How to Fit Exercise Into a Busy Day

midday-workoutsAfter we linked to our last open thread on midday workouts, a bunch of readers expressed an interest in having another discussion on how to fit workouts into a busy day.  For my own $.02, in my ideal world I get my exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, my socializing in with friends in the evening, with a long day in between to do lots of work.

But of course, that’s easier said than done.  You may have work commitments in the morning, or prefer to use the time for other personal development.  And as a new mother, the thing I’ve realized since having a baby is that your concept of “me time” changes drastically once you have a kiddo.  Particularly that “morning/evening” time — if it isn’t already committed to work, that time quickly becomes blocked as “family time” — either because you genuinely want to see your child(ren), or you literally have no one else on hand to care for them (unless you have a nanny around the clock, lucky you).  So a midday workout is the only way a lot of people can fit in exercise at all.

So if you have to have a midday workout, here are a few ideas: [Read more...]

A Few Thoughts on Hormones… (Or: How to Fight The Crazy)

Originally uploaded to Flickr by emersonquinn.This is a bit of a ranty post, so I’ll start with the questions: do you feel that hormones affect you? What are your best tips for controlling or preventing the symptoms of PMS, pregnancy, or menopause?

I’ve already ranted about watches and cuffed pants, which kind of sets us up well for today’s rant: about hormones. You see, I’m weaning off breastfeeding, which means I’m kind of a psycho hose beast right now. And it’s gotten me thinking about how it’s really unfair for women, because throughout our lives we’re socked with major hormonal changes: [Read more...]

Open Thread: What’s Your Resolution?

New Year Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by joka2000New Year’s Resolutions:  love ‘em or hate ‘em, everyone kind of makes them.  You take stock of your life, you resolve to “be better”… what are your goals for 2012?  What do you want to do better? (Pictured: New Year Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by joka2000.)

For me the answer to that question is to “get fit.”  I’m unfortunately at my highest weight ever after the baby, but what really bugs me is how much my muscles deteriorated — due to some pregnancy aches and pains I couldn’t do much more than swim during the last 5 weeks of the pregnancy for cardio, and you’re not supposed to exercise before 6 weeks postpartum… which took me more like 12 weeks because every time I started to exercise I felt so off I thought, “this can’t possibly be right,” and would make another doctor’s appointment.  Having now been cleared by my OB/gyn, my primary, and my podiatrist, I have no excuses left… so I’ve started Couch to 5K again. [Read more...]

Wakey Wakey! The Business End of 4 AM

Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by killthebird.There was an interesting article in Forbes the other week about how power women wake up early, and commenters seemed interested in talking about it more, so I thought we should explore in an open thread. How early do you get up? What do you do with the time? Any tips that make it easier to get up then? For those of you who don’t rise that early, do you have another special time of the day? (Sunrise, originally uploaded to Flickr by killthebird.)

For my $.02: I was always a night owl when I was younger. Term papers and graduation speeches alike got written in the hours between 12 and 3. I realized this was a problem sometime around high school when, reading a college admissions essay I had thought brilliant the night before, I realized a good two sentences were devoted to “finding a piece of licorice on the floor.” And not even in a metaphor way, just a “Kat had a dream while typing” way. Still, the habit perpetuated until after law school, I think. By then — working crazy long hours — I realized that my best time truly was first thing upon waking. So I started getting up earlier. [Read more...]

The Style of Cycling

Walk Your Bike to Work Day, originally uploaded to Flickr by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious.Reader S wonders if her refreshing bike ride to and from the office is harming her professional image…

I ride my bike to work and struggle to look professional and yet arrive at the office safely at the same time. I’ve started keeping my clothes at work, and so now, I frequently wear leggings and sneakers and then run to my office to change before anyone notices. Other times though, I need to go out for dinner or a client meeting after work, and it can be annoying to have to “change” into my sneakers afterwards so that I can bike home.

What do I do? Should I just start riding the subway? I love biking because it’s fast and refreshing, but I wonder if it’s unprofessional.

I’m really curious to hear what the readers have to say here. I applaud Reader S’s effort for a healthy lifestyle, and I’m kind of envious that her situation is such that she can bike to work. That said… you don’t have to do it 100% of the time to get the effects, and I think some days (such as, say, when you have a client dinner) you should plan to take other means of transportation to work, whether it be by subway or car (or if the distance is short enough, perhaps even walking).  To me, that seems to be the easiest answer — what do you do otherwise, travel by car back to the office, then change, and then bike home? Take your bike with you to the client dinner?  The latter just sounds a bit extremist — and inflexibility is usually not a good thing. (Pictured: Walk Your Bike to Work Day, originally uploaded to Flickr by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious.) [Read more...]

Packing a Gym Bag for the Office

what to put in office gym bagReader A has a question about what to pack for a workout before, during, or after work hours:

I am an attorney in Chicago. I absolutely LOVE your site and I was wondering if you could do an article about gym bags. Specifically, essentials to have in your gym bag so you don’t have to repack it every time you work out. Also, maybe some cute/durable/good sized bags that you’ve seen. Finally, this may sound silly, but advice on how to pack the bag, like have the stuff you’ll use in the shower in one little pouch; hair stuff in another; or maybe hair stuff with makeup combined.

I don’t necessarily want to own two of everything and my gym does have hair dryers, brushes (not the best though), etc. but if I workout in the morning and I am going to the office afterwards, or after work and want to look presentable when I leave (it is a nice gym with lots of potential business connections), it’d help to have some guidance on what to have and how to pack it in there. [Read more...]