February 8, 2013

38 Days of Daily Workouts… and counting

This has been a surprisingly good week for me for workouts. After doing Refine Method every day this weekend, I took a well-deserved break on Monday by just doing 20 minutes of pilates before bed. On Tuesday morning, I crushed it again with a killer Flywheel class – getting my highest score ever on the Torqboard! – but then I missed my intense workout yesterday, since I stupidly tried to put it off till evening. Today, though, I hit up a 6am Tread Fitness class (half free weights, half intense treadmill intervals), and also snuck in 20 minutes of Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown at the DFW Yoga Room before my flight home tonight.

Noticing a pattern here? One day on, next day off – but every day has something. When people ask how many days a week I work out, I’ve long been a fan of saying I at least try to work out everyday. Obviously, working out too much without a break can wreak havoc on your body, but I am a huge fan of a quote I once heard (and have written about before) about doing less than daily workouts:

When your goal is "every other day", it is far too easy to let "every day" become the "other day."
Original image credit: Redcocker
You have to plan the habit and stick to it – and for more on that, see this awesome guide from Leo Babauta on Sticking to a Habit that I just came across this afternoon. I particularly love his point about making the small habit stick before you try to make it big. That’s why my goal for January was only to work out for ten minutes a day, and why my goal for Early Rising October was just to get up early but not to do anything specific in that time. It’s easier to form the habit when it’s not too tough; then you can make it more challenging.

But at the same time that I’m advocating daily workouts, to avoid tiring out your muscles, you need to be sure to have some hard days and some easy days. I am by no means the master of this, having always been a “work hard, play hard” kind of person, but I am trying to remind myself more often that the easy days are just as important than the hard days, if not more so! Muscles grow when they are at rest (working out breaks down the muscle, but it’s the repair cycle that builds them back up stronger), so taking some lighter days is critical to making strength gains.

Right now, I have a lot of workouts planned this weekend – Refine all three days (I’m not in NYC much in February so have to go as much as I can while I’m in town or I won’t finish the February challenge), Exhale Core Fusion tomorrow as part of my partnership with FiTMAPPED, and TurboKick Cardio Party with a girlfriend on Sunday. But Winter Storm Nemo is a-coming, and I’m sure there will also be plenty of other roadblocks that force me to ease up on this schedule a bit. At the very least, I’ll get a break on Monday, when I travel in the morning and usually arrive at my hotel too late/tired to do much of anything.

All in all, I’m really thrilled with how my work out every day challenge is going – it’s becoming far more routine than expected, and I’m also starting to see some changes to my body as a result. Apparently sticking with something for longer than a week or so really does reap results! 😉


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