Is There a “Perfect Time” to Workout?

Are you a “perfectionist” with your workouts? Do you find yourself working out only if you have the “perfect conditions”… a full hour free, a perfect eight hours of sleep and feeling your absolute best? I often tell people that “something is better than nothing” but this week I have realized that it can be challenging to “practice what I preach.”  I love working out, but like all of you, I have those days.  Those days where my head really, really wants to stay home. Occasionally I do give in. (I try to listen to my body so if it is pain telling me I need a day off, I do listen.) But most of the time, I put on my workout clothes, head out the door, and hope it gets better.

My schedule is almost always kind of crazy, but this week is really crazy.  (I’m talking 12-14 hour days most days of this week crazy.)  I have come to terms with having some easier days in terms of workout intensity, but this week I have struggled with not having my desired amount of time to workout.  Because I am in an hour-long class three days a week, and hour pretty much equals a “good workout” to me now. Monday I had to go straight from work to my boot camp class.  I forgot a change of t-shirt and was already going to be 5 minutes late without a stop at home.  Monday is run day and I was wearing cotton. UGH.  I felt bad for my treadmill neighbor (Sorry, Ruby, if you are reading this!), but did not let this serve as an excuse to skip the workout entirely. I was drenched (worse than usual) and stinky, but got in those hill repeats.

Tuesday I planned to stay home.  The idea of some extra “free” time was hugely appealing to my slightly sleep-deprived self.  But then Missy texted me and said “What are you doing at the gym today?” Note that she did not say, “Are you going to the gym?” Of course I was going, right? All she had to do is say the word “lift” and I reminded myself that the 35 minutes I could squeeze in was waaaaay better than nothing.  So I changed into gym gear and headed out.  (She posted about our workout here.)  I was not sorry for a moment that I went.  Did it make my day more hectic? Yes, quite possibly.  But did I feel better all day? Absolutely.

Then yesterday happened.  I thought I had my full hour. For the first time all week I was going to have my full 9 a.m.-10 a.m. “me time” at the gym.  Then we had an employee get sick.  I had to get to work an hour earlier which meant either go workout for only 40 minutes or stay home.  But guess what? It was easier to go yesterday!  I have started to get into a habit and realize that while it’s not my first choice, 30-40 minutes is enough to feel better and get a decent workout in. We used kettle bells for the workout, and I was given a choice between two different weights. Despite my tiredness, I pushed through on the heavier of the two (okay, except for 1 ½ of the 5 sets of swings). I think it’s important when your time is cut short to make it count.

My point to all of this is not to complain to you about my busy week. My point is that if we are going to truly make fitness a part of our lives we need to be adaptable. I know there are many times we can’t do what we want, when we want to do it. Is an injury keeping you from your favorite activity? Do something else! My brother recently texted me a picture a couple days after having foot/ankle surgery.

Not the best photo, but you get the point! See the crutches? Can't walk? Can still dip!

Not the best photo, but you get the point! See the crutches? Can’t walk? Can still dip!

This was me about two weeks after MY foot surgery. Don't mind the fashionable bag on my foot -- it was wet out!

This was me about two weeks after MY foot surgery. Don’t mind the fashionable bag on my foot — it was wet out!

Where there is a will, there is a way! Is your child is sick and you can’t send them to school or put them in the gym daycare? Find a workout you can do at home. Bust out that old DVD, find a workout On Demand, or pull out that fitness equipment I know many of you have around. Missy is great about this and actually blogged about it awhile back.

Do you have a meeting or appointment keeping you from your “normal” workout time? Get up early and do it before your obligation, or do it in the evening. I consider myself a total morning workout person, but in training for June’s Ragnar Relay I started doing some evening runs. I now do not totally hate running in the evening. Feeling too tired or exhausted to workout after work? Go for a slow jog or walk. Get out there for 20 minutes and if that’s all you’ve got, fine.

When you workout on those days that you do not feel like it, post and let me know. I will be your cheerleader! Remember we all have those days but once an active lifestyle becomes a part of who you are, it becomes much easier.

I have a few other bits of “news” to share with you all as well. I started this post planning a more “scattered” update on life, but ended up on my soapbox. Sorry!

I decided last week that one Ragnar Relay was just not enough for me this summer. I have joined a team called “The Assorted Nuts” to run Ragnar Great River from Winona, MN to Minneapolis. This team name seems very fitting for me, don’t you think? I will be flying up to Minnesota, meeting eleven total strangers for 30-ish hours and coming home. (I bet you agree with the “nuts” part now, don’t you?) I am really excited about this adventure and I’m sure you will be hearing a lot about it!

I am also excited to be reviewing matcha green tea powder from Kiss Me Organics right now. I did not know much about matcha powder before being selected to review it, but I have to say I am impressed so far. One of it’s many attributes is “natural energy.” Perhaps this has helped get me through my crazy week so far? This was what I put in my shake this morning:

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I am embarrassed to admit that I do not really like veggies. While I love almost all fruit, I have to force the veggies. I had heard repeatedly that you do not taste kale in a smoothie. However, I was too afraid to try because I really do not like kale. One day a gym friend “made” me try a taste of her pineapple and kale smoothie. For those of you that feel like me about veggies —  it’s true!! I promise. You do NOT taste the kale. It is an amazing way to sneak in a healthy serving of veggies in something I am eating anyway.

Do you put greens in your shake? Have you tried matcha powder? How do YOU get through those days when you lack motivation?

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