I apologize for the rather large hiatus in posts- if you’ve been a college student and are in any way as over-committed as I am, you understand the big rush right at the beginning of a semester, especially before you get settled into a routine. And that’s kind of what I want to talk about in this post- the ways that we form routines and what exactly we need to do to establish them and keep them going. There are a few things that work for me.
I’m the kind of person that gets super bored if I get locked into too exact of a routine. I read something about how if you do things differently every day, even something as simple as walking a different path to a familiar destination, you’re creating new pathways in your brain and protecting yourself from degenerative brain disease later in life. So my constant desire for randomness and spontaneity really is doing good things for me! But I do need to establish a certain kind of routine if I really want to fit in my fitness goals. Here’s some of the things I do:
1. Establish a few goals: I like to give myself things to look forward to. Right now, my goal is the Baltimore Half Marathon on October 14th! Lately, it’s been hard for me to get back into the super dedicated running lifestyle…but with 13.1 miles calling my name in such a short time, I’m starting to get excited again about putting the miles behind me. Another goal of mine (which I’ll dedicate another post to) is achieving the status of Outdoors Instructor for the Outdoor Pursuits group at Johns Hopkins. I need to go on many different training trips and meetings and get certified for WFR (Wilderness First Responder) before I can be a Sea Kayaking Instructor and lead trips to the water for grads and undergrads alike! (I was meant to have already achieved my goal of running in Tough Mudder, but the race was cancelled due to course damage…something I’m VERY disappointed about still). If you look at all these together, I have a lot of reasons to get out there!
2. Fit Fitness into my Schedule: Sometimes I have days where I’ve been to 3 classes, gone to work, and still have a lot of homework to do. I’m tired, in frankly a pretty sour mood, and just not ready to work up a sweat. But that’s the time I need it THE MOST. On Mondays, I’ve started swimming after work for about an hour. It’s an amazing, relaxing workout and it really rejuvenates my energy. I’m able to go home, do some reading, and settle into a deep sleep.
3. Ramp it Up!: I like to make my workouts harder and harder. It’s not working unless you’re sweating, and I know that a certain level of intensity won’t work for me forever (once my body gets used to it, I’m gonna have to work harder to put on the pressure). I just ran 6 miles yesterday, but I know I’ve got to do a few more if I want to be ready for the Half Marathon!
4. VARIETY!- Spicing up my workout is one of the things that actually makes me LOVE it. On a weekly basis, I try to swim, lift weights, go to soccer practice, run, do yoga/pilates, and maybe even spin at least once. Sometimes I’ll hop on an elliptical with some music and watch TV. Sometimes I’ll run down to a park and stretch there. I just need new scenery and new methods in order to keep me interested. And it works!
5. Recover- This one I’m sometimes not so good at. But if you don’t take a day to recover, let your muscles start repairing themselves, ice yourself a little…progress is gonna be a million times slower. I’m always trying to convince myself that resting for a day isn’t lazy…it’s smart. I can go out tomorrow and tackle that 10 miler and I’ll feel a whole lot better doing it.
6. Eat well!- Living off campus and not having a meal plan have forced me into the realm of cooking…and surprisingly, I love it! I’m no master chef, but one of my absolute favorite meals lately (I probably eat it too much) is stir fry. Stir fry involves so many good foods and you can do so many different things with it. I usually pick a meat (chicken or steak), throw all the veggies I have available in, heat up some rice, add some sauce (soy, lemon pepper, Parmesan garlic…the list goes on) and heat it up in a pan. It’s my FAVORITE lately. Also I love Chobani yogurt. Runner’s World called it a good pre and post run snack. So naturally I latched on to that.
7. Do it for love/because it makes you feel good.- Everyone likes to be happy. Endorphins make you happy. (:
Have any suggestions for making fitness routines fun and manageable for a busy schedule?
Did you miss me?! Comment if you want some more regular posts!