How to Workout When You Just Can’t

Sometimes, I find Alexander and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to be extremely relatable. Today I had planned to till the back yard. When I woke up, it was raining and even after it started drying up, the tiller wouldn’t start. Now I’m moody and I skipped my workout anticipating the yard work. So, what are we going to do about it?

Well, not working out is not really an option. Not for me anyway. Rest days are definitely good and you should have them. I just don’t really define rest days as days where I don’t do anything at all. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t sometimes skip your workout. We all have really bad days, get sick, are too busy, or have other reasons to just… skip it. But on days when I want something light or if I just don’t want to work out because I’m in a bad mood, this is a better option.

10 Minutes of Yoga

We’re going to start this lazy workout with some really good yoga. Now, don’t get me wrong, Yoga can get super intense and there are moves that have me on my booty after a few seconds of trying to hold the position. But it’s also easy to do the easy stuff! Yoga is great because anyone can do it and most of the basic stuff, you don’t even need any extra equipment. Here’s my lazy day yoga routine:


Minimum Effort Cardio

This is a bit harder but honestly, you should still get your heart rate up even if you’re not going for your usual run. You can go through this routine pretty quickly though:

  • 10 Mountain Climber
  • 30 Seconds Run in Place
  • 20 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 High Knees
  • 30 Seconds of butt-kicks
  • 30 Seconds of Jump Rope (optional)

Repeat this another two times to get a decent cardio workout on an off day!

No Equipment Strength Workout

I think a lot of these are good for at-home workouts anyway, even on normal days. Just increase or decrease your intensity or reps. I won’t give exact numbers on this, it’s just good ideas for what you want to include in your rest-day workout.

Arms:

  • YTW’s
  • Push-ups
  • Planks
  • Arm Circles
  • Cross Punches
  • Walkouts

Core:

  • Sit-ups
  • Glute Bridge
  • Dead Bugs
  • Bird Dogs
  • Elbow Planks with Reach

Legs:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Side Lunges
  • Wall Sit
  • Bicycle Kicks
  • Donkey Kicks
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What I’ve Learned So Far and Day 9 Update

It’s been a bit over a week now that I’ve been consistently working out and honestly, I have a lot of thoughts.

The difference isn’t immediate

For one thing, it’s almost hard to say if I feel better or not. I always kind of figured that if I was working out consistently and eating better, I’d notice the difference right away. I will say that I think I have a bit more energy overall.

That goes for your weight too

I also thought that I’d see a bigger drop in my weight-loss right off the bat. A lot of people and blogs have said that there’s a big drop at the beginning and then it kind of plateaus. It’s possible that I just haven’t hit that point yet, but for right now, it just seems to be at a steady, healthy level of weight-loss. I’ve dropped about two pounds and am optimistic that I can lose a bit more soon.

Finding a good middle-ground

In the past I’ve gone into getting in shape really hard and with little to no build up. This time I think I’ve found a really good pace that is definitely pushing me, but it’s not pushing so hard that I can’t keep going. It’s one of the biggest problems I’ve had. Everyone’s middle-ground is going to be different too. Mine feels so low but I’ve worked up to running a mile and I’m starting to feel better about my basic routine.

Counting calories is so hard!

The most important thing starting off is to just LOG EVERYTHING. You really have to get into a good habit of recording everything you eat (and drink if it’s not water). It’s super tempting right off the bat to lie to your calorie counter. “I only ate 15 chocolate covered raisins, plus 10 you don’t need to know about” only hurts you in the long run. Your calorie counter couldn’t care less if you lie to it. It’s YOU who should care. Now that I’m starting to get into that good habit, the next step is actually cutting back on calories. That’s super hard too. The best advice I’ve seen for it is to change your mindset. Don’t focus on how much it sucks you can’t have ice cream or how it will make you skinny to skip that dessert. Instead focus on whether or not you’re hungry to begin with or if that food option is the one that’s going to make you feel best long term.

Find a rewards system

We are reward oriented. It’s so helpful to have a reward system set up for yourself so you can get through the day-to-day. Focusing long term can be super hard. Yes, long term your reward is feeling better and maybe something else you’ve promised yourself down the road. But it can make it easier if you also promise yourself small things like “If I stay below my calorie count this week, Friday I can have frozen yogurt!”

My Day 9 Mini Update

I want to see rewards so bad. Today was a rest day so I just did a mile at the gym. I’ve got a lot going on and I’m not sure when I’ll have time for everything. Just have to focus on moving one step in front of the other, I suppose.

My Second Week Workout and Day 8 Update

It’s the first day of Week 2 in my health journey and I’m so excited to keep going. I had a super early run this morning and I still need to get in my HIIT workout for the day (if you guys are interested in seeing what I’m doing, you can find that workout here). My biggest issue hasn’t actually been with keeping up my workouts, but more with counting my calories. It’s just so ingrained in me that I want to snack, it’s hard to resist in the name of weightloss.

As for what I’ve included in my second week workout and why, my bare minimum is to do cardio every day. Most days that means at least a mile on the treadmill, but I’ve included the stair climber and elliptical on one day to help me train for going on more hikes this summer. The end goal there is to not be panting on a 1 mile trail. Since the stairs are a bit higher impact I thought I’d split that day with a low impact elliptical run to finish it off.

