Over the regular course of the year, Tuesdays hold a particular place in my schedule, for a variety of reasons. It’s the only weeknight that I don’t have karate classes, with Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays being the norm. Fridays are a weekend night and usually reserved to hang out with my son Nathan and then the actual weekend hits. Because of this, Tuesdays offer a unique piece of time in my week that I can’t find elsewhere. I often use this time to do some reading, writing or take care of chores like laundry.
Since I don’t have karate classes on Tuesdays (at least for now), I try to do something outside the martial arts realm. It’s always a good idea to keep the body moving and I enjoy changing things up. Doing so can help with weight loss and keep one engaged in their personal fitness journey. Keeping yourself engaged and interested in your fitness can mean the difference between hammering forward in your fitness goals or getting lazy and taking too many breaks, which inevitably lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of going long periods without exercise.
As any of you would have read in light-knows how many posts last summer, I’m a big fan of cycling. I can comfortably manage about 20 kilometres or so in about a hour, which is a decent outing. But considering that I’m gone most evenings due to karate, I try to do things a bit different on Tuesdays. When the stars align and I actually remember to bring fitness apparel, I work through my lunch hour on Tuesday. I know, I know… bad habit! But I do eat, I just keep working through that hour. Moving on!
I work through my lunch hour and exit the office an hour earlier than scheduled and make my way down to the office tower’s gym. There, I’m able to take advantage of various cardio machines including elliptical, treadmills and a weird stepping machine that I haven’t figured out how to use yet. there’s also stationary bikes, but I peddle enough on the weekends, so I steer clear of those. I usually opt for the elliptical, since decades of martial arts have rendered the cartilage in my knees nonexistent.
Last Tuesday was my first time making it back to the office gym in quite a while. It was a rough session and I only ran for 45 minutes as opposed to an hour but it felt good to break that intense sweat and burn those calories. I slept solidly that night, no question. As the summer progresses, especially with less karate classes for the next month, it should be easier for me to pull off these Tuesday workouts more often.
As most of your likely know, maintaining one’s proper health and fitness involves a variety of different exercises. Focusing solely on cardio or strength training will provide benefits but perhaps not the totality of what you’re looking for. That’s why it’s important to sprinkle in a bit of everything. Most martial artists avoid bulking up too significantly as large muscle mass will restrict one’s fluidity of movement. Doing only cardio can be significantly helpful with cardiac health and weight loss but muscle build will be minimal and won’t be focused on strength.
That’s why it’s important to incorporate all types of exercise and workouts. Don’t be afraid to get out there and try something. Hell, I once bought a Zumba game for my xBox 360 and the first time my wife and I tried to keep up with the game, it kicked my ass! One can find the most interesting workouts in the least likely of places. Ultimately, as long as you keep moving, you’ll be headed in the right direction. Stay sweaty, my friends! ☯️