I don’t talk very much about exercise on this blog. I’m not sure I’ve ever talked about it, actually. But it’s part of a healthy lifestyle, right?! I should talk about it more.

Without going in to my whole fitness life story, let’s just say that I used to be super active. I did gymnastics as a kid, and as an adult, I’ve been into, yoga, pilates, African dance, hiking, karate (I even got my black belt in the spring of 2010). You name it…I’ve done it. In the last year, however, I stopped doing physical activity on a regular basis. Yes I’d exercise here and there (I still do karate), but I’d also go for weeks at a time and do pretty much nothing. There are lots of reasons (aka excuses) for why this was the case, but as my 41st birthday was approaching a few weeks ago, I decided I needed to do something radical to get myself moving again.

Enter Elizabeth from the fabulous blog Guilty Kitchen. I read this post and knew just what to do. I ordered INSANITY! I got started with the workouts a few days ago, and they are, indeed, pretty insane.

But in a good way ;)

In order to make sure I get my workouts in, I’ve been getting up early to do them. I used to wake long before my kids, make a cup of tea, and settle in at the computer to look at my email, go on twitter, read other blogs, etc. Now I skip all that, opting instead to drink a big glass of water and pop in whichever Insanity DVD I’m doing that day. Experience has taught me that if I don’t get my exercise in first thing, it just doesn’t happen, so as long as I follow through, this schedule is working quite well. I am never hungry when I wake up, so it’s no problem waiting until after I exercise to eat.

What’s your relationship to exercise? What are your secrets for getting regular physical activity? Do you go to a gym? Work out at home? Exercise outside? Or do you skip exercising entirely? Please share with me in the comments section below. Also, if you have any tips for staying motivated, I’d love to hear those, too.

 

37 Comments

  1. 1

    Jessica — August 2, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    I’m like you in that if I don’t do it in the morning, I don’t do it.

    I love pilates, but private lessons are expensive. So I kept my eyes open on Craigslist for a machine; I ended up finding one in great shape for sale in Gardiner, so I got it. I’m not perfect, there are A LOT of mornings I don’t do it, you know all the same reasons (excuses) as everyone else. But when I do it, I feel completely different. More alert, better posture, tighter core, everything just feels better. However…

    I’ve been feeling very sluggish lately, so I started trying something new last week. I get up, pour a glass of juice, and go straight outside to water the garden. It wakes me up somehow. I go out barefoot, get my feet dirty, and start my day like that, and it REALLY gives my day a great jumpstart and I’m ready to do pilates. (or clean or prep dinner) But it REALLY helps to get me going! :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

      Love your start to the day Jessica. And you’re so right about feeling so good after exercise…I do, too.

  2. 2

    Hallie @ Daily Bites — August 2, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

    I, too, have fallen in love with Insanity! I did them every day for a while, but now just pop in a DVD once or twice a week for a variation in my regular routine. It’s a sure way to get a good workout in. I also find that I do best with exercising first thing in the morning. Even a half hour or so after I wake up, I can start thinking of excuses why not to exercise. Take today, for example. I took a few extra minutes of sleep instead of heading out for my hour hike. I now am getting ready to strap on my shoes and head out in 95 degree heat. Not gonna be fun…but this is what happens when I procrastinate! Good luck with the Insanity! :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

      I am so in the same boat Hallie. If I don’t get started first thing in the morning, I get involved with 100 other things and before the day is over, I haven’t exercised! Good for you for getting out there in the heat, though. At least you’re doing it!

  3. 3

    JenniferA — August 2, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    I have a yes/no/sort of answer. Technically, I exercise every single day. I walk my dog a minimum of 30 minutes on weekdays, and as long as 1.5 hours on weekends. But, that’s it. So, my dog is my inspiration for that. :)

    It sounds good, but I know it’s no longer enough as I approach 40. We have pilates classes at work once a week, but not in the summer. I’ve had trouble getting myself into any other routine that sticks.

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

      I don’t know…walking with your dog each day sounds lovely!

