Saturday, January 21, 2012

How I drag myself to do exercise

One of my resolutions is to exercise regularly. This is a very tough resolution, because:
  1. I've been away from gym for nearly 15 years (I'm not counting my 4-5 times effort during that time in subscribing to a gym, but lasting only less than 2 weeks of exercise).
  2. My idea of heaven is reading a book in my cold bedroom while munching chips and listening to a soothing music.
  3. It's tough to slip a few hours to go to gym in my tight schedule. I had to spend minimum 4 hours in commuting to and from work. It's not rare that I have back to back calls and meetings. Lots of work to do. I could not take morning class because I to drop my princess at school. I could not go home too late, because I want to spend a good small time with my little princess, before she's going to sleep.
  4. Gym is quite costly. I could spend the money for buying milk, book and courses for my little princess.
The good thing is I actually had started this resolution about 3 months ago, when my office launched an interesting program: Bye-bye Big Challenge. This challenge was targeted for the employees who were categorized as obese and would like to lead a healthier life. I said to myself: This is the time to make the change for myself. And I signed up for the program.

Since I have this target, and I have competitors to beat (I love competition), and now I also have this resolution, I set my strategy to drag myself to start exercising regularly:
  1. Subscribe to the nearest gym from the office. Good thing is my office attached to a mall that has a gym. Actually there were 2 other gyms near the office, but I took the nearest, so there would be less reason not to go to the gym.
  2. Squeeze the time for gym. Previously, in regular weekdays, I had my lunch in my desk, while working or surfing the internet. Now I took earlier lunch around 11am while working, went to gym around 12PM and come back a little pass 1PM. I also took 5pm class on Monday and Wednesday, because my daughter had afternoon course and I would be picked up late anyway. I tried to use Personal Trainer for the first 2 months, but I found it not quite suitable to my style. I didn't like being chased for coming to gym, I felt like I hadn't paid 100million debt and being chased by debt collector. I don't like having to fit my schedule to other person's schedule. So right now, I think arranging my own schedule is the best for me. Maybe later on I will think again to hire the PT. (besides, PT cost a lot... :) )
  3. Book the schedule in my calendar. I treated gym as my other appointment and calls. I booked it in my calendar, and put the reminder 30 minutes before.
  4. Find the fun in exercising. I love dancing. But after I got married, and later wore hijab since last year, I didn't go dancing anymore. In the gym, I joined 'Body Jam' class, and I'm so happy. It was really fun, and it felt like I was back to 10-20 years ago. This is a class I will not miss. When not in class, I do the cross trainer, and I watch all the good programs in the TV while training. This may not be a very good suggestion, as you're not focusing on the exercise itself, but hey... I didn't realize it's already 45 minutes on the machine. Am thinking to bring a book to while doing static bike... I also tried Yoga classes, which I had difficulties to follow, but still excited. And beside gym, I tried to schedule bi-weekly exercise with my little princess -- it's either swimming or walking on Car Free Day.
  5. Try not to pass 2 days in a row without exercise. If I knew I would not go to gym or swimming, I will walk around my backyard for 45 minutes in the morning, after morning pray. When I'm on holiday to my in-law's village, I offered to go shopping to the local wet market, and I walked for about 1km from home to the market. I even considered my weekly grocery shopping as exercise as I would require about 90 minutes to complete. 
I think the strategy works very good for me. It's not my original, I got it from here and there, including from my mentor in the Bye-bye Big Challenge and The Happiness Project. But it works... At least now I go to gym 3-4 times a week. :)

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