Anything But Routine!
Have you ever noticed how many articles talk about having or doing a workout routine?
In part, the dictionary defines "routine" as:
- commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity: the routine of an office.
- regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.
- an unvarying and constantly repeated formula, as of speech or action; convenient or predictable response.
If you think these definitions sound a little glum, or perhaps downright depressing, you're not alone.
In my last blog post, I suggested having different routines based on the question, "How do I want to feel?" Unfortunatley, we just don't have all that many days where we get to put that vacation routine into practice. We know we want to feel good and to be in good health on a daily basis, but there's no denying that keeping to the routine on the majority of average days is difficult.
It seems that for people who are blind, this is even harder. I think I'd enjoy tennis, volleyball, or ping pong, but I don't really know. Fun as these games sound, I know of no way that a blind person can play them and get a workout, which excludes playing the computerized versions, of course. Some activities like goalball, skiing, or tandem biking require participation from others. Unless you have a pool, going swimming may involve taking public transportation, and participating in exercise classes may involve whole new levels of challenge.
This is why so many find motivation flagging when at the start of another day, we face the same piece of equipment we have possibly used for years, we know we should work out, so we draw deeply on any reserves we have, and we get to it. Is there a better way? Indeed there is, but the solutions will involve some creative thinking.
Use What You've Got. If you have a piece of equipment that works for you, use it, but change things up a bit. You can add some variety to make your workout more enjoyable. If you always exercise to the same playlist, consider changing it. There are smart phone apps that stream workout playlists, and others that scan your library for music with a certain number of beats per minute. Or choose a theme. For example, maybe you exercise to oldies one day, children's music another day, and movie themes on another.... the possibilities are endless. You can try any kind of music, however common or obscure. What matters is that you enjoy it, and if it brings up positive memories, that's all the better. Does music bore you? Try an audio book or TV show. Some people allow themselves to enjoy a particular book or series only while they are working out. Change anything you can if it's feasible. You'll likely enjoy your workout more if you light a scented candle, diffuse some essential oil, spray on a little perfume or cologne, get new workout clothes, or even put on a favorite piece of jewelry.
It's About Your Body After All. If the purpose of working out is to move your body, then you don't need any equipment if you'd rather not. You can walk in place while swinging your arms, do exercises you know, or dance energetically to your favorite music. Of course, BlindAlive produces a number of described workouts which will add that much-needed variety. You can strengthen and stretch your entire body and get a complete cardio workout. We have eleven workouts at the time of this writing, so you can vary them without becoming bored. If you like equipment, then by all means use it. However, if you're not into that, or new fitness equipment isn't in the budget, use what you have. Cans and bottles make excellent weights, and the back of a sturdy chair or a counter can serve as a barre or balance aid. If you are looking for more ways to work out at home, you might find this post on Building Your Home Fitness Area to be helpful.
Reach Out. If you want to branch out, check with others in your area. You may be able to find a walking or hiking club, someone interested in tandem biking, or a friend, neighbor, or even your partner to serve as a walking buddy. While working out at home can be safe and predictable, getting outside can help expand your horizons and provide an additional but necessary way to turn the routine into something a bit more special.
If you have creative or unusual ways you stay physically active, we'd love to have you join our Facebook Group and share with all of us.