I think I can say I’m happily on my way OUT of my rut (thank heavens!), but I’ve been trying to reflect on why the rut started and how I handled it. That’s probably another subject for another day, but I do want to talk about one thing I did, and have been doing for a few weeks now.
Finding ways to fit fitness into my day whether I’m working or at home.
This has been an increasing focus for me as I have been working longer hours, and have found many of my evenings booked up leaving zero time to hit the gym. I refuse to let all of my hard work go to waste, so I’ve been trying to find ways to at least maintain during the off days. For me this has included a few of the following techniques.
1. I’ve set a goal of completing 200 squats and at least 10 pushups every day. I do 25 squats every time I go to the bathroom, then finish the remaining at the gym or at home. It gets my muscles moving, gets my heart rate up a little multiple times during the day, keeps fitness top of mind, and stretches out my legs and butt that have been firmly planted in a desk chair for hours. And yes I worried people would think I was in there, eh hmm, taking care of business if you know what I mean, so I came clean to the office last week about my extracurricular bathroom activities. It always helps to tell people about your goals. Not only do they generally help keep you accountable, but if you are lucky, they will join in. A workout buddy is always a boost for motivation. I’m now trying to get a squat challenge going at the office 🙂
10 pushups may not seem like much, but like everything in fitness, it’s all in perspective to your unique capabilities. When I started crossfit I wasn’t able to do more than one or two regular (no knees) pushups. So, I made it my goal to do 10 regular pushups every day. Some days I would increase it to 15 or 20, and this effort was supplemented by the WODs at crossfit that included pushups. Just doing 10 little pushups a day has gotten me to the point where I can do regular pushups for every round in the WODs. It’s a great example of how every little effort adds up.
2. I bought a speed jump rope. Double unders (where the rope passes under your feet twice per each jump) were a skill I really struggled with in crossfit. I would practice at the gym, but I realized that the few minutes I spent there weren’t enough. I needed to get my own rope, determine the correct rope length for me, and get to practicing at home. I’m now up to 23 DU’s in a row and counting. The great thing about a jump rope is that a few minutes burns a ton of calories, and it’s the ultimate portable workout gear. You can take your rope anywhere and ensure that you squeeze in at least a few minutes of intense cardio.
3. I started doing mini-WODs. There have been more days in the past two weeks than I would like to admit that I didn’t set foot in a gym of any shape or size. And although my motivation was depleted, I couldn’t let myself just completely quit. Enter the mini-WOD. So not everyone has a free weight set, barbells, and a nice kettlebell collection at home, but everyone can do bodyweight exercises. On the days I found myself back at the house without having broken a sweat, I put these to use. It may have just been four rounds of 30 DU’s, 25 squats, and 10 pushups, but the point is…it was something. And something is always better than nothing.
If you are looking for ways to ease into fitness, or find yourself in a rut like I was and need something to kickstart your motivation, try out a few mini-WODs (use a combination of moves like pushups, situps, jump rope, burpees, sprints, handstand pushups, and pull ups if you have a bar), or decide on a skill or two like pushups, or squats, or jumping rope, and set a daily goal to work on them. Really focus on the correct form, and break up the reps throughout the day if you need to in order to complete them all. Do whatever it takes to fit some sort of fitness activity into your day.
I’m back to crossfit, day #2 after a two week break. I’m sore, I’ve lost some strength, and I feel out of shape, but it doesn’t matter. I showed up today and went for it. I didn’t give up on myself. And even though I’ve been feeling pretty down, I made an effort, even if it was small, to keep pushing towards my fitness goals. At the end of the day it all comes down to that one decision, to get moving, or keep wasting away. Which one did you choose?