This week I decided to take a break from my normal gym fitness routine. Which are free weights, with a healthy side of cardiovascular activity. I decided to reverse my routine. Which means I’m doing a heck of a lot of cardio with a side order of free weights. I really enjoy mixing up my gym workout routines, they get boring to me if I’m doing the same thing constantly. I thrive on variety.
Each day this week, I’ve decided to devote around forty-five minutes to an hour of intense cardio routine. Yesterday I landed on the cross trainer, and although I usually just set the ramp on the highest incline (20) and just let it stay there. This time was different, I manually switched between 20 and nine, doing the same with the resistance. Vacillating between one and ten, I ran full speed the entire time. Running top speed is something I always do, but it was nice to add variety to my normal cross trainer workout. I’m definitely feeling a slight soreness in my leg muscles today. I did some things the same such as swapping between running backwards and forwards, and not holding onto the sides. I never hold onto the sides.
The beauty of exercise is that you don’t need to be in the gym to get a good workout. You can exercise at home even if you don’t have workout equipment or fitness tapes. Yeah, yeah I got bold happy there, but I did it for emphasis, mkay? At times, I do get annoyed when people whine about not being able to exercise because they don’t have a gym membership, or they don’t have fitness equipment at home. Please note I never voice this out loud to folks, it’s just something that plays through my head occasionally. I will offer tips on exercises they can do at home.
In my early twenties, I did exactly that (worked out in my home with no gym equipment.) I was living downtown in a small studio apartment. I hadn’t been out of college that long, and a gym membership wasn’t in my budget. I did pick up a few books from the library that showed me the types of exercises I could do at home, all that was required of me was too simply… do them! Imagine that? Motivation can be tough; yeah I know. I’ve been there before, and will be there again in some aspects of my life but you know what, my goals aren’t going to get accomplished sitting on the sidelines of life waiting for someone to do them for me. No, I need to get off my lazy butt, take the initiative, and get out and actively work at achieving my goals.
Do I need motivation to workout? No, not really I haven’t encountered that in years. But, at times I do need motivation in others aspects of my life (more on that later.) Exercise is a habit. Simple as that. It’s been ingrained in my life since I was a young child. In those days, my form of exercise was some type of play. I still do that, since physical play can be a workout. It’s something I’ve instilled in my seven-year old daughter too.
Technology has grown amazingly since I was a kid. People can spend hours, if the let it, glued to a seat with very little physical activity. I don’t let that happen. Those early and extremely active childhood days, carried over into adulthood too and so even if I’m required to be stationary for x amount of hours, you’ll still see me getting up to take breaks simply to move around. I don’t feel right when I don’t workout. You know something health-wise I don’t feel as great either, sitting on the “I’ll workout tomorrow sidelines” while I watch others “just do it” when it comes to physical activity isn’t going to happen for myself. Just remember folks, exercise is only part of it. You need to make healthy food choices too and take care of your mental health also. It’s all connected, surround yourself with positive folks, avoid the negative drama, you don’t need it.
Ok back to motivation…
There are times I do need motivation in other areas…
- Decluttering my living space.
- Remembering to actually list the recipe ingredients as I prepare a meal.
- Working on alternate streams of income.
I create my own recipes; I’m used to not writing down the exact measurements.
I’m a single mom who works from home. Working from home can take motivation. It’s not for everyone. The great news about working from home is that I can work from anywhere? You want to know the bad news? I can work from anywhere, yes that includes the few vacations I take too.
Checking out the news can be sobering, unemployment hasn’t been this high, in the United States, in several years. So yes, now it means I’m cutting into my “me time” (not to be confused with time I spend with my daughter) but time that I could be reading, gaming, etc., Some of that has been whittled down as I focus on some of my goals and turning some of those dreams into a reality. I believe I’ve set well thought out goals for myself (followed up with a few mentors/friends that will be brutally honest with me.) I know I’ll be able to accomplish them, in time. I simply have to stay motivated. I set positive mental images in my mind of the things I want to accomplish and steadily work on attaining them, if I stumble. I pick myself up and keep moving forward. It’s the only way I’ll attain the goals I want. Sticking my head in the sand aka putting things off won’t help me since my tasks will still be waiting when I comeback to reality. Since that’s the case, it’s important that I stay focused and keep working on the steps needed to achieve my goals.
In my local gym, I have a few visual sources of inspiration. Two folks that really stand out in my mind. The first is an elderly woman that has cerebral palsy, she uses a walker to help her get around (the walker has gotten smaller over the years) but you know what, she’s still there working out. She’s improved a lot, and she doesn’t mind asking for help if things get a little complicated for her. Guess what, people are more than happy to assist her if/when it’s needed. (I’ve helped few times myself.) She doesn’t ask a lot. The second source of inspiration is a man confined to a wheelchair. I first saw him at the gym about three years ago, I looked at him and thought, I really cannot be whining about how things are “just too hard,” can I? 😉
Speaking of motivation; Bloggers worth reading…
I love being around inspirational folk, we might not be following the same path but I can still be inspired by what they’re doing and keep that as motivation in my own mind when things get challenging. When I think about bloggers there are two that really stand out in my mind.
- Waist Whittling Wordsmith
The WaistWhittler is inspiring; she’s taking control of her health and fitness too. Putting yourself out there isn’t always easy, but it can be a motivational tool to keep you honest. I’ve enjoyed watching her progress as she actively works at attaining her goals. She’s a talented writer. I really enjoy reading what she has to say, Check out The Doers, the Dreamers and Me and I’m a Turtle and Goals for the week…
I met Maira via a Wordless Wednesday post, as customary I stop by anyone who leaves a comment on my blogs. I find a post that I enjoy and leave a comment. Just like the Waist Whittler, I really didn’t have too look long, since I found numerous posts that I liked. I enjoy how she weaves tidbits of her daily life onto her blog. My Wolf (my Lupus story) and Sorry Lupus You Will Have To Wait were inspirational she was sharing personal aspects of her life with the public (that’s not always easy.)
Many thanks to the both of you, and the many others within my life who continually inspire me to do my best, may we all achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
PhotoSource: US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics