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I know this is the time of year for the New Year, New Me resolutions. I get it. I love the fresh start of the New Year. I probably should eat a little better in 2017. Cook a little more. Drink less wine & I legitimately am going to try to read more. But as far as fitness goes I’m in a pretty good groove. In 2016 I ran two half marathons (the Long Island Half Marathon and the AmeriHealth Atlantic City Half). I ran countless 5Ks, the Bellmore Striders 4th of July 4 miler, and the New Hyde Park 8K. I consistently worked out at least three times a week.
But it’s taken me years to get into my workout groove. And today I am going to share with you my NUMBER ONE tip for staying active.
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My #1 Fitness Tip
Now I am not a personal trainer and I have no medical training. I am just a girl who likes to eat, and luckily enjoys working out. But I am also a busy mom. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, a full-time working mom and now a part-time math tutor and sub. And this trick has stayed with me no matter my life circumstance.
That’s important because there are no excuses.
When my daughter turned one, I joined a gym across the street from my apartment in Queens. For $30 a month, the gym offered unlimited babysitting during their childcare hours. Each morning we would drop off little man at preschool, come home, the baby would nap for about an hour and then we would head to the gym. I didn’t have much else to do, nor did I have any other means to workout. I had to condense it into the time when childcare was offered and it just became part of our routine. Since going was an option all five days of the week, we went when we could and if we missed, we just went the next day.
When baby girl was two, I went back to work full-time. I was logging long days. I had to drop the kids off at daycare around 7am, and pick them up by 6 pm when it closed. That did not leave me much workout time. By the spring I was craving that me time so I formulated a plan to get a run or two in each week. I would change into running clothes at work, rush to get to daycare by about 4:45, park in the lot, run around the neighborhood for 30 minutes and then get the kids. I felt bad leaving them in daycare for an extra 30 minutes a day, but I was paying for it and the reward was worth the guilt.
The following year, school situations changed and I had to get even more intentional about my workouts. A spinning studio opened by my house and in the winter months I bought an unlimited monthly pass. Now since there are only so many bikes in a spin studio, you have to book your ride in advance (or risk being wait-listed). At this studio, if you late cancel you are charged a fee.
It was then that I started to plan out my weekly workouts. I would sit down at my computer and book my rides for the week. I had to think about my other commitments and plan accordingly. Because I paid for the classes, and didn’t want to late cancel, I had to stick to my plan.
When winter rolled into spring, and I was able to head outside more to run or bike, I kept that same philosophy.
Each week, I sit down and plan my entire week of workouts.
This has been the biggest game changer for me.
Each Sunday or Monday, I look at my calendar of life commitments and plan out a realistic week. I think about what days there are classes I like at my favorite fitness studios (FITmixx, iSpin and Metrow Fit). I think about what days I want to run and if I want to do a long (5+ miles) or short (3-4 miles). I look at the weather also – will it be cold, rain, snow, or too hot at the time of day I can get outside?
I also like to bike but for that I need at least 90 minutes. I need time to load my bike in the car, drive to the trail and then ride for at least an hour. If the weather is bad, or I have a day where I am home alone with the kids, I plan to do a workout DVD in my living room. I have the whole Pure Barre series (the Tone in 10 and the 30 minute Burn) and this 21 Day Fix DVD. I also have a friend that I will plan a workout with and we will do this Pilates video (free off YouTube) or go for a run at our local preserve.
For me, I know I am disciplined and will do what I have set out to do unless life intervenes. But if I deviate from the plan, I don’t beat myself up because there is another day, with another activity planned. Currently I do not work full-time so I do have more time than others to commit to myself. But especially when I was working, this strategy kept me focused and on track.
I plan to write more fitness posts about how I train for a half marathon and what activities I like to do to mix it up. But for now, try it. Sit down on Sunday and map out your week. Look at the weather to plan outdoor activities, look at your family calendar to balance your other commitments. I promise this one tip will keep you accountable and on track!
Do you plan out your workout week? What is your best fitness tip?
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My review of the AmeriHealth Atlantic City Half Marathon
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