Often I get asked how I stay so fit despite having a family, a busy job and many other commitments. It wasn’t always like that. I was certainly not a sporting star in school and in my early twenties I struggled keeping my weight under control. It was only when I moved to Australia that I was able to keep a healthy weight. I ran my first half marathon in my late twenties in Brisbane and have been hooked ever since. I believe one of the reasons is the sunny weather here in Australia which helps to establish healthy lifestyle routines and stay fit all year around. These days I feel unwell if I haven’t done my regular workout and I am itching to get the breath and sweat going. Working out makes me feel good and I see it as an investment into my own health and future. It is a number one priority for my whole family.
I don’t really have a strict fitness routine and I do like mixing it up between swimming, yoga, running, bike riding and core training.
Here are my favorites:
1. Exercising every day
Yes, I do try to exercise every day. If I can’t do one day or two because I am sick or I just fell out of my routine, it is not so much of a drama because I have done a lot of work on the other days.
2. Track your workouts
One of my favorite apps is the Runkeeper. I initially started using it to track my runs. For some time now I also use it to track manually all my other workouts like yoga, swimming or core training like 7 Minute Workout.
It gives my a real buzz looking at my weekly chart and seeing how many workouts I have done. If you are keen you can even connect with friends and have a little competition. But if it is just you, it works just as well. There is no hiding. It’s just you and the visual metrics.
3. Attend one big sporting event per year that challenges you
Once a year we try to book into one big sporting event that provides a focus to train for. For a lot of people this might be a 5 km run or walk which is totally fine. For me at the moment it is running a half-marathon (21.1 km) once every year. I try to find an event that is fun for the whole family and also caters for my daughter with a kids run or similar. Running a half marathon provides just enough challenge for me. I need to prepare for it in the lead up but don’t have to do to much additional training. I typically start 2-3 months before the event with increased run lengths and I’ll do 1-2 full 21 km rund a few weeks before the event. It’s a great feeling to cross the finish line with so many other runners and being welcomed by your family.
4. The 7 Minute Workout
One of my absolute favorite work outs is the 7 Minute Workout which is available for free on iOS devices. There is also a free website version here. You can do it at home or in the park at your own time, with your kids or with a friend for some more fun. Make sure that you watch the videos to ensure you understand the exercises well.
5. Use your bike to ride to work or for short trips to run errands
My whole family has good bikes and we make good use of them. I really enjoy riding my bike into work. Besides that I make good use of my time using my commute to get fit. I also save on transport or parking fees. It’s a real bonus that most employers in the Brisbane CBD offer showers (sometimes even with towel service, hair dryers and ironing boards). It doesn’t happen every day that I ride into work but on such days I usually have the best ideas and I am super productive. Potential clients get bonus points from me if they have good shower facilities. It’s my health and fitness which has my top priority.