I kicked off my Valentine's Day this year getting hot n' sweaty in my cold garage. It was 30 minutes of pure pleasure that ended in satisfying exhaustion. Since this is the day of love, what better way to celebrate than with a heart-pumping exercise session?! (You knew that's what I was describing, right?! See the routine below.)
I love fitness. Actually, what I really love is the state of being fit. And not because it's my job to be in shape. I loved fitness before I was paid for it. Why do I love being fit, you may wonder? Here are my top reasons:
I love being fit because...
Now, keeping it real, do I also love that being fit allows me to rock a pair of skinny jeans, feel comfortable in a tank top, and eat pizza every week? Without a doubt. But that's just a bonus.
It's not lost on me that, regardless of my fitness level, my body is still aging and will one day expire. But if living a life of fitness allows each day that I do have to be fuller, healthier and more productive, then it will have been a worthwhile love affair.
4 Rounds of 45 secs work/15 secs rest (with one min rest btw rounds)
1. Jump rope
2. Pushups + Dumbbell Plank Rows (AKA Renegade Rows)
3. Kettlebell Swings
4. Alternating Dumbbell Lateral Lunges
Warmup + Cardio/Strength + Stretch = 30 mins
I had the day all planned out. In my Type A, checklist-oriented mind, I was going to enjoy sleeping in (with kids, that translates to around 7:30a in my house), have a leisurely breakfast with my boys, do a few chores, engage in an extended workout followed by an extended hot shower (one of my favorite simple pleasures), attend my oldest son's football game, then start a furniture refinishing project that I've been meaning to get to.
Sounds reasonable, right? Except that life happened soon after I woke up. When I went to greet my 3-year-old, his diaper had leaked overnight, which meant he would need an impromptu bath and his bed would have to be stripped and remade. Minor setback to my schedule. Far worse was the telltale discharge and pink color to his left eye. Yep, conjunctivitis. That would require a weekend visit to the pediatrician, then waiting on a prescription at the drug store. MAJOR setback to my schedule.
But life wasn't done teaching me a lesson about my well-intended plan. When we finished breakfast and put the last of the dishes in the full dishwasher, the dang machine sounds this cute little chime with a prompt that reads, "Leak detected. Consult use care manual." Super. Just super. And of course, the manual indicates that the only solution to this warning is to call the 1-800 number and make an appointment for a service call (Quick rant: modern appliances aren't made to last anymore. This machine is only a year old, and our brand new refrigerator needed a significant repair after only six months. Ridiculous!)
Clearly, the day wasn't going even remotely as I'd planned, and no one would fault me for foregoing my plans to exercise. But I was committed to fitting in an intense workout (which would help me keep my sanity--exercise is proven to be a mood stabilizer and anti-depressant). And thankfully, I did, in large part because we live in a country where service calls can be scheduled online, doctor's offices have Saturday hours, and drug stores fill prescriptions while you wait. After putting out the unexpected fires that life threw at me, I had just enough time for a massive calorie-burning 35 minute workout and quick shower before my son's football game (Workout posted below!).
You might be wondering why I've shared this day-in-the-life with you, and it's this: you make time for the things that matter. I was committed to exercising that day, and despite several setbacks, I made a way to make it happen.
We are now one month into the new year, which means we're nearing the point where new year's resolutions start to fade. Why? Because life gets in the way. But here's the thing--it always will. You just have to decide what's most important to you, what's worth making time for, and who you want to be. A quitter? Nah. Strike that word from your vocabulary. You may need to make some adjustments to your goal, but don't give up on it, or yourself. And as the saying goes, it it's important to you, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse!
Reboot your exercise routine with my MAKE-TIME-FOR-THINGS-THAT-MATTER WORKOUT, which took me about 35 minutes to complete. This is a combination of traditional muscle-building exercises and a high intensity metabolic circuit. Use dumbbells (DB) that are appropriate for your fitness level and heavy enough to challenge your muscles in only 10 repetitions.
WARM UP (unloaded squats, lunges, pushups, dynamic stretches)
STRENGTH-TRAINING CIRCUIT: Perform 3 sets of 10 reps. Move immediately from one exercise to the next:
1. DB squats
2. DB chest flies
3. DB alternating lunges (10/leg)
4. DB bent over rows
5. Mountain climbers (20/leg)
6. Optional: recover 30-60 secs
HIIT METABOLIC CIRCUIT: Perform up to 5 rounds of either 45:15 (45 seconds work/15 seconds recovery) or 40:20. If you're just starting out, fewer rounds or more recovery time is preferable.
1. Jump rope
2. Kettlebell swing
4. Optional: recover 30-60 secs
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Molly is a wife, mom,
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.