February 6, 2013

Change of Plans

I haven’t been following my own rules today. Namely, my rule that goes, get your workout in first thing in the morning so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day. Oops! But sometimes, you have to bend the rules and do what’s right for you right now.

Yesterday, after writing that post about how run down I am starting to get, I decided to actually try to do something about it. So after the client dinner, I texted my morning workout buddy and asked if she would mind switching to an evening session. We were planning to get dinner together anyway, so perhaps we could work pilates into that plan? It was agreed, and I was psyched. I slept 90 minutes longer than I normally would, and woke up with my sleep tracker showing nine hours of sleep. Glorious. I woke up five minutes before my alarm, as I used to do every morning when I wasn’t overtired, and it felt so nice to actually have gotten a proper amount of sleep. I’m not out of sleep debt yet, but I’m working on it!

However, instead of just showering and going into work, I decided to add in a fifteen minute HIIT workout video. After all, fifteen minutes is pretty short and easy to squeeze in, and then I’d also get a head start on fulfilling my “work out at least ten minutes a day” streak that I’ve been on since January 1. I had every intention of still heading to pilates in the evening for some good stretching and strengthening, but I figured the cardio would help get my energy going and also give me a feeling of accomplishment to start the day with something knocked off my to do list. Plus, while I know some people tend to binge on junk food after a workout, I tend to do the opposite – working out somehow encourages me to keep the streak going and eat healthy all day.

Turns out, it is a great thing that I got that mini-workout in – because I just got scheduled for some evening meetings and a team dinner that wasn’t originally in my plan. Bye bye evening workout! I’m still hoping that I might be able to hit the treadmill back at the hotel when I get home tonight (or perhaps do some Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown?), but either way, my workout for the day is technically done – so I’m a lot less stressed about those extra commitments than I otherwise might have been.

Image credit: Moyogo

Meanwhile, I’ve been making an effort to take the stairs as much as possible at work. I’ve been sneaking in just a few flights here and there, heading to a different floor if I need to hit the drinking fountain or the bathroom, or taking my smartphone to the stairs if I have an email that requires some time to digest and reread before crafting a response. As a result, I’ve racked up 25 flights so far today! Again, not the same as a full workout, but every little bit helps.

Moral of the story though? Planning to work out in the evening just does not work for me and my schedule – and clearly I need to take some creative measures to get enough sleep and get my workout in. Going forward, I think I’ll be cutting back a little bit on the 6am classes, but scaling up on the HIIT workouts that allow me to get more done in less time (bonus: no time wasted packing my work clothes and driving to the gym). Plus, sneaky tricks like taking the stairs between meetings and taking conference calls while walking around the building can help me get some extra movement in during the day, even if it’s not quite the same as a workout. I know there are also all the little multitasking options, like doing squats/lunges while brushing your teeth/drying your hair etc, but to me, those can be a little bit obsessive and I’m not sure I’ll really do them all the time.

I know there are thousands of tips out there for squeezing in little bits of exercise when you’re pressed for time, and I don’t want to repeat them all. But… what are your favorite tricks?


2 thoughts on “Change of Plans”

  1. I love the stairs one. My work has 3 different buildings. I treck to the furthest one away (only a 2min walk) to go to the bathroom, and always opt for getting up and seeing someone in person rather than phoning or emailing.

    I only 1/2 fill my water glass so I get off my bum when I run out, and try to get up every 1/2 hour to walk to the ground floor then back up the 5 flights of stairs to my office. It doesn’t happen every 1/2 hour, but even a couple of times a day makes a difference!

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