Monday, November 8, 2010

Fitness that Fits

I've been in a bit of a pickle.  The change of the seasons has also meant a need to change my exercise routine.  My work-out of choice is an early-morning walk along our river-trail ... a couple of good hills to get my heart thumping.  But, now that it is too cold and too dark, I need to come up with Plan "C".  Yes, Plan "C".  Plan "B" is snuggled down in my flannel nest and wait for the sun!  While that is lovely, it makes for a pretty bumpy start to my day ... once it starts!  Nothing puts me in a grumpier mood than getting up after my bouncy kids have started their day and playing the miserable game of "Wake-Up and Catch-Up".  Anyone else agree?

This could have an easy solution ... except that I'm a bit picky.  Or, maybe I should say "specific" ... that sounds nicer. :)  It needs to be something that I am willing to get up for.  It's hard enough to roll out of my warm, comfy bed ... but it's almost impossible if I don't want to do what I got up to do!  It also needs to be something that is quick and efficient ... 30-40 minutes, tops.  I also want something that is tough-ish without being so challenging that I get frustrated.  I don't mind sweating, but I do mind falling all over myself trying to keep up.  I want a workout in which I can actually see some progress ... a little soreness the next morning is okay, but not the inability to walk up and down the stairs.  I need something that I can stick with until the Spring thaw.  And I need something with a little variety so that I don't get bored.  Okay ... maybe "picky" is a better word.

There are a lot of options out there.  I have tried a couple of different work-out videos, but within a few weeks, I've ended up bored.  I considered (for about 3 seconds) joining Brett's club, but I can't even imagine where I would fit that in to my schedule.  I've thought about heading out for a walk later on in the morning once it's lighter and warmer, but that means loading up the girls in the double stroller and listening to them say, "All done." and "How much longer?" for 3 miles.  Yeah ... that gets my heart-rate up, but in a different way!  By the time dinner is over and I have a few minutes to myself again ... it's dark.  Again.

Hmmmm ... what to do?  What to do?   Is hibernating until Spring an option?  No?  Bummer ...

Then I had a break-through!  I discovered Exercise TV.  Here is a resource that actually will work for my life ... this season of little people, little time and wanting a little less of me! :)  I would encourage you to check it out.  If you have cable with Bresnan, you can also check out OnDemand and view some of the same videos.  Not as many, but a few.  There are some heavy-duty workouts in there ... something for me to aspire to do.  There are more basic cardio workouts and even a 2 mile walk!  I have also enjoyed the toning and stretching videos.  A little bit of everything for everyone.  They also have the option of becoming a member (I think it's $10 a month) but for right now, the free workouts are working great for me.

And that's key:  a fitness plan that fits me!
  • Fits My Season:  This option fits both this time of year and this time of my life.  I can choose any workout, anytime and get a good 30 minutes of cardio without having to leave my home or bundle up to my ears.  And if I don't get a workout done in the early hours, I can hook the girls up with a show on TV later on in the morning and still get some mommy time.  It's flexible and do-able.
  • Fits My Level of Fitness:  While I am in relatively good shape, there is always room for improvement!  I marvel at some of the moms that I know that are runners, Gold Gym-ers and heavy-duty workout queens ... but I'm not disillusioned into thinking I ever will be one!  I like that I can choose from a wide variety of workouts of varying intensity ... and I hope that with some consistency, I will see my level of fitness ratchet up to the next level.
  • Fits My Personality:  I am a creature of habit, but I still like a little variety in my life.  I like that each morning I can choose a different instructor and a different type of workout, just to keep things fresh.  I also like that there are some of my old favorites so that I can go back to something familiar.  Especially on mornings when I'm not quite awake.  I appreciate that some of the workouts stretch me a bit in what I think I can do ... and even though the instructor's words are "canned", I can pretend their words of encouragement are directed right at me ... "Yes!  I can keep going ... only 500 more lunges! :)"
The goal for me is to find fitness that fits me and that will keep me active.  While walking is my real joy ... Exercise TV will fit for the season.

What about you ... how do you stay fit year round?  Share your tips - we could all use some fresh ideas to get healthy and stay that way!  Even when it's cold.

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