For the past year or so, I’ve roughly stuck to the same workout routine. Running a couple of days during the week (tempo run, speed work with my run club at the track), strength training (typically Body Pump) a couple of days a week, a long run on the weekend, and maybe a swim day here or there. It’s been great, but you know what? I’m kind of getting burnt out. Don’t get me wrong, I love each type of workout I do. I love the runs around my neighborhood. I love seeing the regulars at the Body Pump class I go to. And I love meeting up with my run club (well, I don’t love getting up at 4am to do so though haha). But I think I’m just getting a little bored of the doing the same exact thing every single week because I just don’t have the desire to do it all as much as I used to. I tend to get like this with my hobbies after a while and usually this is the point where I drop them and find something new. But I don’t want to quit running, especially with marathon training starting in a few months. So what is a girl to do?
Well, I’m going to change things up a bit. I think part of my problem is that sometimes my workouts feel more like work than a workout. So I want to start doing physical activities that don’t feel like such a chore. For example, yesterday was a day I typically meet up with my run club at the track for speed work. And while I’ve really been enjoying doing this every week, it is really hard to get up at 4am and even harder to chase two kids around all day after doing so. My husband was working from home that day, so I decided to take advantage of the fact that I had all day to get my workout in and I spent the morning with my kids instead of going to the track. I had planned on hitting up the gym while my kids took their afternoon nap for my own speed work session on the treadmill. Well, my toddler ended up taking a super early nap and Annalie wanted to go swimming, so we got in the pool. We were having so much fun that when my toddler woke up, she came out and joined us and we kept on swimming. After we had been in the pool for a while, I knew I needed to get them out soon so Annalie could take her nap and I could go to the gym. But, then I started thinking. Why am I going to make my kids stop swimming, get everyone out of the pool, even though we’re all having fun, so I can go to the gym and get exercise, which is exactly what I was doing with them at that very moment? So, I said screw it. We’re going to stay here and swim for as long as they want. And do you know what? We ended up swimming for 3 hours straight. Yup, 3 HOURS! And I don’t mean we were casually lounging in the pool for 3 hours. Oh no. We were swimming back and forth, chasing each other around, playing and having so much fun. At one point, both kids were riding on my back while I swam around the pool (yeah trying to stay afloat with 50+ pounds on your back is definitely not easy!). Needless to say, Annalie missed her nap and I missed my gym session. But, guess what? Not only did my kids and I have so much fun, but I actually ended up burning more than double the amount of calories that I would have if I had gone to the gym. For my weight, leisurely swimming for 3 hours burns about 900 calories. Had I gone to the gym and ran 5 miles on the treadmill, I would have burned about 400 calories. And I definitely had more fun swimming with my kids than I would have had running at the gym.
So the moral of this story is, that while I am going to roughly stick to a workout routine (after all I will need some sort of structure once I begin marathon training), I am definitely going to be taking more opportunities to get exercise in less formal ways that don’t feel like work, and bonus points if it involves an activity I can do with my kids. I think this will help me be motivated, have fun, and keep me in the game.
What do you think? Do you ever switch up your formal workouts for less formal forms of exercise?
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