The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and they’ve equipped our family with a streaming account to drive discussion.
I hate running. And the elliptical machine. And the stationary bike. Did I mention I hate running?
I like CrossFit, and a large part of that is because each workout is new and interesting and challenging, with a lot of different exercises done for a short amount of time. I can do anything for 90 seconds. I can do most things for 5 minutes if I know I’m going to get a 60 second break.
But the crazy WEATHER we’ve been having lately means I can’t always get all the way into town to hit CrossFit Riverfront and I’ve learned that too many days off make returning awful. So, treadmill and elliptical and bike it is. (And the 1,000 Burpee Challenge. You’re in, right?)
The only thing that breaks up that monotony for me is something to watch on the TV to help make the time fly by. THANK GOD FOR NETFLIX. I’d be lost without it.
I love this “Exercise TV Playlist” with a breakdown of calories burned exercising while streaming your favorite shows.
Getting lost in a good show means you tend to perceive your workout as less taxing, so you’re willing to work a little harder and a little longer— maximizing the benefit of the workout and the odds you’ll keep with it over time. Pretty cool, yeah?
For me at the moment, it’s generally Sherlock and Sherlock and more Sherlock, with sides of Doctor Who, Orange is the New Black and the occasional X-Files; I’ve finally finished Breaking Bad. (Let me know in the comments what I should queue up next, I’m about due.)
The most common complaint I hear about starting a new fitness regimen is that there is no time, no time, and I hear you. I had to set my workout times in stone and adjust my life around them; otherwise I don’t think I ever would have had “enough time” to spare. There’s never “enough” time: always work to be done, dishes to wash, errands to run. You have to MAKE the time.
Here’s some more tips for those of us perpetually on a (NON-fitness) hamster wheel from celebrity fitness expert Harley Pasternak, who works with famous busy parents like Jennifer Hudson and Megan Fox:
Harley Pasternak’s Fitness Tips for Busy Parents
1. Resist: Even the busiest mom or dad can carve out at least 5 minutes to do some resistance “sculpting” exercise. Pick one exercise a day (i.e. lunge, squats, superman) and do 3-4 sets of 20 reps. Over time, add some weight and increase the sets.
2. Walk: You shouldn’t stop moving from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. Use an activity monitor like a Fitbit to make sure you walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Make your phone calls as you walk around the block, park your car a little further away, take the stairs, and walk to your favorite cafe in the morning (instead of brewing your own).
3. Blend: Soups and smoothies are the perfect “on the go” meals that take only seconds to prepare. They’re a great way to get all your veggies, fruits, healthy fats and lean protein in one meal.
4. Be Entertained… But Not on the Couch: I tell all my busy parents to make sure they’re moving while watching their favorite show. Whether it be “Breaking Bad” or “House of Cards,” stream your show to your phone or tablet with Netflix and you may end up working out longer and harder!
5. Sleep: One of the most common complaints I get from parents is they are exhausted! It’s so important to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Parents— make sure there is no light at all in your bedroom. That means no cell phones flickering, televisions blaring or alarm clocks flashing. Studies show even the smallest amount of light can disturb your sleep patterns. Other sleep tips include avoiding caffeine after noon, wearing an eye mask and avoiding surfing the web before you fall asleep.
I wrote up some more tips for my friend Annie’s blog Mama Dweeb a while back, you can see those here.
Your turn. Best tips for fitting in fitness?
And don’t forget your streaming recommendations, you hear?