You know how they say you should only make one really big change in your life at a time? Well, I completely ignored that advice and moved in with my boyfriend and started a new, very different job at the same time. This meant that my beloved routine went very much out the metaphorical window as I settled into my new normal – which didn’t include much exercise for a while there.
For most of my life, exercise or sport has helped shaped my routine. It is something I’ve always held onto through life changes – moving from school to university, from university to full time work, and back to university then back to full time work. It’s gotten me through stressful university exam periods, jobs where I’ve been unhappy, bad break ups and it’s the first thing I turn to as a pick me up when I’m feeling low. But when I moved and started my job earlier this year, exercise went entirely out of the window while I struggled to get into a new routine. A happy Amy I was not.
When I reflect on how I’ve always held onto exercise, and how I feel when I don’t make the effort to get moving, it’s pretty clear that I’m generally a better person when I exercise regularly – and to be honest, you probably are too. With this in mind, I’ve worked really hard to get back into a work out routine. My week now looks something like this:
Monday: 45 minute circuit class
Tuesday: circuit or cardio through Aaptiv (although I usually do this after work and at the moment I’m skipping Tuesdays because I’m doing a creative writing class)
Wednesday: 45 minute boxing class
Thursday: 45 minute strength class.
I take these classes at lunchtime, as I’m fortunate enough to have a gym in the office. If I can’t get to one of these classes, then I try to replicate it as best I can after work. If I miss the circuit class on Monday, I’ll find out what the circuit was on Monday at lunchtime and go through it myself. If I miss boxing on Wednesday, I’ll take a cycling class on Aaptiv instead, and if I miss strength then I’ll go to gym and do a weights session. On the weekends, I’ll try to get in a long walk or outdoor circuit if I can, but I’m not too hard on myself if I don’t get to it.
Some other things that have helped me get back into this routine:
1/ Finding a workout buddy: I cannot tell you how much this has helped. I go to the lunchtime classes with a co-worker, and knowing I’ve got a boxing partner or even just someone there to remind me that it’s time to go has worked wonders for my motivation. Even if I did recently punch her in the face by accident – awks.
2/ Scheduling the classes into my diary like they are meetings: time is precious and gym time is sacred. If it’s not in the diary, it’s not happening so this has been a crucial step in forming my routine.
3/ Variety of exercise – this is key for me. Knowing that I’m not doing the same type of exercise every day helps with creating the routine and gets me excited to go to the gym. 4
/ Seeing and celebrating success. This is a no-brainer. The more you do something, the better you get at it. Exercise it no exception – the more I exercise, the stronger I get, the better I feel and the more I can exercise. I make a mental note of when I lift heavier weights in strength class, or can push myself harder to get more rounds in during circuit class. The fact my clothes are feeling better doesn’t hurt either!
As a result of all of this, I can feel myself getting stronger and leaner, plus my thinking is clearer and I’m generally calmer. To this end, I really want to work yoga into the mix because I think it would do me, a very anxious person, a lot of good mentally, plus I think I really need the stretch too. I’m thinking Friday mornings before work would be a good time to practise yoga.