Monday, December 23, 2013

Gymless Fitness

Since I am stuck inside due to the storm that is impacting all of eastern Canada, I figured it would be time for a little blog post.

Since my last post, time has just flown by. Some highlights from this fall included, a visit from my friend Erin (and Halloween Haunt), cooking our first official Thanksgiving turkey, Mike's graduation from his Masters (and a fantastic visit from his parents), and Mike getting a job! (Huzzah!). It also included a free trip to Vegas that Mike won from a UFC event (yes I'm serious!).

The past couple of weeks have been busy with pre-Christmas stuff, end of term tutoring, and bracing for winter weather. I'm now on vacation, and enjoying my relaxing time off, but I thought I would do a little fitnessy post for the holidays. Obviously the holidays are not the typical time to be focusing on fitness, but consider this a warm up for January 1st!

After doing the triathlon at the end of Summer, and diving back into tutoring up to 10 hours a week, I was terrified that I was going to fall off the wagon completely and go from working out 5/6 times a week to 5 times in 6 months (yes that happened this past spring). I had some motivation in September from the 12.5 km trail run, and the 5 km run for the cure.

The 12.5 km run, was extremely challenging and even with walking it, it was a 2 hour adventure. It was fun though, almost like a mud run without the obstacles. Next came the Run for the Cure. Since I hadn't really been training for running I wasn't sure how I was going to do, but I managed to keep up with Mikes pace for most of it, and we finished right around the 30 min mark, and felt pretty good about it. Considering that 2 years ago I  couldn't run for the full 5 km, and last year it was a big deal to complete it, and this year it was a blip on the fitness radar, was pretty cool. Also my work team raised $1250 bucks!

After that my "race season" was complete. But I didn't want to stop. For the past few months I have tried to eat moderately healthy, and trying to fit in exercise when I can. I think I have averaged 3/4 times a week, so not at triathlon training level, but still something! Also, I am walking a lot more to all my tutoring clients, so even the days I can't go to the gym I'm still fitting in some exercise.

What I have realized this fall is flexibility is key. Sometimes a tutoring session will get cancelled, giving me an opportune moment to work out. Other times, I may have to work late and not go to a class. The other thing that has helped, is with Mike leaving for work early in the AM, he drops me off at the gym and I can get a workout in before work. It helps having a goodlife connected to my building.

Even with the goodlife though, some days it just doesn't make sense to schedule my life around the group fitness schedule, so some alternative workouts have been created. This made me realize that there really is no excuse to not fit in some exercise. Here are some of my suggestions for a non-gym workout:

1. Stairclimb- if you happen to live in a tall building do the stairs. Try to go up only, and elevator down to prevent knee damage.  It is a great cardio workout, and good for toning the legs! Note: Music is a must, I found this workout challenging and kind of boring since you are doing 45 mins of the same thing, so music is a good motivator to keep going!

2. Dance party- I love getting to Zumba/Body Jam, especially on a Friday after work. My old gym had the best schedule for that, but unfortunately the Goodlife closest to my work doesn't have this option. So I came home one Friday, and remembered enough Zumba moves to have a dance party workout of my own in the my apartment. Bonus I got to play my favourite songs. I also incorporated some abbs, squats, and arm moves to gain some extra toning. Another option, buy a zumba/dance exercise DVD and do it at home.

3. Nike Training Club App. There are many fitness Apps, but this one has some great reviews. It consists of multiple circuit based workouts that can focus on Cardio, Strength or Toning, and it includes 15 mins focus workouts for core, arms and legs. The workouts require a small amount of equipment (most are optional) and they are really tough!  I like the "trainer's" voice "30 seconds left, keep going". Highly recommend the free download if you can!
4. Get outside
The past few days I have been going for snowy walks with my family. Trudging through a few centimetres of snow is certainly a good leg and cardio workout. Getting outside is the easiest way to fit in some fitness over the holidays, whether it be a walk, skating, or a SNOWBALL FIGHT. Even building a snowman can burn some calories!

Especially a upside down one!

Moral of the story is that I can't use "no gym" as excuse not to workout, especially at the holiday times where there is a lot of extra treats (nom nom chocolate!).

Hope everyone has a healthy and happy holiday!!

What is your favourite gymless workout? Anyone else ever build an upside down snowman..seriously a lot harder than it should be!