The other day I read a great post on T-rex to Tigress about trying not to feel guilty about skipping a workout.
While yes, we do want to create a routine and stick to it….while yes, we don’t want to constantly let ourselves off the hook and make up excuses to miss our workouts….We do also have to recognize that sometimes life is going to get in the way and that sometimes WE HAVE TO CUT OURSELVES SOME SLACK!
Sometimes our routine gets interrupted. Sometimes our body just gets worn out. Sometimes our mind gets completely fried.
Sometimes we just need a day off even if we’d made other plans.
And if our body or mind really needs the day off, there is no reason to feel guilty. The day off will help us recover and become re-energized to take on all the upcoming challenges.
That recovery day will actually help us reach our goals more quickly if we need it.
Nothing bad is going to happen to our progress, to our results, to our health or even our routine if we make an educated decision to take a day off.
HOWEVER, there are times when we aren’t able to make it to the gym because life interferes that we can still get in a workout – that we still really want to get in a good workout.
So if you decide that life has interfered yet you still really really WANT and NEED to get in a workout (and it wouldn’t be better for your body and mind to take the day off), here are a couple of great ways to get in a quick workout WITHOUT going to the gym.
1. GO FOR A WALK! – Even if your body and mind or worn down, a walk is a great option! Walks are a great form of active recovery and they give your mind a chance to relax and de-stress. Go for a short walk around your neighborhood or even meet up with some friends for a chat session!
2. DO A WORKOUT AT HOME – While it may not be what you originally had planned or even as tough as what you planned to do, IT IS STILL A WORKOUT. Doing anything is generally better than nothing if you can’t make it to the gym because of time or energy. Doing something keeps you in the routine of working out. And usually once you get moving, you end up working pretty hard! Keep a few go-to home workouts around to make it even easier to stay on track!
3. SET A TIMER FOR 15 MINUTES – Short on time so you can’t go to the gym? Short on the motivation to really put in a long, hard workout? Then simply do a short intense workout at home! At least once if not twice a week, my workouts are no longer than 15 minutes…and even though they are short, they are far from easy. Sometimes I find it is easier though to motivate myself to workout when I know it will be over quickly. Pick 3-4 moves and put them into a circuit. Do as many rounds as possible until the timer runs out! Heck, sometimes you can even just put a timer on for 5 minutes as choose one exercise and do it without stopping the entire time. Like 5 minutes of burpees. Or 5 minutes of bear crawls. It may only be 5 minutes, but if you do not rest and try to move as quickly as possible the entire time, you will be exhausted!
4. GO PLAY! – Working out doesn’t have to mean going for a long run or going to the gym and lifting weights. Working out can be playing with your kids at the playground or stand up paddling or surfing or hiking or any FUN ACTIVITY where you are moving. So next time your friend really needs to meet up to chat and you feel like you just can’t ditch her, don’t just go to dinner to talk! Take your conversation on the road and be active. Getting moving could be good for you both and may help you both de-stress! No it isn’t your planned workout, but simply moving will make you feel better and is good for your health!
5. DO YOGA…OR PILATES – While both yoga and pilates are tough workouts, they can also be good for recovery. I have a Yoga workout I can easily do at home on days when my body needs a break but I still want to move. Plus if you are stressed or tired, it can be easier to motivate yourself to do a workout that you know won’t completely slaughter you and that you don’t have to travel anywhere to do. You may even find that going to the gym to do a Pilates or Yoga class makes it easier to push yourself to go to the gym on a day when you wouldn’t for a more intense workout.
What all the tips above basically show is that something is better than nothing, especially if we are trying to keep ourselves on a routine to create new healthy habits.
Life is going to get in the way sometimes, but the best thing we can do is not stress or feel guilty when that happens.
Heck, sometimes you even just need the day off.
But whatever happens, it is best not to stress. And if you really do want that workout…Well…Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
How do you handle life getting in the way of your routine?
P.S. Thought it was interesting to read T-Rex to Tigress’s post since most of my writing about life getting in the way has been about diet. But life most definitely can get in the way of working out too!
Here is also a great post by 43Fitness about life getting in the way (AKA TRAVEL/VACATION) and how she handles it. Thought she had some great rules!
Last week was my Recovery week from all my super heavy lifts and my 10-7-3-1 workouts.
Sometimes my “recovery” workouts aren’t easy at all. Sometimes they are simply DIFFERENT exercises and “lighter loads” than what I’ve been doing.
Sometimes they simply require my body to move in a different way than it’s been moving for the last 3-5 weeks.
I also love doing single limb movements and more bodyweight moves during my recovery workouts. These moves aren’t EASY though. I just find they really force me to work more on activation and correcting imbalances.
Recovery doesn’t always mean time off and it doesn’t always mean EASY.
Here is my far from easy (and actually made me super super sore) recovery Glute Workout from this past week.
Recovery Glute Workout
Foam roll – lower legs, hamstrings, hips, back
Stretch – Calves, hamstrings, hips
Activate – Glutes with lateral and monster band walks
8-12 reps each side Single Leg Deadlift holding double kettlebells
(Increase weight with each round if possible unless 8 rep max hit. Keep standing leg slightly bent and back flat as you hinge over. Hold one kettlebell in each hand by your side. Do not let your back round as you hinge over.)
8-12 reps each side Single Leg Glute Bridge Off Box
(Heel up on box and bridge up. If you can’t get up as high as with a two leg bridge then stick with a single leg bridge off the ground)
8-12 reps each side Curtsy Lunge holding double kettlebells
(Increase weight with each round if possible unless 8 rep max hit. Make sure as you lunge back and come to standing that you are in full control of the lunge and driving off the heel of the front leg. Really cross behind and keep your chest up as you lunge. Hold each kettlebell down by your side.)
8-12 reps each side Single Leg Step Down
(Start standing on the box as if doing a lateral step up. Step down to the side of the box, hinging over a bit as you lower down. Lower down slowly. Do not let the foot going down fully touch the ground. Only let the toe lightly graze the ground and then press quickly back up to standing. Only go as low as you can control. DO NOT push back up off the ground!! The higher the box the harder the move.)
40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest
Heavy Kettlebell Swings
While these moves didn’t use the heavy loads that many of my lifts have required recently, the loads were still heavy and CHALLENGING for the moves I did.
And the bodyweight bridges and bodyweight step downs were far from easy.
These moves all challenged my glutes to work and stabilize to become stronger for my heavy lifts. Since they were also single limb movements my dominate leg couldn’t take over and compensate. My weaker leg was forced to work equally hard, which helps to correct any imbalance that may exist.
And my butt was sore for days actually and my glutes were definitely shaking a bit during the workout.
My rest periods were also very short during the workout since I wasn’t trying to lift my max, making it a rather quick workout. However, I did rest enough that I could still use CHALLENGING weights and give a good work output each and every round.
The little conditioning blast at the end was also short and sweet. It worked on grip strength and power. It also got my heart rate up a bit while working my glutes that last little bit to utterly fatigue them.
What do your recovery week workouts look like? Do you simply take the week off or do you do workouts to work on your weak points?