In search of an exercise routine

In search of an exercise routine

‘You need to exercise’, a small voice tells me as I settle down on the sofa with my glass of warm lemon water. It’s Sunday morning and exercise is the last thing on my mind.
‘But it’s Sunday’, another part of my brain argues.
‘You started going to the gym yesterday so it’s just Day 2, it’s not like you’re exhausted by a whole week of exercise’.

That’s true, of course.

I look down longingly at the newspapers on my lap and Ranjit Lal beckons me from one of the Sunday magazines.
‘The children will be up soon and there’s so much to be done…,’ I begin.
‘Half an hour,’ cuts in that other voice, ‘the children will sleep through.’

That’s true too.

It’s the last day of their Diwali vacation and they have already told me they want to spend a ‘lazy day’ as if the other days have been full of hectic activity!

Anyway, I pull on my sneakers reluctantly, then realise I’ve put the milk for boiling.
‘You can boil that later’, says the voice even before I can open my mouth to put in an excuse.

‘It’ll be crowded and there’s just one treadmill,’ I muse as I wait for the lift to come up to my floor, wondering if I should just squash that voice and go back to my sofa.
‘You can cycle or lift weights till then’ the voice is insistent.
I hold on to my resolve with every ounce of my will-power and get into the lift.

Finally, I make it to the clubhouse and find the gym empty, which is a bit of relief and not really surprising.

Forty minutes later, I am back, brimming with endorphins, to find the children still sleeping.

When did exercising become such a chore for me? I wonder as I sit down with my cup of tea.

I have exercised almost all my life. The gym has been my go-to place. I’ve tried everything there – cardio, weights, aerobics, a little bit of kickboxing, some Bollywood and Salsa too – though it all seemed the same with my two left feet and the focus was always simply on exercising.

A few years back I discovered Zumba and I thought I had found my ‘thing’. Zumba didn’t seem to mind that I had two left feet or that I had no clue what the lyrics of those songs were. I loved it and I never missed a session.

Then I injured my foot and it took a long time to heal and that was that. I moved to yoga and have been at it for almost a year. It’s fun but it doesn’t give me the high of a Zumba class or the happy sweat of a good run on the treadmill or a long brisk walk.

And that’s how I turned into a very reluctant ‘exerciser’. Weirdly enough, I find each time I leave off my exercise routine, my diet goes haywire too.

You know those people who wake up every day pledging earnestly to begin a serious exercise routine and then give up as the day wears on? Well, I have been that person for a while now. It’s been next week, next month, after the kids’ exams, after Diwali, after the holidays and so on.

Meanwhile, the weight has piled up and stamina has hit rock bottom. So finally, yet again, I started off this Saturday with a new routine. Twice I’ve taken up swanky annual gym memberships only to abandon them midway. This time I’ll stick to the one in our apartment complex – it’s small and just about functional but it has everything I need to make a start. What’s more, it’s a minute’s walk away and is open almost through the day. Like I mentioned earlier most days I have it all to myself. I’m hoping that will take care of all my excuses. Today was Day3 and I’m hoping, putting this out here will somehow strengthen my resolve to keep at it.

I’m simply aiming to keep going every day – even if it’s for half an hour.

Today is the last day of the Write tribe Problogger Challenge and I had something entirely different planned but this was so top of the mind for me I had to get it out.

Have you struggled with an exercise routine ever? How did you motivate yourself to stick with it?


Picture credit: Pixabay


Linking up with the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge #writebravely #writetribeproblogger

and with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me #mg

28 Replies to “In search of an exercise routine”

  1. Im off the track too. Either the kids fall sick or I, preventing me from being consistent on my exercise regimen. I have made a 30day challenge with my husband. But he falls of the wagon very easily and makes sure that I too fall with him. lately I found out that even though my weight was not going down, my size has gone down, which was a over the moon moment. I hope you stuck to day 3 plan too.

    1. It’s the inches that matter. Weight is way slower to go down but it does happen over time. How far have you come on that 30 day challenge? I’m going good and it’s week 2 so am pretty happy with myself.

  2. I can understand and completely relate with this post. I used to struggle with my yoga practice but then I made it partially non-negotiable and it worked. So if I feel like missing a session I HAVE to do 20 minutes at least. My yoga sessions are for 60 minutes so even if I do 20 minutes on some days it gets done and the routine continues. The monkey mind will always tempt us away . Working with it by giving in sometimes works for me.

  3. I’ve been trying hard to develop an exercise routine but I’ve failed so far! Each time I come up with some excuse or the other.
    Its good that you are motivating yourself to keep a schedule. All the best for that!

    1. It must be tough Reema with a hectic work schedule like yours. If only it weren’t so important I’d tell you it was okay to give it a miss.

  4. What works for me is tracking. Okay, take a step back and agree with me that you and only you are responsible for your health. Then I just start one day and start tracking. Everyday I go, I mark the calendar. Then in a new week the past week’s numbers inspire me. In a new month, the numbers of the previous month inspire me. I tell myself that I need to do it for myself. And the aim at 5-6 days a week. Also, I know that sharing with someone and having a buddy helps. When it becomes a part of your routine then anyway you are good 🙂
    All the best, Tulika! Do it for yourself and the kids who need you healthy.