  4. 4

    Elizabeth — August 2, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    My inspiration, as I mentioned in my post, is health. Long term health. My family has a history of all sorts of chronic conditions and auto immune disorders. I am hoping that with working out every day, not only will I achieve the rockin’ bod I’ve always wanted ;), but I also get to feel great and have no trouble horsing around with my kids, lugging feed bags for my chickens or any other daily chores that need to be done.

    I always feel great!

    I think to stay motivated though you always have to have goals. Don’t become complacent! My original goal was a six pack, and now it’s a lower body fat %. After that I think I will have to create new goals, like doing ten push ups in a row…without my knees on the floor (guilty!).

    You are doing great Winnie! Keep it up.

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

      I love how committed you are…I am jealous! But really, thanks. Because even if I don’t do it 6 days a week, I will do it 3-4. and that’s a heck of a lot better than where I was 2 weeks ago. And it’s because of you :)

  5. 5

    Bethesda Locavore — August 2, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    I was NEVER a consistent exerciser, just on and off stuff, until after my first child turned one. I had a girlfriend who did this crazy insane early morning bootcamp, and I got hooked on it. It was probably pretty similar to your insanity workout, just outside in ANY weather, with a big group of people. Lots of running all over town for an hour in the dark. It was awesome. Now I’m just kind of swamped with child #2 and haven’t been able to get back into it, and I feel like a pale version of my former boot-camp self. So these Insanity DVDs are very intriguing … I might be able to pull THAT off in the mornings!

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

      There are a few other bloggers who’ve jumped on the Insanity bandwagon…join us and we can all motivate each other!

  6. 6

    The Healthy Hipster — August 2, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

    For me excersize is all about INconsistency. Yes you heard that right. I love to be active every day but I get bored so quickly with regular routines or set schedules. Instead I like to make GENERAL GOALS that are manageable by setting aside 30 every day for an activity of my choosing. Sometimes that looks like a nice long walk, sometimes it looks like hardcore gym time. I feel like when I follow an intuitive excersize schedule like this I naturally push myself but don’t drive myself crazy with it.

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

      I like your perspective. I used to exercise like you- something different everyday- and I think there’s definitely something to be said for doing it this way because you never get bored :)

  7. 7

    SMITH BITES — August 2, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    sigh . . . i WISH i could say that i’ve mastered the whole exercise routine . . . but i cannot; i abhor exercise, i hate sweating – and unlike some claims, sweating does not make me feel good at all – in fact, i want to puke. BUT i know that when i move my body i do feel better, my mind is more alert, i stand straighter and i also know that i can push back the whole aging thing. i have thyroid disease so metabolism equals that of a dead slug; i’ve had to come to terms that i will not leave this earth a thin woman and that moving 30-40 minutes a day has to be good enough regardless of what the scale or the tag size in my clothes says – it does not define me. what matters is that i make the effort – i just have to keep trying . . .

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

      Exercising daily used to take no effort for me. It was one of my top priorities. It somehow fell to the bottom in the last year. I struggle with finding balance in my life in so many ways- figuring out how to fit this in almost daily is just another “struggle”, but I think if I get back into the habit, then I won’t struggle with it anymore.

  8. 8

    marla — August 2, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    I work out every day….clears my head. Keeps me in shape and helps creativity. Not as hard core as I used to be, but gotta do it.

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

      I know you do. And you look great, plus I love that you say it helps creativity. Somewhere along the line I lost the desire to do it every day. Or even every week LOL. Trying to get that feeling of wanting to do it back…

  9. 9

    Kelly Wilson — August 2, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    When I started my weight loss journey in May of 2010, I weighed 353 pounds and never exercised. I had high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. I started watching what I was eating and slowing getting some exercise. My doctors said I was doing well but need to get the weight off for my health so I had gastric bypass on February 7, 2011. In November of 2010, I started eating natural and organic foods, whole grains, nothing white: no white flour, sugar, potatoes, or rice. I started exercising at least three days a week. As of today, I have lost 109 pounds and have 79 pounds to go to reach my goal weight of 165 pounds. Now, I exercise 6 days a week. I go to Curves Monday-Friday and do the circuit. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I do Zumba. Yesterday, I started the C25K program. I am doing that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Saturdays, I mix it up. Sundays I rest. I eat six small meals a day and have stuck with my healthy new eating plan for over a year now, which for my is a lifestyle change.

