I have talked about my desire to be a better Ben and to lose weight. I have also spoken at length about my need to curb my intake as a means to do that. Now I will fill you in on how I am trying to burn the calories.
My wife and I used to have a gym membership and we would go pretty consistently. We really liked the gym, had a personal trainer for a time who was great, and I got to lift weights. Now, for anybody who has not weight lifted, it is awesome. I hate cardio. It can be boring, long, and just no fun. But nothing makes me feel more accomplished than lifting weights (also putting them down). Many fitness experts tout the benefits of weight training and many also suggest it can be better than cardio. I tried to do both. I figure than they are complimentary ways to burn calories and I should do both.
Alas, I no longer weight train. This is not due to any change in fitness ‘design’, but purely due to realities of life and doing the best I can. When we found out we were expecting a child, things changed. When we had our daughter, things changed even more. We moved farther from a gym and just didn’t have time. I would try to go for runs and walks but physical proximity to a baby is fairly important… who knew. I am sure some of you can relate to the feeling that life can truly make your workout routines difficult. To still work towards our goals, my wife and I decided to get a Peloton.
Yes, that is us. Super bougie urban couple with perfect bodies, perfect hair, perfect cars, and a penthouse overlooking Boston harbor with our Peloton next to the window. Except not. Despite the bike not transforming us into the people you see on the commercials, the bike has changed things for us. It ultimately only costs us a little more per month than our two gym memberships and we can now ride when our daughter is taking a nap, asleep, or in the other room with mom or dad. We don’t have to leave the house. I am not a spokesperson for Peloton and do not get anything for speaking its praises (but if they want to throw me some love, I wouldn’t complain), but it has been a game changer for us. Time is our true scarce resource. It is so hard to find and there are so many things trying to take it from us. Having this convenient ability to work towards our goals is huge.
I have committed to doing at least 20 workouts a month. Right now, because it is winter and we don’t have a gym, these are basically all Peloton rides. I try to make them at least 20 minutes, preferably 30, and 45 when I can. I understand that when I am able I will return to weights, but as for now I am working my butt off where I can. These rides normally take place at night, between 9-10 pm. This is after our daughter has been put to bed, the house cleaned, food prepped for the next day, and any other business we need to do. I am up at 5 for work and I know I cannot wake up earlier to work out… so PM workouts it is.
This nice thing about these workouts is that they can be low impact or intense, such as a high intensity interval training (HIIT) ride. And boy, can these rides make me sweat. Below is an example of a recent HIIT ride I did.
This has helped me on my journey. I know everybody’s circumstances are different. Not everybody can have a piece of exercise equipment at home or a gym down the road. I also know there are videos and home routines out there. The internet has done amazing things for giving us the opportunity to better ourselves.
The other key to my workout plan is walking. This is nothing groundbreaking. I work at a desk. I sit all day and have a lot of meetings and conference calls. Because of the sedentary nature of my job, I need to make the time and move my feet. I shoot for 10,000 steps a day. I know this number is fairly arbitrary, but it is a good proxy for me to recognize how I am moving. To do this I will either try to do 2-20 minute walks a day or 1-30 minute walk at lunch time. This not only helps me get moving but also helps to clear my headspace and aid in my focus. I don’t hit this goal every day, but it is an attainable goal that keeps me striving and moving forward.
Lastly, I try to do bodyweight squats. Simple, easy, and they can blast your legs. Until I have a gym again or a different setup, this is how I try to keep my leg muscles strong for my other joys, skiing and hiking.
What are some of the exercises that you do? I am curious if any of you prefer home workouts, outdoor workouts, gym workouts, or all of the above. How do you stay focussed if you are trying to work out when it is not your routine?