    1. Tracking would work for me too. Thanks for that tip. Rachna said the same thing and I’ll be doing that for sure. 5-6 days is a doable target.

  5. Oh Tulika, you are a woman after my heart! Only difference between you and me? Where a gym has been your go-to place, a library has been mine! I have never, ever exercised in my life! Never danced wither. For a long time, youth and good genes took care of my stamina and health, but lately, especially after motherhood happened (followed by everything it entails) I found my stamina at rock-bottom and health deteriorating. So now I am taking tentative baby steps in the world of yoga; and for the time being, I like what I feel after a session. My motivator? My Lo. He stands pointing at the clock when its time for the class; and it is too much for me to refuse his Pathani looks that tell me I better get going for the class..or else…!
    So, yes, I have struggled (and continue to struggle) to keep an exercise routine. But since I like how I feel after a good Yoga session, I am hoping I will stay put. (Fingers crossed :))
    It was a great challenge and I am glad we crossed paths!

    1. Yoga is wonderful if it works for you. It was genes that pushed me to begin exercising even before I was an adolescent. So it’s familiar territory except perhaps with age (when results are slow to show up) and stress I find I’m not as motivated as I once used to be. I hope you find your happy exercising space.
      PS: Sending a hug to your Lo for keeping you on track.

  6. For me Goqii is helping. Routine is best- then sleep early, get up early so the cycle continues. When clothes don’t fit I become more motivated!

    1. I read your post on Goqii. Seems like a good idea. Clothes are a good indicator too. However, of late I’ve taken to buying the next size! That needs to change.

  7. I had taken membership twice but didn’t go to the gym regularly and wasted all my money and put on weight 🙁 I had a bad time during my menopause and since then I just go for my evening walks. One hour a day is all I can manage to walk and that too reluctantly, on some days 🙂 Having a gym in the apartment complex makes it easier to go regularly. Way to go, Tulika.

  8. Day 1 is the toughest… But hey you already crossed that. It’s wonderful that you have a gym nearby. I had always wabted that. You can go there anytime I wish you luck in your pursuit. I am sure you will reach your goals

    1. I’m so very grateful for the gym and I wonder why I never used it before. Somedays going to one far off seems pointless if I have to exercise for just 15-20 minutes but this one is great.

  9. Oh God! This is the story of my life and I blame the monsoon for this. I haven’t been a lot outdoors since monsoon started. Today I have no excuses left. But, I am not a gym person. I would rather walk or play badminton.

    1. Whatever works for you Lata is perfect. I love walking too and I know of people who swear by it and have lost 5-10 kgs simply by walking and a balanced diet.

  10. I too postpone my excercise with some excuse. But my stamina is reduced. So i started gym recently and aerobics in the evening weekly thrice. Iam not lazy but getting up early when it is too cold outside stops me from going to gym.

    1. Ah yes I know that feeling of snuggling down in the quilt! I love aerobics but the newer exercise forms seem have ended it completely. We hardly have aerobics anywhere around here – it’s Zumba all the way.

  11. Kudos Tulika for trying again. I know how difficult and frustrating it can be. Even with my regularity, when I take a week long break, I feel lazy to start back. Most importantly, choose a time in the day when you will be free and stick to it daily. Since you have been a gymmer and are not really a beginner, set yourself a target of 30 minutes daily and do it diligently for 5 days in a week. Maintain a journal or a tick in the calendar and cross it out daily. It is very important to be accountable to yourself. And yes, listen to music if that helps or find a buddy to do it with. That helps a lot. Good luck. And no matter how many times you fall off the wagon, it is never too late to climb back on.

    1. That tick on the calendar is a fabulous idea. Will put up a chart right away. Music works well with me and I’m already doing that. No buddy, though. Will have to go alone on this.

  12. Way to go, Tulika 🙂 You already crossed the first barrier- that of getting past Day 1. Do you remember the post I wrote about sticking to a fitness routine? That has helped me stay committed to my walk, come what may. Accountability helps online but only to some extent.

    Give yourself that simple goal: 15 minutes or 30 minutes a day, come what may. Keep it a fixed time, like 7 am, and nothing else at that time. If you must do something else you should just sit and stare at the wall. I guarantee you will tire of that in no time 😉 Look at it as a date: with yourself and you owe it to yourself, your body and your health. Shift the perspective a teeny bit. Tell yourself, “I know I can do this.”

    Baby steps= Action; sustained action= Results; good results= Motivation. This mindfulness expert I saw on YouTube called it the A-R-M approach to a habit. Simply brilliant 🙂

    1. That’s a sensible equation. I love how much gyan you cull from the Net. I’d lose my way in mindless stuff. Coming back to exercising though I haven’t arrived on a routine yet but I have exercised almost every day these past 10 days (barring Saturday and Sunday which were so crazily packed). That makes 8 days of exercise. I hope I can keep it up long enough to celebrate a monthversary :-).

  13. Oh yes, this sounds familiar. Working out these days seems to require new resolve at my end too. True that when we do not have an exercise regime, diet goes haywire. Good Luck to you for looking past the excuses and heeding to the stronger voice within.

  14. I have been fighting with my lazy self to get up early and exercise of late – I can’t believe it, myself! I guess it is the winter coming on that has me lying bundled up till late!

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