It’s my belief that a happy, healthy body equals a sharp, focused mind. Exercise is a daily requirement to reduce stress, anxiety, self-doubt and keep my mind sharp. When I don’t exercise, all hell breaks loose. I’m dead serious. I feel like crap, can get a bit depressed, and generally lose motivation to get out of bed. Combine that with another area of my life that might not be going so well, and it’s perilous. It can make or break an entire year for me as I found out in 2014.
Yes folks, that means when I’m not at my peak, it affects my financial habits big time.
I’m very happy to be back on track in 2015 and going with gusto at exercising each day. It can be difficult to cram everything in, especially when you’re not a 5AM riser, 6AM is earliest unless I happen to be travelling – strange things happen to my motivation.
My daily schedule is jam-packed. I exercise, work full-time, have a lengthy commute, go to school part-time, blog, try to keep up with everyone else’s blogs, read books, clean my space and help out around my parents house where I’m staying. Phew!
The Daily Routine
Recently, I had a commenter ask: what’s your fitness routine? So here goes:
Light stretching – At a minimum, I start my day with some light Yoga and stretching, we’re talking 5-10 min. If I have time, I’ll head out on a meditation walk. If not, I’m in my car and on my way into Toronto.
Meditation Walk – I enjoy starting my day with what I lovingly call a meditation walk. I’ve never been able to sit still long enough to do traditional meditation, so I start my days with a 20 minute walk with NO music and chant my mantras in my head. It’s extremely focused walking.
After that, I’m either commuting into Toronto for work or working from home depending on the day. Either way, there’s usually a lot of walking throughout the day.
Work from home day – I prefer to get up and move every hour if I’m working from home. I can’t sit at a desk anymore for lengthy periods; it’s just not me. For my lunch break, I’ll go for a 30-minute brisk walk.
On the road day – If I’m on the road in my sales territory, which is in Downtown Toronto, I park my car and walk it the rest of the day. I can’t stand driving in Downtown Toronto and am always happy to get out of my car after an hour and a half commute. On one particular day, I got in 10,996 steps or 11K of walking for work! And I wasn’t wearing running shoes. On the road days could be anything; walking stairs, walking blocks between buildings, rushing through the underground pathway – it’s a pretty lively mix.
After work is generally where I fit my 30-day challenge in along with a run. Why not in the morning? 1. I usually don’t have enough time, and 2. My body just can’t do that intense of a workout first thing.
For those of you that asked, here’s a copy of the 30-day challenge I did. It looks daunting, but it’s not. About halfway through, I realized I could no longer do it all in one go, so I broke it up into 4-5 sets. Much easier! Starting out, the challenge only takes a few minutes and progresses to a full 30 minutes at day 30.
You can download the PDF here.
Now, when I say run, it’s not a traditional run per se. I kind of do a “parkour” type of workout for 20-30 minutes. I’m not super hard-core doing backflips off things but I’ll sprint, run, walk, do side-to-side jumps, I’ll jump off curbs, swing off railings…that type of stuff. I find it works best for me as it keeps my body guessing. When I’m stuck at traffic lights, I’ll do some quick hip-hop dancing or skates (imitating a skaters movement back and forth).
This is MY time. Weekends are for endurance. This is when you’ll find me out cycling 20K+, hiking 12K, or whatever else keeps me moving. I switch it up compared to during the week.
I love switching things up because it can get boring doing the same workout all the time and as I mentioned before, it keeps my body guessing. Why is that good? You’ll keep building muscle, your body will keep burning fat and you’ll find you won’t really hit a plateau.
All of this is done on the cheap around where I live. The only thing I spend money on is running shoes every 6 mos. to a year. No fancy gym memberships, yoga classes or other craziness. I checkout workout videos online, or take them out from the library.
I do have a road bike, a treadmill and a spinning bike. I also have a set of cheapy free weights I’ve had for years. These were investments I chose to make for the winter months or rainy days when I can’t get outside. I can’t stand gyms; I’ve done them and can’t do them anymore.
What’s your fave workout? What’s the most frugal piece of exercise equipment you have? Did you build it or buy it?
As a quick disclaimer, please check with your doctor if you’re unsure that this routine is right for you. Always be careful and work your way slowly into a routine.