I am a firm believer in the power of calendars. This is what the one on my fridge looks like.
Big boxes. Lots of room to write down details.
I use my fridge calendar to schedule family events, children’s sports activities and appointments, hubby’s work travel, my teaching schedule and training sessions with clients. I even have a separate editorial calendar for scheduling blog posts!
I like to think of it as ‘mission control’: things that don’t make it on the calendar, often get overlooked or missed entirely.
Like exercise. When I include my weekly exercise plans on my kitchen calendar, I’m much more likely to get it done. Unfortunately, I haven’t been very good about scheduling exercise over the summer. Consequently, my workouts have been more of a mish-mash than I’d like.
Given that September is a fresh start (you are participating in my Fresh Start Fitness Challenge, aren’t you?), this week’s task is creating an exercise schedule. One that takes into consideration (1) the exercise I get when I teach classes, (2) my desire to spend less time at the gym and (3) my current goals of increasing my cardio to better balance out all the strength training I do (because I enjoy it so much more!).
Why don’t you grab your calendar (or at least a blank sheet of paper) and join me in creating an exercise schedule of your own!
I started by plotting out my current teaching load (if you’re not a group fitness instructor, you can skip this step. Or you can write in any ‘set in stone’ fitness routines you’re already following in)
Then I added in the times I spend training clients (put your work hours in here; these are times when you can’t possibly exercise)
and taking care of my family (family, friends or pets; whoever you need to carve out time in your week for)
The gaps that remain are the blocks of time I have left for exercise. (Here’s hoping you have a few empty blocks left too!)
Given that my Sunday, Monday and Wednesday classes all include a cardio component and that I teach an additional cardio-only class at lunch on Monday, I really only need one more cardio workout in my week. Let’s make it a run on Friday, after my last client and before I have to pick the kids up from school.
And although I’m already lifting weights Sunday, Monday and Wednesday when I teach, to be honest, the loads that I lift when I’m teaching are no longer heavy enough to stimulate muscle growth for me. Maintenance, yes, growth, no. So I still need at least 2 days of targeted lifting in the weight room. Ideally 60-75 minute blocks with at least 48 hours between sessions. Looks like Tuesday and Thursday will have to do!
And of course, my Saturday morning 8 am Hatha Flow is sacred. Never miss it if I can help it.
Here’s what my fall exercise schedule looks like. (Is yours all filled out too? Make sure to take your daily energy levels into consideration. Not a morning person, leave those empty morning blocks for sleeping and schedule your workouts later in the day.)
And what about ‘rest’ days? We need to schedule those in as well. I consider Saturday to be my rest day. Even though I’m attending yoga class, it’s more of a stretching and relaxation session for me than a full on workout.
On weeks when I feel like I need an extra rest day, I do more ‘coaching’ than ‘participating’ in my Wednesday morning Bootcamp. My participants have never complained that my lack of participation has resulted in them feeling less motivated to work themselves. In fact, some had said that they get a better workout when I’m walking around the room correcting form and ‘getting in their space’…
If you use iCal, you’ll recognize the calendar images above. That means that in addition to seeing my weekly exercise plans on the kitchen calendar, I’ll also be reminded of them every time I glance at my iPhone. That’s an awful lot of reminders each and every day 😉
Did you schedule your weekly workouts along with me?
Post a picture on Instagram! I’d love to see your plans!