I sometimes fall into the familiar trap of having an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to working out. If a workout isn’t “long enough,” or isn’t “tough enough,” it doesn’t count, so “do nothing” is the avenue chosen.
When I only have 30 minutes between finishing work for the day and picking up my daughter from daycare, I’ll sometimes just skip working out and tell myself, I’ll do it tomorrow. I think everyone knows how that story goes; there’s always some obstacle in ‘waiting for tomorrow,’ whether it be a last-minute deadline, chore, or under-the-weather kiddo.
However, I’m trying to adopt the ‘every little bit counts’ mentality instead. As cliche as it may seem, this mantra really has allowed me to have a more positive attitude about the short workouts that I am able to squeeze in.
Lacing up my tennis shoes and heading out the door for a 20-minute, 2-mile run (hopefully followed by at least some minimal stretching) may not seem like it’s “enough” of a workout to some people, but it automatically gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Often just getting outside alone makes me grateful for ability to be able to run.
Some days, when the errands loom, and there isn’t time for a formal workout, we’ll head out on an early evening 2-mile round trip stroller/wagon ride to the local park. She gets to run (or swing!) some pre-bedtime energy out, and I at least get to close the activity ring on my watch.
Lifting weights is another activity that often seems like one needs to devote a lot of time to in order to be ‘worth it’. Not only a lot of time, but a lot of equipment, too. For now, I get by with the 5-and 8-lb weights in my home office to get in a 20-30 minute workout. When that doesn’t happen, I’ll sometimes bring my yoga mat into the living room and do bridge lifts and core work while my daughter plays with her toys, at least until she starts crawling all over me. Do I miss being a member of a gym and having a variety of equipment at my disposal? Sometimes yes, I do, and maybe one day I’ll join another gym.
And maybe one day I will have more time to devote to working out, to following a training plan, to maybe completing a longer distance running race.
Right now, I’m mostly happy with closing my laptop down at the end of the day and fitting in that quick 2-mile run on my favorite trail, and then still having time to play with sidewalk chalk on the driveway.