Our relationship is complicated. Sometimes I really like him. Sometimes, not so much. I do better when I see him first thing in the morning. If I wait until later in the day, it is challenging to make myself spend time with him. We used to do the same thing together day after day, but we’ve learned that to keep our relationship exciting, we need to mix it up a bit. Here’s how we’ve kept things fresh and fun.
As I’ve shared before, I’ve always been faithful, but never really a fan of exercise. I’m with George Clooney, who famously said that he exercises so that he can do everything that he wants to do. Staying in shape keeps me strong enough to do pretty much everything that I want to do, whether it’s lifting 12 packs of TAB into my grocery cart, (Yes friends, my husband is the last person on earth who drinks it.) or helping one of my kids move into a new apartment. It doesn’t hurt that exercise also fools your body into thinking that you are younger than you are. There are lots of good reasons to exercise. If you’re an empty nester, your little excuses have moved out of the house, so there’s that. Sigh.
My secret to keeping it fresh and new? For the past year, I have been a loyal subscriber to Fitness Blender on You Tube. Started by an adorable husband/wife team of personal trainers, Fitness Blender provides full-length workout videos and health information completely free of charge. You can read more about this duo on their website.. Most of the workouts are a combination of no-equipment-necessary (although you can add hand weights to up the calorie burn) cardio and strength training, and feature a warm-up and cool down with stretching as well. You can select the difficulty level, target areas, and duration. They also offer customizable workout calendars, progress tracking, and day-by-day workout and meal programs if you are interested in those. I can pull up their workouts on my phone, iPad, or laptop. No excuses, y’all.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I’m either on the treadmill or elliptical, and then I lift weights and do some Pilates for my core. But on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do one of Fitness Blender’s workouts right at home. I choose it the night before, and then pretty much roll out of bed and get it done before I can talk myself out of it. Lately, Bob and I have been doing it together. Sweating, grunting, and groaning together simply makes it easier to take! Sometimes we laugh at ourselves or at each other. But mostly we just sweat, grunt, and groan. Note: we do not do this when our kids are home to witness it. They would die laughing, and we would end up on Snapchat for sure.
To get started, I invested in good quality tennies and workout socks with extra cushioning, an extra-thick and cushy yoga mat for the floor, hand weights, and shorts and sports bras. (We’re at home, so I am not about to put a shirt over my sports bra, people. Gym doesn’t mind.)
No matter what your age and stage in life, you really should meet my boyfriend, Gym. There is something you could be doing to help you get stronger! Maybe it’s walking with friends, or even just doing a chair workout with the help of You Tube. Please, do something! You will feel stronger and be ready for all that life throws your way. Oh, and if you like TAB, come on over. There’s plenty in the fridge. Maybe I’ll even introduce you to my boyfriend, Gym.
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