Monday, February 2, 2015

Exercising: A Non-Athlete's Routine

I'm no athlete. My last dappling in team sports was the grade ten volleyball team (where I distinctly remember ducking during a game when the ball headed my way...and being subbed out by the coach shortly thereafter). I've never set foot in a gym and I swear I have exercise-induced asthma that has me a wheezy phlegmy mess within ten minutes of jogging outdoors. I own a yoga mat but have never tried yoga. And despite bringing my bicycle over from BC when I moved seven months ago, I haven't ridden it once.

So you're probably wondering now why you'd waste your time reading a post on exercising coming from me, a self-proclaimed fitness failure. Well, I know I'm no authority on the subject, but even non-athletes need their doctor-recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, so I thought I'd share how I get mine.

Walking To Work
As I'm only a 15-minute walk from work, walking to work might not seem like a great workout, but when you consider that it's an extra 30 minutes of movement a day -- or 150 minutes a week -- it seems pretty substantial. I try to walk as much as I can, walking to get my groceries when possible and taking stairs in the hospital instead of the elevator. It all helps!
elm edmonton
regardless of the season, this neighbourhood is pretty great for walks

Upon moving to Edmonton, I started looking for exercise options, as I knew there'd be a good part of the year when I would not be active outdoors (not to say that the cold stops everyone -- just today I saw joggers and a cyclist out in the snow, exhibiting a level of acclimatization (and determination) I will never reach). My building does not have a gym and the hospital and university gyms require membership, which I calculated would in the long run surpass the cost of purchasing my own exercise machine. More so, I liked the idea of being able to exercise in my home, avoiding walking to the gym in the dark and cold at the end of a long day (I seriously admire people who do this). After scouring Kijiji for a couple of weeks, I found a deal on a good quality Spirit elliptical trainer, which fit nicely into a corner of my apartment. I've rigged up a laptop stand using a clothes drying rack and lap desk, so that I can watch TV while exercising (my favourite these days is The Amazing Race!) :)
elliptical spirit xe200
makeshift laptop stand (sturdier than it looks!)

I do a bit of strength training with 10-lb dumbbells and use my yoga mat for stretching, situps, and pushups. I try to fit in strength exercises here and there during the day, such as planking for a bit while waiting for the microwave or kettle.
superstore yoga mat
...and perhaps one day I'll actually use it for yoga

Fitness Blender Videos
I've never done a workout video before, but think I might try one of these Fitness Blender ones! Fitness Blender is a website maintained by an amazing couple, Daniel and Kelli, who film tons of professional workout videos in their own home and share them online -- completely free! It looks like such an incredible resource; if you're interested in workout videos, you may want to check it out.
fitness blender

If you have any suggestions of physical activity that doesn't require special equipment or a program subscription, please share!


  1. Fitness blender indeed is very popular, maybe I should start checking it out. Are their videos are hard as blogilates?

    1. I'm not sure, but they do seem to offer a good variety of lengths and difficulty levels!


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