Making fitness fun and finding time to exercise

I envy people who work from home. I envy people who don’t have to sit in traffic for an hour to get to work. Exercising, going to gym, or taking a little jog around the block (usually) feels so completely “bleh” when you’re mentally exhausted from a full day at work. Fitness fun?

Please, just give me the couch, a glass of red wine and an OMG episode or two of Shameless, thanks.

But that’s the thing about stress.

Yes, TV is an awesome distraction short-term, but in the long-term, let’s be realistic – it’s just a gigantic time suck. And unless you’re watching feel-good show after feel-good show, those “omigosh!” scenes don’t exactly stir up the zen goddess before bedtime.

New job this year, new lot of things.

Longer travelling time, more taxis and traffic than I’m used to, and leaving home by 6.20am most mornings. A nice little dose of stress before the workday even starts. Oh, and let’s not forget driving in the dark and the rain in winter with impatient drivers. Wooosa.

Fitting in exercise wasn’t very high on my priority list.

But then at the end of May, when my clothes started feeling a little more snug than I liked and snapping at the most ridiculous minute things became an everyday thing, I figured I needed to make a plan.

One fun jog after work in Stellenbosch - need to do this again
One fun jog after work in Stellenbosch – need to do this again

Fitting fitness into a busy week

I joined Virgin Active, again.

Not like I’ve got a ton of time to go exercising. But just having that monetary commitment, usually tends to motivate things a little more.

Plus, getting onto Discovery’s Vitality plan with all those rewards is pretty cool, too.

So new gym membership, running a little and having an overwhelming desire to dance seems wonderful as far as fitness goes – but where to fit the time in, especially when we leave home before 6.30am every morning?!

As I’ve started learning more and more this year, there’s no such thing as finding time for anything, it’s about MAKING time for things that matter.

This is my version of weekly “fitness fun” (for now…)

(Fun because if it’s not… there’s no way I’m going to do it!)

  • 5am gym, twice a week. This was hard the first time, especially in winter, when it’s raining and cold (and two kitties and a hubby all cosy in bed!) But it IS doable. 30 minutes, quick quick cardio. With a nice gourmet coffee waiting afterwards, mmm, yes please! Only thing here is, I need to prep lunch and stuff the night before – also, doable.
  • Zumba, once a week. I’m a little bit obsessed with this class right now. The instructors are insane – I leave there dripping in sweat, feeling on top of the world, every time. It’s empowering. It’s fun. It’s salsa, it’s hip hop, it’s African tribal, it’s bollywood, it’s everything. This class sets my soul on fire every time. #happyplace
  • Wednesday night jogging. This is a standing tradition with Geoff and something I look forward to every week. We get home, zip into running gear, put on some funky headlights and off we go – 5km jog through the neighbourhood in the dark. FUN! (Could never do this alone, so I’m very grateful to have a running buddy to do this with).
  • Lunchtime quickies. I’m lucky that I’ve got a mini gym where I work so when I can, I try and do a quick treadmill walk, lift a few dumbbells or do some stretching for 25 min. (At my previous job, I’d walk around the business complex for 40 min). Lunchtime is SUCH a good time to squeeze some fitness in when you have NO time before or after work.

Motivation to exercise

  • Weekend warrior. I LOVE going to the gym on the weekends. It’s quieter. There are less show offs. I don’t have to rush. I can see the sun. Kauai is open. It’s awesome… AND a great way to shake off those annoying Sunday blues.
  • Saturday morning parkrun. I haven’t been to the parkrun in ages because Zumba is on around the same time. But I’ll make a mission this weekend again. Because – nature, good coffee, 300 Vitality points, fresh air, quality time with Geoff. Only problem: getting there by 7.30am. But, very doable every 2nd or 3rd weekend.
  • Youtube workout videos. I don’t do these as often, because I just don’t have the motivation. But they’re great for days when I don’t want to see anyone or get out of my pajamas or only do 15 minutes. I love Jessica Smith TV because her channel is dedicated to fitness for the average woman and there’s everything from Pilates and yoga to kickboxing, ballet barre to HIIT, strength and toning to stretching routines.

I feel like it’s been AGES since I wrote something fitness-related here.

Exercising isn’t the easiest thing to do – especially when life gets crazy and stressful (I’ll admit, chocolate and wine wins over a workout some days)… life…

BUT, it’s the knowing how GOOD I’m going to feel afterwards that usually (usually) gets me to lace up my trainers, tie back my hair and just do it.

Starting, FYI, is always the hardest part. Once you’re there, dancing, running, stretching, walking – whatever, it’s a piece of cake. Really, promise.

Make fitness fun. Move. Enjoy. Love life. Etc, etc, etc.

Having said that, will all this exercise, the clothes are STILL a bit too snug (what the heck??). Pinotage and pizza… evil weekend necessities. I think a trip to Food Lover’s Market is in order next week…


6 Replies to “Making fitness fun and finding time to exercise”

  1. Great article ! I am a job holder and i am always busy to do my work in my office.These tips will help me to make me a fit person.Especially I like the guideline which is distributed with different plans.

    Hope it will help me. 😀

  2. I so have to find more time for exercising now, as well. Just been a crazy few months work wise and now having the girls home this summer, as well. But I agree having a plan helps. Looks like you do indeed have a great plan that you have implemented though and good for you!! 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…8 Ways Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Is Like Home To MeMy Profile

  3. Yes! I’m going to incorporate a whole new exercise routine when I go back to work on Monday. (Sniff sniff.)
    And OF COURSE you have some Asics Running Shoes. I do, too! Of course. 😉
    Happy Saturday!
    Cynthia recently posted…And Then She Spurted a Second Novel…My Profile

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      LOL… of course we do! 😉 They are great shoes, aren’t they? Really impressed, I’ve had these ones for about 2 years, I think.

      New exercise routine, huh? That sounds interesting… I want to hear more!!

      Catch up a bit later over chat 😀 xx

  4. William Holland says: Reply

    If I were to say I don’t have time to exercise it would be a ridiculous lie. Everyone has time. I just choose not to. LOL Actually, with all my jobs on our little farm, I stay much more active than most 67 year olds. Still, it wouldn’t hurt me to do more…a brisk walk every morning or evening is certainly doable.

    Anyway, Happy Sunday, Mel. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    1. Melanie Chisnall says: Reply

      Bill, you’re a shining example my friend – for health and happiness and work-life balance, and yes… even fitness! LOL. I remember a few years ago when you were still running and doing yoga!! Inspiring stuff… And now, all that work on the farm every day? Yup, I’d call that a workout and a half every day. You’ve got to do what you love – otherwise, what’s the point?

      Hope the sun is shining and you’re having a wonderful Sunday. 🙂

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