Squat Breaks

I have been trying to squeeze in little bits of fitness at work. Mostly because I get really sore and kind of cranky about sitting in an office chair a good portion of my 40 hours a week. By Thursdays usually my left hip is making major noises and my lower back starts groaning. So I have incorporated little things into my day like squat breaks. I literally get up every couple of hours and squat for 1 minute while still working. Then I use my desk to do incline push ups. That sounds odd I know but it is the perfect height and I have nothing at home that is sturdy enough for me to do it there and I really want to one day be able to accomplish a real push up. It isn’t a whole lot but it is more than nothing. Plus it amuses my coworkers, if they happen to poke their head around my cubicle at the right time I can be found standing at my desk squatting and editing a legal brief with my red marker or quit possibly doing some stretches as well or squatting like I am picking weeds out of a flower bed while typing an email response. I try to keep it exciting over here!

The other thing I have been doing at work is taking the stairs. Now I am a lot of floors up and one day I hope to be able to take the stairs all the way up to my floor but for now I am content with taking the stairs when I need to run up or down a floor to drop something off.

It is enough to get my heart rate pumping and yesterday I started jogging up them. That. Was. Hard. I obviously need to do more stairs in my life. Seriously. Stair stepper at the gym here I come!
Yesterday was my swim day at the gym. Which meant a few awkward pictures in the bathroom stall while changing I guess. 
Don’t ask, I was feeling super silly and weird before my swim. I was also seriously dragging my feet which is probably why I decided pictures were a good idea. But luckily the husband moves faster than me and nabbed a lane before it got too busy. I lane share with him because I suck at lane sharing and often times he has to gently nudge me to the side when I have encroached on his lane. I am okay with it. For the most part I can follow the wall but every once in awhile during no arms I stray to the middle of the lane or even sometimes during backstroke. 
Last night I wanted to really work on keeping going since most of my focus up until then was my swimming form. When I first started swimming a couple of weeks ago I had to rest after each lap (25 meters roughly) because it was hard work. Last night I was able to go 500 meters before needing a couple minutes to breath and then I rocked out another 200 meters after that to finish it all up. I noticed my form starts to get wonky when I am getting overly tired and that usually signals I need a breather. It was also a busy pool last night so I had to battle through rougher waters than normal, good practice for swimming in the ocean is what I considered it and that kept me from getting irritated each time the splashes in the next lane caused a tidal wave to wash over me. I am still super slow at just legs and I almost drown myself every time with the back stroke (something about my arms bring up water that gets into my nose somehow every.single.time) but my no leg with paddles and my free swim are greatly improving. Even the husband was impressed by my speed during both.
This swim workout I did last night was:
100 yard warm up of free swim
100 yards free swim (faster paced)
100 yards no legs with hand paddles
100 yards of kick board, no arms
100 yards of free swim
50 yards of back stroke
50 yards of no arms
50 yards with paddles
50 yards free swim cool down
I really enjoy swimming. I thought it would be boring without music but it isn’t, I like the silence to hear myself think after an 9 hour day filled to the brim with strict deadlines, briefs to edit, filings, phone calls, meetings, emails to answer, index’s to keep updated and whatever else is thrown my direction. My work days are hectic and filled to the brim with problem solving, so it is nice to be able to check out during my swim. I find it almost meditative and a great transition into going home to deal with whatever needs to be dealt with there (errands, animals, husband, bills, paperwork, phone calls, emails etc). 
A friend mentioned doing an Ugly Sweater run to me the other day and after taking a look at it, I have decided I NEED this in my life. 
No seriously I do. So it has me debating adding walk/runs to my already hectic schedule, maybe squeezing them into my lunch break or alternate with nights of swimming. I am not sure yet but for now I will add in long hikes on Sundays (you know, when football is NOT on) with the dogs weather permitting (currently the 100 degree prediction for this weekend is NOT weather permitting). Plus it means that we have to go hunt through every bargain bin for the ugliest holiday sweater EVER! Now doesn’t that sound fun?! You know it does! 
Tonight the pool is being taken over by the water aerobics people and I debated joining them, I actually like it but I really miss lifting weights. So I will be rocking out a HIIT workout on the elliptical, spending a few minutes on the stair master (cue cringe) and then it is leg daaaaay on the weights.
So the results of the challenge were.. a total combined loss of 4.6%. I lost 11 pounds while the husband rocked 15 pounds. I think I could have lost more if I had been slightly stricter on my eating. There were a few stressful days that resulted in a few slips. Stupid PCOS hormones that make it hard to lose weight when I even LOOK at carbs. Even with that, we won this round and now both couples are tied with one win each. BUT there just might be another round approaching. Everyone seems to agree that it is GREAT motivation and accountability!! (Read about the first one here, the first week and the start of the second one)
I have been working on establishing my sleeping schedule all week. In my spare time I have also been reading lots of articles on how to become a morning person. So next week I am taking some of the tips I have been reading about and I am going to do things like move my alarm clock so I don’t keep hitting snooze, do something active when I first wake up and start a bed time routine that doesn’t have to do with staring at a phone or Kindle (electronics before bed can disrupt our melatonin). In the meant time, this weekend, we are not going to set an alarm to get up and I am sticking to my nightly bed time because the biggest thing is sticking to a set schedule 7 days a week. So far I don’t feel a drastic difference though I do get out of bed earlier and easier most mornings. But the articles I read did say it could take a couple weeks of sticking to the sleep schedule for your body to catch up on all your deficit sleep and become rested again. Really fascinating stuff actually when you start reading about it, especially when you get to the part where they list the symptoms and issues with not getting enough sleep. Scary stuff!  
So how is your week been so far?? Making healthy choices? What kind of workouts are you doing?


4 thoughts on “Squat Breaks

  1. I LOVE when people swim. It is my favorite and I like when people love it too. I feel like progress is easy to gauge, too.

    I love how quiet it is too. People say it is sometime too repetitive, but I love that I can zone out. I don't like biking in the city or suburbs because you have to pay attention ALL THE TIME. Not a good sport for me 🙂

    I'm very impressed with your schedule and your steps you are taking on self-improvement. Your sleep goals are admirable!

  2. It is easy to gauge progress with swimming. You can tell how your endurance is doing by just noticing how many more laps you can swim. I can see where it could be repetitive but I am with you, I can zone out and not to mention I do many different strokes so as not to get bored. Thank you!!

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