Food & Fitness

What to do when you can’t hit the gym

This month my big plan was to make it to the gym once every couple of days and tone up really well. I kinda forgot how life can get in the way of such plans.

February has been busier than I expected, what with a lot to do at the office (we’re hosting a conference this weekend!), the annual Fundrive event at the radio station I volunteer at, Mr. Science leaving town to do field work for a week… Somehow I’ve found myself with a lot of things to do in the evening that I hadn’t planned for – or I’ve just been plain exhausted! – which has prevented me from going to the gym. Or maybe, it hasn’t prevented me from going to the gym, but it hasn’t made the gym look super inviting, and it hasn’t been easy to go.

After about a week of not going to the gym or doing any exercise at all besides my usual walking to and from work, I decided I needed to find a backup plan for the days that the gym just isn’t going to work out (hehe! I like my fitness puns).

And since I love making lists so much, my backup plan was to create an Excel spreadsheet of a ton of different exercises! I color-coded them to separate arms, legs, core, cardio, gym classes and workout DVDs. I have the date listed across the top, so that I can see the entire month all at once. And that way I can punch in the number of reps or minutes that I do each exercise every day. It’s excellent!

30 day shred

Super badass.

When you can see all of the exercises laid out before you, it’s hard not to say, “okay, I’ll do 20 calf raises right now.” Ten minutes later you’re doing 20 bicycle crunches. Before the day is over, you can easily have pumped out 10 different exercises, and by that point you probably want to throw in some jumping jacks or other cardio. Yes: exercise can be this easy.

The other great thing that I rediscovered while creating my pretty spreadsheet is the workout DVD! Jillian Michaels is my favourite – especially her 30 Day Shred. A 20-minute crazy-intense workout? Yes please. It’s a nice way to start the morning.

If you decide to go the awesome Excel spreadsheet route, here’s a good tip: create a shortcut link to the document on your desktop. That way you see it as soon as you turn on the computer. No excuses!

What do you do when your gym visits are foiled?

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