Being flexible when it comes to your exercise routine.
I recently had a cortisone shot in my left wrist, and the doc thought hitting the archaic and hard 1983 punching bag wouldn’t be the best idea if I wanted optimal results from the shot (a bit of the ole’carpal tunnel going on). So, I said, ‘ok, I will eliminate the punching bag, amp up the elliptical time, and add jumping rope back in to that specific workout – that won’t kill me’.
I think I did that one time, and then it hit me, ‘why can’t I just pretend to hit the bag so that I can still do my elbow to knee abs and squats that I usually would do in between punches. So, I did; incorporating shadow boxing into my workout, and according to my fitbit, my heart rate was remarkably higher than when I was actually hitting the bag – interesting!
Just because the doc ordered a change, didn’t mean I would get less exercise; I found a way to still get the benefits and follow the doctor’s orders. In doing so, I like my new regimen. Before, I was splitting my time on the elliptical, throwing a 24-minute boxing session in between two 15 minute sessions on the machine. Now, I’m on the machine for 37 minutes and my heart rate stays higher for a longer duration, which I think is a positive change for me.
The change did me good. Sometimes you have to keep your mind open and be versatile when it comes to incorporating something new into your exercise routine.
Two examples of versatility in my exercise life:
*Travel can be tough when it comes to sticking with an exercise regimen. I recall going to Disney World many years ago and not wanting to go to the gym because I wouldn’t take the time away from the family vacation. Instead, I figured out how to exercise with my children right there. The hotel we stayed at had a lagoon area; I walked back and forth in knee deep water, trudging my way through and really concentrating on using my legs. I also swam against the current in the ‘river current pool’.
*I visited my daughter one summer at her apartment in the beautiful wilderness of Franconia NH. My fears of encountering a bear on a rural roadside dissuaded me from going for a run, so instead I jumped rope inside and set up a pillow along the side of a bunk bed to punch into.
*When my kids were very young, I would put two of them in a ‘little red wagon’ equipped with bags of goldfish snacks and picture books. I pulled them behind me through town just so I could walk (we didn’t own a tandem stroller). I made do with what I had and they loved the ride.
The point is, if you want to exercise, you can and will find a way, even if it’s just doing ab crunches, pushups, squats, and yoga poses in your hotel room. There really are no excuses, but there is a plethora of possibilities if you are open to thinking creatively.
And don’t forget, even subtle changes in your current exercise routine, whether it concerns time changes or actual adjustments of exercises, can make a difference. The body not only responds positively to change, it thrives on it!