It's been a while since I've done a fitness related posts (see all those posts HERE) and since I've changed up my routine, what better time to share.
I gave up my GoodLife gym membership over four months ago. I had been a member with them for almost a decade but since the beginning of 2013, I really hadn't been using my membership. Sarah--my bff--and I started working out on our lunch hour in May 2012 and really got into a good groove alternating between running outside and body resistence workouts inside. I loved that my workout was over and done with for the day by 1pm and when work was over, I could go home and relax or do whatever I wanted without the impending after-work workout.
To be honest, I was a little worried about giving up my membership, despite having not been for about three months. I had a fear I would give up working out or be less motivated, but that did not happen. I continued working out on my lunch hours, which I preferred and was saving money in the end.
Just over a month ago, I joined The Athletic Club, and have been working out there in the evenings and on weekends. Sarah recently announced her pregnancy and we've kind of abandoned our lunch time workouts. Not because she is expecting, simply because we are being lazy. I would still be going at lunch had I not gotten the gym membership but since the urgency isn't there like before, I feel kind of meh about it. Additionally, I really love spending lunch hours with her catching up, shopping or just sitting to enjoy a meal.
As far as running goes, I haven't run in a while. I ran for 10 minutes on the treadmill a few weeks ago, and try to get some cardio in, but I have definitely cut back. I wouldn't say I love running, but what I do really enjoy is seeing my improvement, which never ceases to amaze me. My goal two years ago was to run 1km without stopping. I surpassed that goal and ran 2km that summer without stopping. Last summer was the first time I ever ran 5km without stopping which was such an accomplishment. From there, I focused on less walking 'breaks' while running and I slowly started to bring my time down. That doesn't mean there were set backs, or times when my time was worse, but gradually it got better. When I started running 5km on my lunch hour, I was averaging 35 minutes; my best time came near the end of the summer at 29 minutes.
When the colder months came, I ran inside on the treadmill but would never do 5km because I was bored after 20-25 minutes and would wimp out and get off. I kept my cardio up by running tons and tons of stairs on my lunch hour with Sarah; it was brutal but it helped when this summer rolled around and we started running outside again. Almost immediately we were beating or averaging our best time from last summer and on one 5km run, I broke 26 minutes! A time I never thought I'd be able to accomplish--also a run that was brutal and I wanted to quit on so many times throughout.
All that to say, running has been put on the back burner for now; my knees get really sore or can get really sore from running and I've re-hurt them again by playing in a softball tournament last week. I don't have a huge desire to run, but at the same time, don't want to lose my endurance. I'm sure I'll go back to it when I'm ready whether that be indoors or out.
So what have I been doing at the gym lately? Instead of body resistence workouts with an elevated heart rate and considerable amounts of cardio, I'm now more focussed on strength training with heavy weights and working out one part of my body each time (eg. arms, shoulders, back, legs, etc.). I use a combination of machines, barbells and free weights and almost always tac on an ab workout at the end of each session. It's definitely a change and a challenge but I am enjoying it, for the most part.
If you made it to the end of this post, thanks for sticking with me and reading. I know fitness isn't everyone's cup of tea, and for me it's definitely a daily work in progress. It's still a struggle for me to go to the gym, I make it happen but definitely groan about it and an often dragging my ass to get there. It's not really 'fun', but the way I feel afterwards is amazing. My mood is elevated, I feel more confident, I know it helps me look better and I overall feel better. I find when I hit the gym less or slack off, I start to get a little bit bitchy, so it's good for me to get my blood pumping and body moving. If I know I won't be going to the gym that day--or for a few days--I simply try to make healthier choices; park far away, take the stairs instead of the elevator or go for a walk at lunch. Bottom line, get your body moving, everyday.
Thanks for reading! xo