Exercise Management System

Last semester I really got out of my habit of exercising.

The first few weeks of that semester were extremely stressful, going a camping trip in the middle of the first week of school, getting ready for dates with Jade, filling out transfer paperwork, and the standard hiccups that come when starting new classes. Unfortunately the first thing on my schedule's chopping block was exercise; the last thing I wanted after a busy day was to work out and walking took too much time. It also didn't help that I got hooked on nicotine for a couple months, leaving my brain with little motivation to do anything after a string of dopamine bursts. I had noticed that I was feeling a bit heavier and doing physical labor tasks like digging trenches was draining me way faster than before. I also just looked a bit more plump, not a ton of extra weight but not nothing either.

When I was working out regularly over the summer, I had made it my goal to do at least 1 physical thing daily, it didn't need to be much, but as long as I did something I could count that day as complete. Naturally, days where I didn't do anything arose, whether it be when friends stayed over or just general fatigue. These days of break always came with a serpent of temptation, telling me to take another day off, after all, I had already missed 1 day, 2 wouldn't kill me. Fortunately there was also an eagle of determination to not miss a day when I was maintaining my streak.

So in December, once finals were over, I made it a goal to make exercising a habit again. I started with going on long walks, around 5-7 miles, as a form of light exercise to make me feel invested once I started doing more strenuous work-outs. These were also somewhat meditative, walking around with the cool air nibbling away at my nose and ears, feeling somewhat at peace after a few weeks of preparing for exams. After a couple days I felt ready to start using weights again. However this time around I opted a different approach, instead of using a barbell with 60-75 pounds and doing a few sets of 20 bicep curls, I used a 35 pound barbell and did a few sets of 10. This ended up making my form much better, since my arms weren't teeter-tottering the weight between them. I did the same with my squats, opting to use the dumbbells over the barbell; This has helped a lot with upper-back soreness since I'm not resting the weight on my shoulders like how I was with the barbell and I'm finding it's easier to go deeper into the squat.

In addition to using weights I figured I ought to get back into yoga. I had taken a yoga course my senior year of high school and honestly that was the best I have ever physically felt. This turned out to be a great addition to my routine, because it targeted my whole body, not just my arms and legs. I found a youtube channel, Yoga With Kassandra, which has a good catalog of hour-long yoga classes. She does a good job as a yogi, making sure that even beginner classes will give you a little challenge.

However the dawn of the next semester is upon us, classes don't start for a couple more days, but emails about textbooks have been sent out over the past week. I didn't want to lose all the great progress I've made over break, so I devised a points-based system for making sure I maintain my health over the next semester.

##Exercise Management System


Generally it is 1 point per task or 1 or 2 points for 1 hour of the activity. I have the points laid out in a little pocket journal and have been adding new exercises as they have come to mind. This week has been the beta test of my system and has helped to iron out a few of the bugs. Initially I wasn't going to count non-exercise tasks, but being wiped out after loading and unloading boxes at work made me rethink this. Right now my target is 25 points by the end of the week and currently I am at 13 points, before working out today, Friday. I may need to adjust points based off work, especially laborious work for my parents like tree removal.

I'm hoping this week-to-week approach will help keep the momentum over the day-to-day approach!

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