Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Creative Time Management

Living without a car has forced me to make creative use of my time, but it has taking some time to come to this realization. When we began commuting by bike and bus regularly almost 5 months ago, some aspects of my workout routine (yoga/core/strength) began slipping because I spent most of my time commuting--that's what I told myself anyway. Bull! That's just an excuse; I'm simply not making it a priority. Well, it ends now!

If I want to run a marathon in February, and I desperately do, then I need to take care of my body now and stop cutting corners. Even if I don't want to get up earlier to exercise before catching the bus, I can spend less time screwing around on my computer after work and use that time to do yoga or cross train. I've made this a priority this week, and I've gotten creative with how I squeeze in my workouts:
  • do yoga when I get home from running or cycling, even if it's a quick 10 minute stretch. It's a lot easier to get this out of the way before I shower, while I still have endorphins motivating me to workout, than after I'm cooled off and clean and ready to chill and eat.
  • do yoga before bed while I lay in bed. I've been using this routine from Chaz but I just did a quick search and found a ton of other options I may try, like this 8-minute routine. My favorite pose before bed is to lay with my legs up against the wall. 
  • run to the bus stop from work. If I go one stop further, it's a full mile. I much prefer this than walking, but it sucks to then sit on the bus for an hour before running again. Since the bus is always late, I may trying running to other stops so I spend more time running and less time seating on a bench waiting for the bus.
  • get off the bus early and run the rest of the way home. This maximizes my time and I don't waste any walking home first, changing, then going back out. I'm also less likely to loose motivation and stay home instead of going out for my run, and I can't cut my run short because it takes longer to walk home :) In fact, I can run further because I don't have to rush off to work. This takes a bit of planning, but I now have the routine down. If Jason is on the bus with me, he carries my stuff home. If not, I change into running clothes at work and bring my fuel belt and race ready shorts to carry the essentials: iPhone, ID/money, bus pass, water, towel.
  • do yoga at the bus stop! The bus is always late, so jason half suggested when I was complaining about not having time for yoga that I do it at the bus stop. While I'm not about to do downward dog on the sidewalk, I can certainly do some of the standing poses, upper body poses (for back and shoulders), and stretch those calves and feet!
  • do yoga on the bus. I don't do this often or if the bus is really crowded, but YOGAmazing has yoga on an airplane (or chair yoga/yoga with a desk) that would work well for this. Again, they are mostly seated upper body poses to stretch the back, neck and shoulders.
  • stretch in the break room while heating up my lunch. Instead of just standing there watching the microwave, I'm using up this time to do some wall push ups and calf raise to stretch my legs. I often also making popcorn in the afternoons, so that's over 3 minutes I can use to stretch my calves/quads/hamstrings/feet.
  • do yoga at my desk. I work at a computer all day, and my shoulders/back get tense a lot. When I got a massage on Monday, he commented on that and suggested I take breaks during the day to stretch. It only takes a few minutes, but doing a simple twist or interlacing my arms over my head and doing a backbend does wonders. I also have the office fitdeck, which I should use more often.
  • I restarted the 100 push up challenge, but with full push ups this time. I started at the easiest level since it has been a while, and I am still sore from the 14 I did on Sunday. But I'm going to stick with it, even if I have to take 2 days off between workouts until I get used to it again. 
The most important thing in making this change was realizing that I don't need to immediately go back to doing 30-60 minutes of additional exercise every day (on top of running/bike commuting). I was getting overwhelmed thinking about how I would do that, but just adding 10-20 minutes of yoga when I can is a step in the right direction. Pretty soon I'll remember how much I love yoga, what it does for my body and I'll start finding the time to do it more often :) Now if I could only find time for some kickboxing again. All in due time ;)

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