Whirlwind days

tornado in Italy

Late last night, the latest weather system arrived and I was awakened by heavy rain and wind beating against my back bedroom window. The wind was coming mainly from the south and it picks up a lot of speed across the large open field behind my house before it starts battering the back windows. My daughters are fortunate that neither of their shared bedroom windows face south, but I’m not so lucky and I’m often “treated” to the sounds of wind and rain.

The rain had mostly stopped when I got up this morning, but the wind persisted through the day and only recently calmed down a bit. Once I got my daughters on their respective buses, I sat down at my desk and got started on this week’s writing work. I made great progress and by 11 a.m., I was ready to work out with Zumba.

Not wanting to jump back into working out too fast after having bronchitis, I kept my exercise regimine to walks with Jazzmin. As that went well and didn’t leave me any more exhausted than before I became sick, I decided this week was the right time to start Zumba again. Now that the weather is turning nicer, I can do Zumba and walk Jazzmin daily, which makes both of us very happy!

I smiled through the entire 20 minute Zumba aerobic workout (I figured starting small/short was best) because it felt SO good to have energy again! I don’t mind working up a sweat during physical exertion and after the aerobic and ab workouts, I was ready for my shower.

It’s wonderful to be back to my usual routine and finally getting ahead with work instead of just keeping up with assignments. When I fill my days with work and working out they tend to move with whirlwind speed, but I’m okay with that because being sick and slow was anything but fun!

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Workout tips for those who hate working out

hilly country road

Looking up the road toward home this evening.

I’m sure there are people who love working out. They probably live for a nice long run, or spending hours in the gym, or taking hundreds of laps in the pool. To them I say good for you! Nonetheless, I’m not someone who loves working out, but I do it anyway and I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with those who want to be healthier but don’t revel in the idea of working out.

Don’t Wait

If you’re waiting to work out until you feel the desire to work out, it’s probably never going to happen. Just get up off your butt and workout.

I have days where I really don’t want to work out, but I make myself do it anyway. My favorite part of a workout is usually when it’s over because then it’s time to wash the sweat off and that’s also when I feel really proud of myself for doing it.

Make a plan, not excuses

You have to plan time for exercise into your daily schedule because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself making excuses for not working out such as “I’m too busy.”

During a “normal” week when my daughters have school on my days to have them I’m able to do the first half of the week’s work and then fit in a workout before or after lunch. On days when I don’t have my daughters, my schedule is much more flexible and I’m able to accomplish more writing work and college work while still fitting in a workout. When it’s nice weather, my workout might be taking Jazzmin on a nice long walk and sometimes if I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll do a walk and a DVD workout or free weights.

Expect challenges

In order to see results, your workout needs to challenge you physically, but beyond that, you also have to expect things that will challenge your ability and availability to work out.

A good example of this happened to me last Thursday when unexpected events made my morning errands run longer than usual and left me so stressed out, I just came home and took a nap. Yes, I could have dealt with that stress by working out, but I just didn’t have it in me that day. My body and mind wanted rest, so I obliged them. My evening proved too busy to work out because I had my mother over for dinner and my oldest daughter had her chorus concert so Thursday turned into an unplanned rest day.

I had my daughters this past weekend and while I managed a workout Saturday, Sunday was full to the brim so I had two rest days last week when I usually only take one. Nonetheless, I didn’t take all that as a reason to stop working out altogether. In fact, I not only did the Zumba step workout today, I did the Zumba ab workout and took Jazzmin on an evening walk down and then back up the steep road I live on. If it’s possible to make up missed workout days, I certainly accomplished that today!

Eat better

All the working out in the world won’t help (well, maybe it will if you work out 24/7) if you’re still eating an unhealthy diet. You have to be willing to make changes in what you eat or you’re undermining all the sweating you’re doing.

I’ve had to accept that eating cupcakes with the girls isn’t going to reduce my squishiness and that eating a chicken Caesar salad is a better, healthier lunch than creamy macaroni and cheese. I still have cravings for sweet things but I make healthier options as I did tonight. My girls usually want ice cream in the evening and it sounded good to me too so I made up some frozen yogurt with my handy Ninja blender and put it in the freezer. When my girls had ice cream, I had my homemade frozen yogurt and it satisfied my craving perfectly while being filled with protein and calcium.

 I’m sure there are better fitness experts out there that can give great tips, but those are just a few things I’ve learned over my years of working out and eating better. Being healthy isn’t something you can just do long enough to lose weight, you have to make it part of your whole lifestyle or you’ll end up back where you started. Life doesn’t move backward, it moves forward so grab your sneaks and hit the pavement with your pup as you head into a better, longer future.