Staying Fit in a Working World
Hi There … I’m still here 🙂 Very sleep deprived… but still alive 🙂
I’m taking a tiny little break from blogging this week as I adjust to the crazy schedule of a newborn (and take care of a 2 year old at the same time). When M was born I just slept when she slept and felt great. This time around? Not so much. There are nights that I’m up till the wee hours of the morning with LK and would love to go to sleep… but like clock work, every morning, my little M gets up at 6:30. Good news is LK is starting to sleep longer stretches at night, which means more sleep for mommy 🙂
Lucky for me, Nina from Nina’s Nibbles wrote a great guest post on Staying Fit in a Working World. Thank you Nina!!
Staying Fit in a Working World
Hello Weekly Bite readers! I feel blessed to have the opportunity to guest post here. I have been an avid reader for a while now and am so thankful to Estela for giving me this opportunity. My name is Nina and I blog over at Nina’s Nibbles (http://www.nstruss.wordpress.com) on healthy eating, fitness and life.
I love reading blogs, especially healthy living blogs. One thing I have found to be envious of is the amount of time many bloggers have devoted to exercise. It may be due in part to being your own boss that allows such flexibility and time for workouts. I used to have this flexibility also until I accepted a full-time position as a dietitian. Then, everything changed.
Once I began working 40 hour work weeks, I realized how hard it can be to develop a steady work-out routine. I have come to love my guaranteed weekends off, but continue to struggle with a balance of healthy eating and fitness while working 8 hours a day (9 if you count travel time).
I am almost two years into my first, full-time job as a dietitian and have collected some helpful tips and suggestions that I hope will help you to develop a steady work-out routine while maintaining a full-time job.
Get in a little extra at work
Thankfully I am very fortunate to be a part of a company that values worksite wellness. One advantage to having a worksite wellness program is access to free equipment during the work day. In our office, I have access to yoga mats, resistance bands, free weights and work out DVDs.
The work out DVDs are handy during cooler months. I would highly recommend 10 Minute Solution DVDs – especially the Rapid Results Pilates DVD. These DVDs are designed in 10 minute increments focusing on different body parts. During the cooler months, me and my co-RD would take 20 minutes out of our hour lunch break to do a quick 10 Minute Solution DVD.
If you don’t have access to a worksite wellness program at your job, simply being conscious of your activity level at work can make a difference. Bring a set of weights to work and take mini-breaks throughout the day. If your office is located in a nice area, take a walking lunch or meeting to get in a little physical activity. I also find it helpful to wear a pedometer and try to aim for 10,000 steps daily.
Have a workout buddy – or at least someone there for motivation
You can take or leave this bold point. I think some people are perfectly fine with working out by themselves while others require the accountability and motivation from another person(s). I found it especially helpful to have a work out buddy at the beginning when I was first establishing a routine. My husband has been a critical part of my work out motivation from the beginning and continues to be a motivation today.
I found once I established a routine and began to really enjoy my work outs and look forward to them, needing a buddy was not a priority.
I mentioned above my work out buddy at work is my co-RD. During the winter months we motive each other to do the above DVD for at least 20 minutes per day. In the warmer months, we break up our day with a mile walk during our lunch hour. Without her there to hold me accountable, I don’t think I would work out at work at all!
Schedule your workouts
The hardest part about beginning gym work outs was justifying my time at the gym. My work commute takes about an hour or more daily and if I chose to work out after work, I wasn’t able to have dinner on the table any earlier than 7:00 p.m.
One small change I made was to make sure most of my dinner preparations were completed on Sunday. These preparations included cutting vegetables, preparing ready-made meals for lunches and portioning out other foods for planned meals during the week. This one little step made mealtimes quicker and much easier after a workout.
In addition, I found it helpful to break up my days. Some days I wake up before work to go to the gym while others I go after work. On the days I go to the gym after work, I make sure I have an easy dinner planned for afterwards.
It is also very helpful to look at your work/life schedule on a weekly basis to plan your work outs. No two weeks (or even days) will be the same and figuring out which days will work best for a work out is crucial to developing and maintaining a routine.
Remain flexible – things change all the time!
Sometimes I find myself a little disappointed because I missed a work out or had a bad work out. No two work outs are ever the same and I have learned to accept the bad with the good. A work out is a work out, no matter the length or intensity!
My best advice is to listen to your body. If I’m not feeling well or haven’t had a break from exercise in a while, I listen to my body and take a break. I also try to break up my regular routines with other fun exercise opportunities like swimming, hiking or biking.
Staying flexible with your work outs is essential to staying sane!
Find something you LOVE to do, and do it!
When I first started getting into a routine of working out, it happened to be during the winter season. I was admittedly a little lazy at first and getting to the gym seemed like a chore. To compromise with myself, I spent countless hours in front of my television and computer with 30-60 minute workout videos. (Did you know you can stream work out DVDs on Netflix? On Demand is also a great resource for free work outs). The videos varied and included workouts like yoga, Pilates, strength exercises and cardio.
After I developed a routine with the videos, I decided to start attempting to go to the gym to work out. I set my goal low (or so I thought) and signed up for a local 5K. I followed the iPhone Couch to 5K work-out for a few weeks before discovering I hated running. I dreaded my work-outs and often came up with multiple excuses to avoid them.
Then, I stumbled up on this issue of Fitness:
I fell in love with one of the power walking routines outlined in their Treadmill Trimmer work-out section. I now use this work out as my core cardio exercise, modifying it for time constraints or adjusting for difficulty. I’ve also just started to add in more strength training on my off-cardio days.
What works for some regarding exercise may not work for others. That is okay! Find out what works for you and fall in love with it.