    • Kelly Wilson replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

      I forgot to mention that I am off one of my blood pressure medications. My doctor expects me to be off all prescription medications by mid-year next year if not sooner.

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

      Kelly,
      That’s beyond amazing. Huge congrats. There are so many reasons to embark on healthy lifestyle changes, and you are living some of them. I am so impressed with your dedication to exercise. I wish I could eat 6 small meals a day…I’ve never been able to make that work for me!

  10. 10

    Kim — August 2, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    My office roped me into running a 10K (on September 17th). Now here’s the problem, I’ve NEVER RUN IN MY LIFE!

    In response, I’ve done three things in the last two weeks: 1) sign up at the gym, 2) get a personal trainer, and 3) start a tennis meetup with a girlfriend.

    Since I’ve just started, I can’t give you any advice on how to stay motivated… but I can promise you I’ll be asking YOU for advice, because I’ll be goin’ right along with you!

    I may also buy the Insanity DVDs next… right after I look up the P90X thing. :-)

    Good luck to you!!!

    [K]

    • Winnie replied: — August 2nd, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

      Hey Kim!
      Wow- good luck! I used to run but since last summer, each time I do my hips hurt. That was one of the reasons I started falling out of shape :(
      The good thing about running is you can start with super short runs, increase a little each week, and before you know it you’ll be running that 10K
      You are on the right track- I LOVE working out with a personal trainer most of all, but it’s so expensive to do long-term. You will love it, though.
      P90X is something I will probably end up with at some point, too…the same group puts it out as Insanity and I think they are both excellent workouts. The main key for me these days is exercise has to be something I can do at home in the morning. Otherwise it’s just not gonna happen…

  11. 11

    Kelly Wilson — August 2, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

    Try the C25K (Couch to 5K) program. It teaches you to run. I started it on yesterday.

    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
    http://www.c25k.com/c25k_treadmill.html

  12. 12

    kate — August 3, 2011 @ 6:40 am

    Wow Winnie! You’re inspiring me!
    Thanks for linking to Elizabeth’s story…she is basically me in a nutshell. So many uncanny similarities {minus the scary sounding spinal surgery!}…even down to the red hair.
    I’m very curious to see how this all goes for you + will be keeping up with your progress! I have a love/hate relationship with food + exercise, and always have. One week I’m on top of it, the next I’m over it.
    Getting up early + getting it done is the only way for me as well. Two years ago I was running daily…doing 5K races 3-4x a year. But, lately my couch potato ways have crept in. Thanks for the inspiration! Best of luck to you :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 3rd, 2011 @ 7:19 am

      Isn’t it crazy how quickly the couch potato ways come back? I got really comfortable with not exercising. The thing I like about Insanity is that the workouts are only about 40 minutes long. Not a huge time commitment, no driving to and from the gym or figuring out what to do with my kids. I’m all done with Insanity for today and they are still sleeping. Yay!

  13. 13

    Urwhatu8 — August 3, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    I must exercise in the morning as well. Over the years I have acquired the makings of a home gym. I call it “no excuses” exercising. Rain, snow, sleet and hail can’t manage to get in my gym and thwart my endeavor. I own a recumbent bike, many free weights, Bosu ball, treadmill and Skier’s Edge. Most days I do some sort of interval training usually with a warm up on treadmill and then one minute speed bursts on the Skiers Edge. This gets my heart rate pumping but because of the nature of interval training:
    1. You can exercise for less time…I usually do 8 intervals with one minute walks between each.
    2. It has been shown to be a better exercise for the heart…google it.
    3. I need to be able to increase my reflexes and speed in skiing as I race on a team.
    Speaking of which, I’m 63 and came in second in the NASTAR Nationals in the Platinum division last spring…yahoo!
    I don’t allow myself a cup of coffee until I’ve done my exercises.

    • Winnie replied: — August 3rd, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

      Insanity is pretty much Interval Training on steroids. How awesome is that that you are a ski racer?! I am very impressed. Love the coffee deal you’ve made with yourself…whatever works, right?!

