I can’t stand to exercise just for the sake of exercising. As a working parent of three active kids, I don’t have the time to go to the gym or workout at home to exercise. I even have had trouble this year fitting in 5 minute blocks of targeted exercises from my physical therapy to recover from an injury. This is why I’ve had to find ways to get exercise from things I am going to do or enjoy anyways.
The first of my two primary forms of exercise is biking to work a day or two each week. I usually drive to and from work each day. Now I try to bike whenever the forecast and my schedule (usually after work commitments) permit. On days when traffic is good, I can drive to work in about 25 minutes, plus a 5 minute walk from the garage to my office. When traffic is bad it can take upwards of 45 minutes. My bike ride consistently takes 30-35 minutes plus 5 minutes to lock up and stow my gear. So for an extra 5-10 minutes each way, I add an hour or so of vigorous exercise to my schedule.
Since I live at the top of a pretty big hill and have to go over Somerville hills to get to work, I’ve enlisted the help of technology to make my ride possible (until I’m in good enough shape to not need it). I modified my bike with an electric assist kit to make it into an e-bike. I still have to work and break a sweat to get into work, but I no longer have to walk my bike up those hills or take lots of time to go around.
The second of my two primary forms of exercise is martial arts, specifically Tang Soo Do. Once a week, I learn and practice self defense, discipline and fighting while at the same time get a vigorous workout, increasing my flexibility and improving my balance. In addition to practicing forms, punches, kicks and self defense, we also get a chance to break boards and spar. Master DiScipio varies up each lesson, so no two days are the same and you aren’t stuck doing the same old routine every time. Next week, my son and I will be competing in the Tang Soo Do World Tournament happening in Woburn, MA.
Given my passion for living green, it is no coincidence that both of my major forms of exercise are green. Each time I bike to work instead of driving it saves about half a gallon of gasoline, avoids about 10lbs of CO2 emissions and burns over 350 calories. I do not need any special equipment for Tang Soo Do and it can be done practically anywhere. Once a year, one of the other Masters hosts a session on the beach and we literally practice in the waves.
If you are struggling to fit regular exercise into your busy life, look at ways you can do it that achieves something you already need to do like commuting to work, or has significant benefits for you beyond just exercising.
What type of exercise(s) do you do for yourself? Leave a comment below with your answer.