Simple Is Good
Having another adult around on Saturday, my mind spun with the possibility of getting oodles of errands run and chores finished. I sounded like a pep team captain on Redbull. “We could get the groceries, return the Bed Bath and Beyond purchase, drop off Salvation Army, get gas, clean the condo, maybe go out for lunch with the girls…” Fearing I might derail, my husband pumped the brakes, stating “I think that’s a good enough list to start.” At first I was not in agreement (uh-uhm.) Slowly, I realized he was right.
Attempting to do all that you usually do when life is exceptionally full is not a good idea (wherein my husband’s genius lies). Personally I’ve got a new baby, new body, back to work demands, sleep deprivation and new family routines – for me, life is nothing if not full right now. Some of the changes are just more work and some are delightful, joy-filled additions. In any form, increased commitments make finding time for exercise a challenge for all of us. It can make us feel more encumbered and deflated, depleting the energy we so desperately need. Solution? Embrace where you are at and use it as an opportunity to simplify. Define what is a need and what is a want. What will energize you? What will tire you?
It’s no surprise that I firmly believe exercise belongs in your life during these times. What may surprise you are my suggestions for including it into an overflowing schedule. Let go of your notions of a “good workout” and focus on “good enough for now.” Keeping it simple and easy will give you meaningful boosts until life settles down into something more manageable.
Habits to employ to keep healthy during demanding weeks:
- Get off/on one train stop earlier/later to increase your walk to/from work.
- Exploit simple meal ideas even when they are not your ideal – better to eat something moderately healthy than not at all or binging later because you are so hungry.
- Do ten squats, ten jumping jacks and ten deep breaths every morning.
- Dance in your living room for ten minutes.
- Commit to drinking ample amounts of water.
- Take the long way home – walk by the lake for 20 minutes before checking out for the day.
- Take 5 during your work day and walk around the block or up and down the stairs – ask a coworker to join you.
- Shut your office door and stretch your back, hips and chest for ten minutes.
- Take the stairs every day, every opportunity.
- Park in the space farthest from the entrance.
- Schedule a family walk – fresh air and movement will boost spirits, increase sleep quality and provide free quality time.
- Book the cleaning lady – lessen your chores list and free up a little time for a bout of exercise or more/better sleep.
- Do a few yoga moves that you remember from class for a quick break from work.
- Check your posture before every phone call – refreshing that mind/body connection can make a huge difference.
Print this list and post it in your office, share it with your HR rep. or attach it to your fridge. Hope it is a big help to you during busy weeks. Remember – Simple is good, and often, good enough for now.
All my best, Michelle
Strength Training Exclusively for Women
Operating out of Symmetry Center: 401 West Ontario, 4th Floor, Chicago IL 60610