x5 tips for turning busyness into activeness

Technology frees up time. But the tragedy is that we use that spare time to be even more busy. We work more instead of doing the things that bring us joy. There have been a couple of articles floating around describing society’s busyness as an epidemic. Our self-created stress. 

The crazy thing is that we sacrifice the activities that help de-stress us. Our hobbies, our down time, the time for gym, running, cycling, playing with the kids or walking the dog. Making time has become harder and harder. Notice, I said “making” and not “finding” because as my running Junkie friend Brenda always reminds me, you will never find time. You need to make it.

So in making time to be active, here are a few tips:

  1. Pack your gym bag for the whole week, not just one session. I fill my bag with x4 gym kits for the week ahead. Socks, tops, the works. This commits me to training for the entire week with no excuse that I did not have time to pack my bag.Gym
  2. Try a service such as UCook which helps take the pain of deciding what to buy & cook away. We have been testing out UCook for the last three weeks. The big win is that supper is decided a week ahead & when I get home, all I do is grab the brown paper bag full of delicious fresh groceries out of the fridge and off I go. No need to think of creative meals and defrost and prepare. All of this is done for you!img_4239
  3. Train whenever & wherever you go. I had almost cancelled a meal at my Dad last week because I had not yet completed day 4 of my training program. I realized that doing the program would be simple enough to do in his lounge, while he cooked supper. I arrived at his place, threw my gym mat on the floor and with Shadow, my favorite dog, circling me, I managed to do my x3 sets of squats and lunges (before we tucked into macaroni cheese).img_3911.jpg
  4. Monitor your steps. I’ve started to track my steps during the day to monitor when I’ve been vegging at my desk and only taken 3000 steps compared to some days when I’m able to reach a goal of 10 000 steps. On the low days, it’s easy to re-route myself and take the stairs to the staff parkade and even head out for a 20 minute walk to watch the sun set, just to ensure I’ve moved.
  5. Weekday/weekend runs are the new coffee catchups. Meeting up with a friend for a walk or run is the killing two birds with one stone philosophy. You have no idea how much chatting you do when you’re running together, but also how great you feel after the run. Skinny & loved! *jokes* There are so many opportunities to do this that have popped up too; Parkruns and CMIYC (Catch me if you can) come to mind.

Winter is coming! Seriously though, the darker morning and evenings limit the time we have to spend outdoors even more. It’s cold and every fibre of your body will beg you to stay under the covers. So that’s why I’m putting plans in place and getting into the habit now to make time for the things that matter.

Any tips you want to share that have worked for you?

Running fit vs. Bum fit

I haven’t been to a spinning class in over 18 months! Since I joined the Running Junkies and started training with a coach, gym kinda took second place and was reserved more for chilly winter days and afternoon thundershowers when I couldn’t run. So when KK asked if I wanted to join him for a spinning class while we were on our December leave, I thought hey, how hard could it be?

Planet Fitness in Fourways had just rolled out new spin bikes which was a blessing in disguise as I had forgotten how to set my bike up and blamed the fact that these ones were new *snort*. The class kicked into gear and off we went.   For those that might not be aware or have perhaps forgotten (that’s me), if you haven’t been spinning for a while, your bum (and nether regions – apologies) take quite a pounding! By the end of the class and the following day I was quite sore!

KK recommended that if I wanted to join him for the back to back class two days later, that I should wear my cycling shorts. Why of course! Brilliant idea! Nope. The damage had already been done and after the first class, I was done. But I did enjoy it. A lot!

Running every day doesn’t necessarily mean that I am fit in other areas and I’ve been considering doing more cross-fit and strengthening exercises that will help my running going into 2016, spinning being one of the choices. My legs felt fabulous this week and I can definitely feel they got a good workout. Spinning, lunges, squats… I need to add these simple exercises into my running schedule somehow.

In the meantime, it’s been fun. And good to step back into the gym. Besides, by next week, the gym will be crowded with all the (other) New Year’s Resolutionites!

You never regret it.

I’ll be honest with you, I did not want to get out of bed this morning to go running. I know I need to put some extra training in because of all the 10km races coming up soon but that didn’t stop me from having that mental negotiation with myself as I lay snuggled up in bed.

My head told me:

  • The cold front has arrived. You know you don’t like to run in the cold. I hate it!
  • The wind is blowing. You hate the wind and this wind is icy. My worst!
  • It’s Sunday. It’s the day of rest so turn over and go sleep. It sounded so good!Excuses

Somehow, I reasoned with myself that it was much warmer heading off to gym than it was being out on the roads, so off I went.

An hour later, driving home, I had the biggest smile on my face. Here’s what my heart told me:

  • You did good. Sometimes I find myself training harder on the treadmill than what I do out on the road. And funny enough, I am able to run in under 8 mins /km on that “deathmill”
  • The woman running on the treadmill next to me had a prosthetic leg. Nothing says be grateful you can run than seeing that
  • Your body thanks you! I had that awesome red glowing face. I love that look!

I need to remind myself regularly that not once have I ever regretted running.

Earlier this week, I happened to find jasmine on my time trial route. What an awesome smell which always alerts me that Spring is finally on its way.Jasmine

Thank goodness for changing seasons! Running is not for sissies (unless there’s a cold front, right?). Have a wonderful week!

What the hell is wrong with people?

At gym recently, I accidentally stepped on to a moving treadmill and took a huge fall. I grazed my hands, my knees and my shoulder. I have no recollection of how it happened because I fell so quickly (I hope there’s no YouTube video out there). The sad thing is that when it happened, no one came to help me. In fact, people even walked past as though I was invisible. Have we really become so detached from one another that we can’t be bothered to help one another? Are people so concerned about minding their own business that they choose to ignore someone who may need help? Odd.Gym

I was driving to work the other day and the newspaper seller was opening a sucker. As he popped it into his mouth, he threw the wrapper on the floor. I stopped, opened my window and asked him to pick it up. He laughed in my face and walked away. It put me in such a bad mood all day long. Do people not care?

People you see at the office every single day who pack up their bags at the end of the day and walk out without saying goodbye. I was in the lifts and started chatting to a colleague recently. When the lift doors opened, she miraculously got super-charged legs and walked off at high speed without me. Huh? Was it something I said? Have basic manners gone out the window? Are we becoming socially awkward around one another?Socialise

A good friend of mine was in a coma in hospital a few weeks back. As he recovered, I asked him if mutual friends of ours knew what happened, he answered, “It’s awkward. How do I tell them? Do I just put it on Facebook? I don’t really know how to bring it up.” Sometimes we announce the most ‘arb’ details on social media, such as what we ate for dinner or what time we go to bed. But alerting people of something more serious just seems out of place. How did we do it in the old days?Care less

And don’t get me started on emails. Does anyone bother to reply to emails anymore? It feels as if I send emails into a dark abyss and no one ever acknowledges what I say or send them. I only realized the email system was down after a whole week last week after supplier emails were not coming through. I had concluded that they were incompetent and they thought that I was ignoring them. No, the emails just weren’t coming through but no one picked up a phone to check.

Some days all I do is shake my head and wonder… what the hell has gone wrong? Is this the new norm?