perhaps it’s ok for a short term? I have been taking time in the day to meditate pretty often. I need it.

I will say, I also have continued to go to weekly yoga at my former workplace. I even got my own yoga mat (thanks colleagues who loaned me theirs!). Even though it’s only once a week, it’s made a HUGE difference to my comfort in my hips. Ideally I would like to be doing that twice a week, but the course teacher only teaches once a week.

At least, though, the yoga helps with my hips and my physical balance. I just walk so few steps in a day…

Of course the other thing that is stealing all the free time I might have had for aquafit and dog walking is my KIDS. It is the end of the year music season for them, and as high school kids they have had SO MANY activities to be driven to and from, and also witnessed. My husband and I share that work, but ultimately it’s really interrupted any sense of rhythm I can develop in my new life.

So that’s me this month: not super active and feeling concerned about needing more balance. Your advice last month was great! How have you worked through crunch times in your life?


Working from home? I need your advice

What a month it has been for me! I have had some changes in my personal life, and my post this month is seeking some advice about staying active. Here’s the story.

About 6 months ago I started a new job as a university administrator. I had been teaching post-secondary courses by contract for some time and wanted more work stability. My new role was also contract, but promised to open up permanent opportunities within the institution. By February I had identified a couple of potential job options, but in the midst of this new job search, I rather unexpectedly came upon an option in insurance, a field I used to work in.

It’s not what I thought I was looking for, but as of two weeks ago, I am happily an insurance adjuster again. I’m also working from home full time, and that is totally throwing me for a loop. Gone is my morning climb up five flights of stairs at the university. Also gone is a lot of my human interaction, and the approximately 5,000 steps that were a part of my experience across campus.

For the first 2.5 years of the COVID pandemic I taught from home, but working a fulltime desk job from home is an entirely different experience. I am realizing that unless I consciously plan for activity, I may be very sedentary, not something my hips or any other part of me needs.

Image of a middle aged white woman and younger white young man standing in front of the CN tower, lit up green at night.
After a long and tiring day – a very comfortable one because I was loosened up from yoga!

Happily, I am able to keep attending the weekly yoga class at my former workplace, because I am maintaining a very part-time role with them (read about it here: This month’s newness – yoga). I have been back to yoga every week since I started my new job and OHMYGOSH after being stiff from too little movement, the yoga has been a dream!  I have found that a single weekly class is making me so much more comfortable. I’m also thrilled that I made it back to the pool for deep water aquafit and even though it has been 6 months I felt great.

This is making it clear to me that I need to develop an activity schedule, something I don’t really love. As I write this I’m in Toronto watching the Toronto Maple Leafs trounce my Carolina Hurricanes. I spent the day walking the city with my teenage son, and although tired I feel great. I am already walking my dog every day, but I clearly need something more defined.

I am curious – if you work from home, or otherwise have a very inactive job, how do you deal with it? I have tried a little morning yoga, but as a newbie it’s daunting. I would love suggestions on keeping limber and healthy!