Getting Back on Track: How to Bounce Back from a Blow to Your Workout Schedule

    I am trying to return to my normal posting-twice-a week-routine. At the moment I am attempting to balance school, school, and .... school, so thank you for bearing with me.

    I wanted to take a minute to write about something I haven't yet - and I should have, but it didn't quite occur to me because it was also part of my routine: exercise.

    How does one fit in a good hour and a half of exercise when they work (or go to school) from 8-6. I mean techinically, plus waking up early, I am busy from about 7 am to 7 pm and I don't think I'm alone in that respect.

    When I only had class time until 2 - 3 then sure, I could have a nice long workout - but as my class schedule increased, I found myself tired by the time I got out (plus, my body naturally starts to peter out once the sun goes down). I know this about myself and so I've experimented with different rhythms to try and find a new pattern. I like patterns - they make me feel centered.

    The first week of my 8-5 schedule, I hardly made it to the gym. I was tired and needed that evening time to study and eat dinner - and oh yeah, I had 2 exams.

    The second week, I ignored my body's begging me to go home and lugged myself over to the gym. I HATE night workouts. I can no longer deny this fact. Every moment on the ellipitcal felt like a day. And I was super tired when I got home, so I was extremely unproductive the rest of the night.

    I walk 20 minutes to class and that's where the gym is, so this past weekend the thought of waking 20 minutes, working out for 2 hours, and walking home was enough to keep me at home and counting calories instead. I didn't like this...believe it or not, I need to be at the gym. It is a part of me now. Can't believe I am saying that.

    So today I tried a new idea: lunch workouts. Now, my schedule is really tight - we get 1 hourexactly for lunch because class starts again right after. So I ran out of my noon class and over to the gym (I had prepped by wearing a clean workout shirt under my scrubs so changing was super quick), and hopped on the machine. Ahhhh...much better.

    I only got in 30 minutes of cardio, but that plus the run to and from class, plus the walk to class and home after, should be enough to keep my body happy and stable. I am noticing I eat less (or munch less, rather) since I only bring a set amount of food to school. I make my lunch the night before so I have time to think about each item: granola bars for energy after my workout, a piece of fruit as a midday snack, yogurt for breakfast, and hummus and pretzels at 11 before my workout so I don't keel over.

    It's only been a day, but I feel really good. I've decided to really monitor what I eat because I am losing that 30 minutes or so of working out, but a little less is better than none at all. I'm also trying to fit in about 15 minutes of yoga/floor exercises before bedtime, just as a way of calming down before drifting off to dream land.

    My body is thanking me - and so is my brain, because a happy Sheila is a functioning Sheila. Updates to follow.

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