I hate being interrupted. Honestly, it happens in all aspects of life; there’s simply no getting around that. With children, work and daily obligations, interruptions to ANY task I may be doing is a common occurrence. And I’ve honestly come to expect interruptions and even become concerned when I’m not interrupted. This usually means that my son is up to something… (he’s literally pestering me for food as I type this sentence)
A good example is the fact that between the first paragraph and this one, I’ve been away from my keyboard for about twenty minutes making waffles for my son and trying to figure out why my Roku stick won’t play his damnable shows…(Burn in hell, Peppa Pig!) But the good news is with something like a blog, I can stop typing to deal with whatever the interruption may be and return to it once I’ve gotten clear. But what about something like working out? Can you stop your workout and come back to it, later on?
Life isn’t a stopwatch. There’s no way to pause time and restart it once we’ve gotten past whatever may be in the way. There are a finite number of hours in the week, and focusing on one’s fitness amidst needy children, work, chores around the house and anything else that may come along can prove to be difficult. How effectively can your fitness plans be instituted into your daily life in these conditions?
According to a blog post on Strong Mommas, there are four valuable tips to dealing with interruptions to your fitness routine. You can click the link to get the full details from the post, but I’ll synopsize these tips here, based on how I deal with things. There are only three tips listed in my post because #2 and #3 in the linked post are basically the same:
- Workout when you’ll be least interrupted. This can be a bit difficult, depending on your lifestyle and what job you have. The article describes the writer finally “sucking it up” and waking up at 5:30 in the morning to wake up. Screw that noise! I’m not a morning person to start with, so that’s the LAST option I would entertain. But it happens to be a period where the writer can guarantee she won’t be interrupted, so it works for her. Cycling workouts are best for me, as they happen to be outside the home. But even this gets interrupted, depending on what I have going on at home. If you have a period of the day where you may have some peace and quiet, this should be when you go for it. I agree on the writer’s last thought on this point, that working out during late evening when the kids go to bed can be rough, especially since you’ll likely be tired as well;
- Pick up where you left off. If your workout gets interrupted and you find yourself freed up, there’s nothing wrong with coming right back to it. This sucks, since you’ve likely cooled down while taking care of whatever caused the interruption. If you can get back to it within 15 minutes, you should be good to go. Depending on how much your body has cooled down, you may have to warm up again before resuming your workout. This will depend greatly on how tight your muscles feel and is subjective to the person working out. If you’ve barely reached halfway through your set, just start the set from the beginning;
- You may have to surrender and quit the workout. There’s a chance that depending on the workout and what the interruption is, you won’t get the chance to return to your workout. That pisses me off to no end and stubbornly, I often don’t include these instances in my logs. But as most fitness experts would tell you, doing anything is better than doing nothing.
If you’re anything like me, you should PLAN on being interrupted. Whether it’s a phone call, a child’s needs or anything else in the household, you can almost be guaranteed that your workout may be interrupted. I’ve found that what usually works for me is doing a shorter workout. Working out for only 30 minutes significantly increases the odds that you’ll get through your sweat before being stopped or interrupted. That being said, it also depends on what type of workout you’re indulging in.
The important thing to remember is to roll with the punches and not let it discourage you or stress you into NOT working out. You can exercise literally anywhere at anytime, so this is a pretty good flexibility when all things are considered. Look for opportunities and take advantage of whatever may be in front of you. For example, whenever I go for my eye injections in the city, I always walk from my hotel to the hospital, then back. It’s not an intense workout, by any means but it gives me the better part of over a kilometre of walking, which is better than nothing.
To be honest, I’m a creature of habit and routine, and I absolutely despise having said routines disrupted by anything. So I usually have to work pretty hard at not letting the anxiety levels rise to ridiculous levels. For example, while writing this post I was interrupted at least a half dozen times by the varying members of my family and their need of my assistance. Like I said, it’s GOING to happen, there’s no getting out of it. So plan accordingly, stick with it and keep pushing forward, no matter what the grind of daily life throws in your way! ☯