I am a person who likes her habits and while I appreciate many of them, I’m especially grateful for my exercise routine. The benefits are many. I’m strong and capable, able to lift my own suitcase into the overhead or carry a bag of mulch to the garden. The vigorous exercise wipes away my worries and concerns and allows me to start my day with a fresh mind. After exercise, my mood is lifted and I feel ready to attack my day’s events, likely due to the positive hormones released in my body. I also partially attribute my strong immune system to regular exercise. It’s hard to imagine a life without it!
I’ve tried many types of exercise and as a result, I know what works for me. I prefer low-impact activities without a lot of jumping or running. I do best in a group setting with a teacher leading the exercise, both for accountability and to learn good form. I also appreciate how a coach helps me be “unstoppable” in getting in all the reps or lifting a heavier weight than I think possible. I’m a fan of cross training and ensure that I complete a mix of strength and mobility exercises.
As we enter the traditional accounting firm spring busy season, I have been encouraging my coachees and clients to carve out some time for an exercise routine of their own. When you’re busy, it’s easy to deprioritize exercise or say, “I just don’t have time.” Getting through a busy season is a challenging feat, one that you must be strong to accomplish. In my view, to maximize your success, you must MAKE time for exercise.
Here are some recommendations for how to successfully build your own exercise routine.
- Find the time that works best, considering both when you have the energy and what works logistically. Identify and try different times to discover what will work best for you. For me, it’s early morning. Three mornings a week, I get up at 5 am, dress, and head out to the gym. My energy is consistently high before lunch and because my kids are older, they can be independent in the morning. In addition, it’s easier for me to block off early morning time from work commitments.
My husband prefers to exercise after work and before dinner. He lays out his schedule, so we know when to eat without him or when to plan something together. When commitments arise like driving a teen to work or attending a family dinner, he is flexible and reschedules his exercise. With that said, we strive to honor each other’s exercise times.
- Be willing to try out some different exercise options and timing until you find the routine can work for you. Years ago, I tried going to hot yoga over the lunch hour. Because of my complexion, my face was so red afterwards, sometimes for two hours, making it awkward to have meetings or be in the office. Swimming wouldn’t work for me either. While I love to swim and know how good it is for me, the chlorine is too hard on my type of hair and would require me to completely alter my usual quick shower routine. My gym is 7 minutes from the house, a very workable distance. If I had to travel much longer, I might not be able to go as often or fit in a gym workout.
- Block the time on your calendar, both for exercise and “re-entry.” I block travel time to and from the gym plus 30 minutes for a shower, something easily accomplished when exercise starts at 5:30. Later commitments present a scheduling challenge at times. My favorite Barre class is Fridays at 8 am and because it’s more about stretching than sweating, I can schedule a more casual client call shortly after it’s over. If I have to teach a webinar shortly after my Friday Barre class, I choose a different class for that week.
- Be transparent with your various teams so they can support you. Your colleagues might be inconvenienced occasionally by your exercise appointments, but they will understand and admire your efforts to prioritize physical health. Be clear about the purpose of your appointments and be a role model for taking care of yourself. The stronger you are physically, the better able to manage the pressures of a high-level job and the associated responsibilities.
Don’t forget to get buy-in from your home team as well. On Tuesdays, we have to get the trash cans to the street and prepare the house for the cleaners. My daughter manages the trash before she heads to the bus, and my husband straightens up for the cleaners. I’m grateful for their support so that I am not overwhelmed by household tasks after exercise and before work.
My workout partners with younger children use various strategies to get away for their morning exercise commitments. One person has four children and enlists the older ones to help get the toddler up and ready for the day. Another rotates exercise days with her spouse.
- Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and can be consistent doing. I don’t always leap out of bed at 5 am to join my strength training class; however, once I’m there, I get great enjoyment out of the experience. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I’m able to choose a heavier weight or do more pushups or pullups than I could before. My Friday Barre class is fun and lively and leaves me feeling taller with looser muscles than before.
- Join a community to keep you motivated and engaged. I enjoy my trainers and fellow workout partners nearly as much as the workout itself. They expect me to arrive and ask about me when I’m gone. We encourage one another, laugh together, and jokingly poke fun at our instructor with comments like, “Really Lisa, 15 reps?”
At ConvergenceCoaching, we’re incredibly proud of the community we’ve created through our year-end Holiday Exercise Streak where we commit to exercise every day from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day, completing the equivalent of a 1-mile run or walk. Our colleagues, clients, and friends come back year after year to encourage one another to maintain health and wellness during the holidays. Congratulations to the 140 who completed the 2022 Streak! We hope you’ll consider joining (or rejoining) us for this no-cost community wellness activity starting this November. If you are interested in joining the #HolidayStreakers next year, follow our Facebook page for the latest information and updates.
I hope these ideas inspire you to create a workout routine during your Spring busy season. If you want to trade ideas or talk through challenges, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
P.S. When I workout solo, I love music to keep me going. Here’s my favorite Workout Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7h0m8xs4gdJVi8onV24wDa?si=96bd2f8c27e144b1.
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