It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my exercise routine. Probably because for months I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it. I have hard time finding my groove for months. And more months. Everytime I thought I knew what the issue was and changed things up, within a week or two the thrill was gone again.
Now, I think I finally got my groove back. Three weeks ago, I traded a walk-run routine with longer morning walks (4.5 miles) in this lovely natural setting you see above. I realized that I really got little accomplished between returning home and starting my lengthy commute upstairs to my home office, so I started lifting weights right after walking, four days a week.
Mondays and Thursdays is chest, shoulders, triceps and abs. Tuesdays and Fridays is legs, back and biceps. I did this routine last summer, then switched to 2-3 weekly full-body workouts because I became bored with that routine. Of course, I eventually became bored with the full-body workouts.
There’s nothing wrong with boredom, of course, as long as you have an alternate plan so you can keep on moving. In my case, I realized that I was also spinning my wheels fighting the fatigue I’ve been feeling since winter. In the past, I could lift weights at lunch or after work, no problem. Lately, it has been a royal struggle. Not only was motivation and energy lacking, but it had been months since I’d made any gains in the amount of weight I was lifting. Total flatline.
That’s how I know I have my mojo back. Not only have I been loving my morning workouts, but I’ve been improving already in key lifts like bench press and deadlifts. That’s real, measurable, tangible evidence. And it feels fantastic.
Since I sit at a computer all day, it’s still important to get some activity in mid-day. By moving my energy-intensive exercise to the morning, I’m free to do gentler exercise mid-day, when my energy levels are less. I’m working with my body instead of against it. I do either 45-60 minutes of yoga or a Middle Eastern dance DVD (I studied Middle Eastern dance intensely for five years before I started going back to school; DVDs are helping me maintain my skills until I can return to formal study). I do whichever I’m in the mood for, or whichever I feel like I need the most (yesterday I was craving a good stretch, so I opted for yoga).
It’s all about knowing yourself, listening to what your body is telling you, and not giving up when obstacles, internal or external, threaten to run you off the road to optimal health.