  14. 14

    Maria — August 3, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    I am 33 weeks pregnant and still going strong:) I am still going to Body Pump and Body Combat class. I also walk every day. I like to exercise first thing in the morning so nothing gets in the way.

    • Winnie replied: — August 3rd, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

      Maria that is amazing. Your body will totally bounce back after the baby! I was like you until I turned 40. Was kinda downhill from there but I am trying to turn it around LOL.

  15. 15

    LiztheChef — August 3, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I’m pretty faithful to my yoga twice a week but am lagging badly on my walking. I have trained and walked 4 3DAY (60 miles) Komen walks in the past – now I’m lucky to walk 2 miles. The heat makes me wither but I used to get up early. C’mon, Liz, get in gear again…

    • Winnie replied: — August 3rd, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

      The heat is so tough Liz. It’s been so wretched here that if I don’t exercise first thing it’s just impossible. The key for me is not sitting down at the computer when I wake up. If I do, an hour can pass into thin air and then the likelihood of exercising at all goes WAY down.

  16. 16

    Gluten Free Vanilla Cupcakes | Healthy Green Kitchen — August 3, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    [...] combination I used, I thought these were pretty awesome! Good thing I’ve been doing lots of exercise [...]

  17. 17

    My Nike Training Club App Experience Week 1 | Healthy Green Kitchen — August 3, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    [...] I mentioned in my last post, I started doing Insanity about a week and a half ago. It’s an amazing cardio workout: one [...]

  18. 18

    Jessica — August 3, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    Sometimes it’s hard for me to motivate myself to exercise – I absolutely love the feeling of power, health and accomplishment that I get when I finish, but sometimes the thought of it beforehand is so daunting. I try to nudge myself in the right direction by putting on workout clothes first thing in the morning (especially if I won’t have time to work out until later in the day, this helps keep me focused), and never tie myself down to one particular routine. If it’s a workout day and I don’t feel up to it, I try to go for a walk, do yoga, or compromise with myself and try at least a shortened version of a regular circuit. I really try not to be too hard on myself if I miss a day here or there. Mostly I do Jillian Michaels tapes, but I’ll switch it up with kick-boxing, tennis or the treadmill every so often.

    • Winnie replied: — August 3rd, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

      Putting on workout clothes first thing is great. I do that, but I can’t tell you how many times in the past it still didn’t mean I worked out LOL. I tried a Jillian Michaels DVD once, but I never did it again for some reason! Your schedule sounds great, though…very varied and that’s wonderful.

  19. 19

    Aggie — August 3, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    First of all, how awesome for you to be doing those Insanity workouts! I saw a commercial for them and they just made me nervous, lol. Hardcore!

    I am a morning exerciser. On days I don’t exercise I don’t feel as great. I love all kinds, but my favorites are swimming, running, spinning, yoga & pilates. I’m ready to run outside again though it’s still just too warm for me. I mostly workout at the gym due to childcare, but I would prefer to run outside when the weather is nice.

    I totally agree with Marla on the helping with creativity part. On the days I run outside my mind is exploding with ideas…I wish I could capture it all b/c most of the time by the time I’m done, I forgot everything, lol. :)

    • Winnie replied: — August 3rd, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

      Aggie- Insanity is hard but you just go at your own pace. Sometimes I cheat a little when there’s something I just can’t do at full capacity. Today, though, it seemed like it got a little easier, but I think it was just cause we got a break in the weather. It sounds like you are super active, so that is awesome!

  20. 20

    Barbara | Creative Culinary — August 5, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    I used to be super active. Walked, rode a bike, swam; then I broke my leg and messed up almost everything possible and it’s been 18 months and I’m just getting back in gear. Talk about life changing. I’ve had days where a walk through the grocery store was exhausting and four days of activity two weekends ago saw me take a week to recuperate. But recuperate I am and I’m starting to take short walks again, albeit with a cane.

    The one huge improvement for me? I’m starting to sleep again. Lots of responsibility coupled with an injury that made getting things done does create a bit of stress so I would wake most nights in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to sleep. The exercise isn’t just good for my body to get back into the shape I’m more comfortable with (yes, I gained some weight from sitting on my butt the better part of a year!), it’s doing a better job than Tylenol PM!