The HIIT workouts are intense but a fun challenge and really push you to your limit. I’m still modifying the planks and burpees a bit, but we’re getting better. Later this week, I’ll post exactly what my arm, leg, and core day workouts look like so you can train with me if you’d like.

On a final note, I’m so happy to be a part of Amazon’s Affiliate program, especially because I get to share with you guys a special offer for Audible. I love listening to audio books when I workout, especially Harry Potter. And right now, if you guys sign up for a free trial through my link here, you get TWO free audio books. It’s such a great tool for your day, and you can help support this blog!

Motivational Monday #1

I thought it’d be cool to do a weekly motivational post because I know I need a boost, so maybe I can spread some good vibes.

For those just getting started:

The mere fact that you’re starting is awesome! It’s the first step down a path that may not be easy or fun the whole time, but it’s definitely worth it. With each day that you keep going you prove to yourself how strong you are. You’re doing what you need to in order to make your body strong and healthy. Just remember that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, so pace yourself and keep moving forward.

If you feel like you can’t keep going:

The best advice I’ve ever heard is to assume that everyone is doing the absolute best they can do. Sometimes the best you can do for that day isn’t the same as everyone else’s best or even your best from the day before. It’s okay. Do what you can. The most important thing is that you don’t just stop. When you’re running and you get out of breath, it’s easier to get your pace back if you slow down to a jog instead of stopping outright. Rest days and light days are good for you and help you to keep going! Even if you just go for a walk today, it’ll make it easier for you to get back to your workout tomorrow. You’ve got this.

Original Photo by Nandhu Kumar from Pexels

If you missed a workout or broke your diet goals:

It can be easy to get down on yourself for it, but it won’t help. Instead of focusing on what you did wrong, name one thing you did right and one thing you’ll do moving forward. This way you can be proud of your accomplishments and have goals to focus on. This isn’t to say you should ignore your mistakes. Simply acknowledge what you can do differently next time so you can learn and do even better.

Day 6 Quick Update: I lost weight!

I’m not sure what amount of weightloss is really reasonable to celebrate but I’ve officially lost two pounds as of this morning. I did a pretty light workout today because the last few days have been so hard. Tomorrow is the last day to meet my updated weekly goal of running one full mile in one go. Maybe the rest will help and I can do it all in one go. Either way, progress is progress.

I feel like I’ve kind of been skimping on blog content and I don’t have anything ready for today. Lots of ideas and partially completed projects, but none worthy to put up quite yet. Among my plans include: more healthy recipes, healthy meal plans, workout schedules, and motivational pieces. If you guys want to see anything specific, please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, I promise to have some new content for you soon.

Day 5 Update: Wins and Losses

It’s post workout and I’m EXHAUSTED. The good news is, I was able to run a whole mile today, even thought it was broken up a bit. I did .75 miles in one push and then the last .25 broken up with walking in between. It doesn’t seem like much but for me, it’s HUGE. Once I get a mile to be my norm, I can start working on improving my mile time and increase the distance a bit more for a higher intensity day. The ideal I’d like to build up to is running a mile 6 days a week, building heavy and light workouts around it.

Once I got home from the gym, I moved onto my HIIT workout that I posted this morning. I’m curious if any of you tried it and if so, how it went? I won’t lie, even though I made that workout to be lower intensity, I still had to modify the burpees. For one, jumping like that is just super hard on my knees. Additionally, I still am a little weak on my pushups so I still do the modified ones. Even so, I did all three reps and I feel super tired but awesome.

I think in the next few days I may make a post on how to modify some exercises for beginners. I see a lot of them for stretches but it’s less so for at-home exercises.

I’m super happy with this blog. It’s motivated me a lot to keep pushing myself and I enjoy being able to talk about what’s working for me. I hope that it’s helping someone else, even just to see that they’re not alone in struggling.

I do think I’m pushing myself a bit hard so tomorrow I’m going to have a really light day. I’m not sure what I’ve decided for that yet.

I also intend to put together a more formal plan so that A. I have a solid outline to follow and B. anyone else can follow along with me.

My legs and arms feel like jell-o and I still have a lot to do today! Wish me luck.

Let’s Try: HIIT Workout!

I’ve heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts before and am definitely interested to try them. It’s supposed to be great cardio because pushing your heart rate up and then taking short rests in between makes your body crave oxygen and boosts what a lot of experts call “The Afterburn Effect.” Most articles I’ve read on HIIT attribute part of the fad to a survey the American College of Sports Medicine on Fitness Trends for 2017. But I’ve seen some date the trend back to 2014.

Here’s why I’m interested in it:

  1. No equipment
  2. Supposedly boosts metabolism
  3. Increases your heart rate without running

I have a gym membership but so far I’ve been focusing more on the cardio machines. For some reason, I’m slightly hesitant to have people watch me grunt out a 50lb bench press. I intend to get up to it soon, I just want to build up my confidence mostly.

I’ve seen a few HIIT workouts online but I’m interested in piecing together my own, in part because some of them seem past my ability right now and in part because since I already am running, I’d like to pick out a few lower-impact exercises. So below is the HIIT workout I’ll try after my cardio today. I’d love for you guys to try it with me and tell me what you think!