It’s 7:30 on a Saturday morning and I’m awake. In fact, I’ve been awake and up since 6:15. So weird. Despite what the experts say about waking up at the same time every day, I love sleeping in on the weekends. I suppose, though, that being up early and getting some stuff accomplished is okay too. You know what else is okay? Naps. And I plan on taking one this afternoon, sometime after going to town to workout and buy groceries and before the snow that we’re supposed to get this weekend hits.
I thought I’d do a health and fitness post this morning since there’s not a whole lot else going on, and because I could use a motivation boost. I said a few posts back that one of my monthly goals was going to be to get back in the gym three days a week. I didn’t meet that goal. I still managed to fit in exercise by taking walks, but there were a couple weeks I only made it to the gym once.
Over these past few weeks, I’ve struggled with activity, meaning I’m not getting enough of it. I can pinpoint a few reasons why:
1. The weather – Sure, it’s a poor excuse, but when it’s cold, I just want to be comfortable, and my idea of comfort is to be at home, warm, and snuggled in my recliner. The chilly temperatures already make me feel stiff and sore, so even though I know that exercise actually helps alleviate that, my brain instantly says “Why would you want to give your body more discomfort than it already has?”
2. Mental fatigue – Once again, I know the science that says exercise helps with mental fatigue, but by the end of the work day, I’m so drained (and sometimes discouraged), that I just don’t want to be around people. So I avoid the gym, and if it’s too cold, I just head home and indulge in sugar therapy instead of sweat therapy.
3. High workload – This one doesn’t have so much to do with making it to the gym as it does with my drop-off of walking activity on breaks and lunch. With the recent change in position, I’ve spent several days over the past couple weeks skipping my lunch hour and eating at my desk so I can fit in some more work. I hate to leave things when I’m on a roll, even though I know it tires me out and my brain needs that break. I’ve given in to the “I can get one more thing done” mentality, so it’s cut down on the twenty to thirty minute walk I was fitting in on my lunch hour. As for breaks…
4. Smoking – …I’ve been spending them with co-workers having a stress relief puff. I have a history with smoking. I used to love doing it, and I still enjoy a cigarette if I’m drinking. I find that the act of smoking and connecting with people helps calm my nerves during times of high stress. Even though I haven’t been drinking, I have been experiencing some anxiety, and this has been my outlet. Yes, I just admitted to trading in a really healthy habit of walking on break for a really unhealthy one of smoking on break.
5. Hydration – My problem with hydration has been a lack of. I’ve been craving soda and sweet coffee drinks. I’m not surprised when I feel sluggish and experience ankle cramps when I exercise because I know I haven’t drank enough water.
While these are all issues I’m relating to physical activity, the fact is that exercising also helps my mental and emotional health, both of which I really need to focus on as well to avoid work burnout and to maintain the level of productivity I currently need.
One of my March goals was to start a strength training routine again, and while I still plan on doing that, I’m also making it a point to face the above listed issues head on. While I can’t do anything about the weather, I can control the other things to an extent.
So the rest of March goals are going to be to handle these issues now and get back on track with the healthy habits I’d started at the beginning of the year: walking on breaks, stopping the smoking, taking lunches, and drinking a lot of water. If I can tackle these and reset my attitude, I think I might set some more challenging goals for April (C25K, I know you’re waiting for me).