When Aunt Flo visited two days ago, I had to take a day off from my workouts. This is a time during which some women actually feel best picking things up and sweating it out, but this time, I just needed to use the holiday to its full allowance and stay in bed a little extra.
By the time yesterday morning came around, my body really felt the effects of not having been exercised, and I could almost feel the pent-up energy in my muscles calling me to change into my workout gear and begin. I didn’t have a particular plan for what to do. I knew a good sweat and muscle resistance training would do the job of helping me to feel good and balanced once again.
Once I was ready and had drunk as much of my cup of coffee as possible, I headed for my workout. Even as someone who loves to exercise, I still face that nagging feeling that calls me to procrastinate on some days. Sometimes, if I’m going outside, it’s cold, or sometimes, if I know the workout will be hard (as yesterday), a little bit of dread creeps up.
Delaying the event is probably not the best habit to get into, but that is what I did with my cup of coffee, something that is part of my morning routine anyway. It made me feel like there was nothing else I could use as an excuse to get my day started. And yesterday, my day was going to start with a workout!
I put on a new podcast I am trying out. It’s called The Tony Robbins Podcast, and I selected the latest episode called “Becoming Michael Phelps.” This podcast is brand-new to me, so I was just trying it out, but I figured I could do that while doing my cardio. It worked well.
I stepped on my home elliptical machine and took a look at the time. Even though I was tempted to set a goal of 45 minutes or 60 minutes, I held back. I have been doing my best to use Meb’s advice about holding back during everyday training in order to put in effort sustainably and avoid burnout and injury.
I knew that 45 or 60 minutes on that particular elliptical machine (the lowest resistance is still quite hard) would be a challenge I’d need a day to recover from, whereas 30 minutes would still be a big challenge, but I would be able to do the rest of my workout after it and then come back for yet another one the next day!
So I went ahead, bringing my podcast along, and started pedaling. It was challenging. I really don’t understand why running, which burns more calories, is so much easier for my lungs than the elliptical machine, but it is. Midway through my thirty minutes, I staggered a little and had to take a couple of breaks to catch my breath.
Even though I was tempted to stop 10 minutes before the end and then 5 minutes before, I didn’t. A voice in my head tried to tempt me into thinking it wouldn’t make a big difference, that I was doing only 30 minutes and that 25 minutes would be practically the same thing. Well, I stuck to my goal, and I’m happy about that, even if it wasn’t as easy as stopping.
By then, the podcast episode was just about finished. I got a drink of water and rested for a minute or two before setting up my yoga mat, dumbbells, booty band, and roller wheels.
I opened Spotify and put on Ben Harper’s album “Welcome to the Cruel World,” and started with run-of-the-mill aerobics and fitness strength moves. The dumbbells weigh about 5 pounds, and I used them to do sets of 8–12 repetitions of bicep curls, hammer curls, tricep pull-ups (and push backs), squats with arm raises while holding the weights, and chest flies while lying down.
I also did resistance exercises to work my inner and outer thighs and my glutes with the resistance band (booty band). I got my bands from the Tone It Up shop, but I believe Amazon has them too.
Finally, I did some back and forth rolling with the roller wheel. This is really challenging for my upper back and shoulders and my abs. It’s really a whole body movement that requires both strength and control.