Operation ‘no gym’ and cheers to early mornings- week 4

I can’t believe it’s already been 4 weeks since I’ve seen the inside of a workout facility. To recap on my fourth (and most atypical) week without the gym, it wasn’t what I had hoped but hey… I started a full-time job! I didn’t think I’d have such a difficult time putting in workouts and waking up early, but oh man… I was wrong. Working at a restaurant I was still putting in over 40 hours a week, but my days looked much different. Sure I was working 8-9 hour days, but my day didn’t start until 3pm and I would go straight to bed after the shift. All things considered, I was still waking up at a reasonable time (8-9:00am) with that schedule, so I still had plenty of time to run errands, work out, and cook breakfast/lunch. My other meals were taken care of by the restaurant (I was absolutely spoiled) and that was just one more thing I underestimated.

Nowwwwww I have to be out of the house by 7:15 to be at work by 8:00am. Luckily, I walk to and from work (yes, 40 minutes/2 miles each way) so it’s an active way to start and end my day for a fairly sedentary job. Currently I’ve been waking up at 6:15 and getting home between 5:30 and 6:00pm. After work, I’m usually famished and will go straight to cooking dinner. I’ll pack my lunch/snack for the next day, run errands, and then it’s 8:00pm. Clearly something’s gotta give moving forward.

For now, I’ll rehash the week!

Sunday 10/14
Activity: 
40 minute yoga flow, walks to the doggie park & grocery store- 11,474 steps

The previous week was a busy one in terms of being physically active. Once again my body was feeling heavy, tired, and in dire need of a good stretch. After all, Sundays are for leisure right?

Monday 10/15
Activity: 4 mile walk to/from work- 14,626 steps

Monday was my first day as a full-time employee! I didn’t know what to expect, at all so I didn’t really have plans to work out. The morning commute is a gorgeous one during this time of year with the crisp fall air and sunrise on my way to work. I get to walk by City Hall, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other stunning architectures that occupy the older part of Philadelphia. I got home around 6:00pm, hungry and exhausted.

Tuesday 10/16
Activity: 4 mile walk to/from work- 14,542 steps

Tuesday I planned to workout (in my head), but never scheduled out a time or method. That was a mistake.. Needless to say, I simply didn’t get my workout in. That night, I ambiguously “planned” to wake up on Wednesday morning a workout- ambiguous because I a HIIT workout was all I had in mind, but I didn’t plan out anything more specific. I wanted to start with a quick and effective workout since I was already waking up earlier than normal.

Wednesday 10/17
Activity: 4 mile walk to/from work and walk to the grocery store-  13,534 steps

Don’t. Hit. The. Snooze! Perhaps one of my biggest battles that I still have yet to overcome is the damn snooze button. I will hit the snooze alarm every 5 minutes for an hour, and I’m certainly not proud of it. I envy those who pop out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:00am. I thoroughly enjoy the peace and joy of mornings, but just getting out of bed is like the battle of Troy. My whole point in this is saying that I hit the snooze alarm for over an hour and did not work out. I wish I could tell you guys I had a better excuse, but I didn’t. By Wednesday night I was just tired, and truly not “feelin’ it.” Mentally, I was exhausted and although working out probably would’ve helped, I just didn’t…

Thursday 10/18
Activity: 4 mile walk to/from work, HIIT workout using jump rope and resistance bands- 16,093 steps

Thursday… I was determined to get in a good, heart-pumping workout. The good thing about being consistent in working out, is that an absence from exercise will leave you craving it. I had another date with my snooze button Thursday morning, but I pushed past my hunger and got in a kick-butt jump rope workout with some plyometrics in-between to keep my heart rate up–things like jump squats, burpees, push-ups, and other functional exercises. Jumping rope, truly might be one of my new favs.

Friday 10/19
Activity: 4 mile walk to/from work and 3 mile run-21,836 steps

This time, I wasn’t really trying to kid myself by waking up early to work out, especially after a HIIT workout at 7:00pm the night before. I was in no rush, so after work I picked up the pooch and hit the city for a fast 3-mile run. I’ve been loving my runs lately, because while I’m not training for a race, I only run when I truly want to run. This way I can fully enjoy it, and it’s not just something to check off my list. We kept a 8:25 second pace, and for the only run of the week was not too shabby.

Saturday 10/20
Activity: 
40 minute yoga flow 5 mile walk around the city- 19,290 steps

Saturday was my last day without my gym membership… Having plans with friends and getting a good walk in was more important than smashing a no-gym workout. So I started the morning easy with another Youtube yoga flow, got ready, and hit City Hall for their fall festival. Again, the day was spent on my feet where I know I’m getting in plenty of physical activity.

 

So what is my take away from this month absence from the gym? There are so many tools and methods to be physically active! I can whole-heartedly say that a gym is not necessary to be healthy, lose weight, or stay active, but  a gym might be necessary to reach other goals. If your goals are aesthetic, having access to a gym membership and their weights will definitely aid in reaching your goals. Because, the purpose of this blog is about holistic health and a well-rounded self, there are plenty of creative ways to stay active. This week I chose to include my daily steps (yes, I wear a FitBit every day) to show the kind of activity and steps you can still get in without putting in a grueling workout. Being physically active throughout the day is so. important. and I like to gauge my steps just to make sure I’m moving enough throughout the day.

As for details and thoughts on this experiment, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but TJ MAXX/HomeGoods (!!) hits the nail on the head with workout equipment too! I went in looking for a reasonably-priced kettle bell and walked out with a weighted jump rope and resistance bands for less than $10 total. It’s much more feasible than a gym membership, can help when you need a workout fast, and can take away some angst for those who feel intimidated or unsure of themselves in a gym setting. As *winter is coming* it will also come in handy to have when a 20-minute walk in 20-degree weather just isn’t in the cards. You really never know what you’ll find there.

Overall, I had the most difficult time with my 9-5 schedule. Between the commute, work schedule, meal prep, and getting ‘adult’ things done throughout the day, I struggled to get in a good workout. I’m not someone who enjoys evening workouts, as I feel that it disrupts my sleep. I got a couple evening workouts in, but will need to shift around schedules to find something that works better. I feel your pain and struggle my fellow 9-5’ers.

Lastly, with the internet these days it’s so easy to get help virtually from a fitness pro. I’ve been using YouTube to get my yoga fix, but I know there are very inexpensive ebooks from fellow bloggers, videos from YouTubers, and let’s not forget Google. Of course, proceed with caution because the internet can be a scary place full of ridiculous information, but there is also incredibly helpful and cheap information, too!

 

I hope you were able to take something away from this experiment of mine! Let me know what your thoughts are, and any struggles you may face at the gym or away from the gym. If there’s anything more you’d like to know, just send me a message below!

xx,

Alex