It seems that this time of year everyone feels a bit wiped out. I don’t know if it’s the lack of daylight, the colder temps, or the stress of the holiday season. But whatever it is, we all seem to be dragging at times. For me, it’s the 3:15pm slump. I’ve been sitting at my desk for the past 6 hours with my only movement being walking to the bathroom and running home for lunch. 3:15pm is when I take off my “worker hat” and put on my “mom hat.” It’s time to shift gears and give my kids all of the attention they need/deserve. But I won’t pretend it’s easy. It’s around then that I feel like I want to lay down for a nap or grab the strongest cup of coffee.
Nathan mentioned to me a few weeks ago that his energy levels have been tanking, and he had no idea why. He has recently had to grab a quick cat nap in his truck during his lunch break to make it through the day. Anyone who knows Nathan knows this is completely out of character. After dealing with this for a few weeks he had had enough, and reached out to our brother-in-law for help. Kyle gave him two different pieces of advice.
The first one: sweat every morning. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. And it doesn’t have to take a long time. Just enough to get the heart pumping and the sweat flowing. There is apparently a strong connection between the brain and sweating, so sweating first thing in the morning should help keep your mind alert and sharp throughout the day. Kyle says he can feel a definite difference in his energy levels and creativity on days he doesn’t sweat first thing in the morning.
The second thing: wake up at the same time everyday. He said he would rather have us take a nap later in the day than sleep in. The body thrives on routine, and changing your wakeup times could send your system into a complete tailspin.
When Nathan came home from the gym Thursday night and told me about this, I knew he was all in. Kyle played a pivotal role in helping Nathan gain his health back, so when he tells Nathan to do something, he does it! I know that it takes awhile to form a habit (anywhere from 21 days to 66 days from what I’ve read). I also know that having someone to “hold you accountable” makes you more likely to stick with something. So we have decided to do this together.
We decided to take this one step at a time. So we are starting with the “sweat every morning” step, and see how that goes first. We started this almost 2 weeks ago, and so far so good. It’s actually really fun! Kyle gave us a very simple bodyweight workout that doesn’t take long to get the sweat flowing (12 minutes to be exact). We do the following:
10 lunges on each leg
10 push-ups or lay-down-get-ups
Repeat for as many rounds as it takes to start sweating. We’ve done that a few times, but like anything I need some variety. So one morning we did an old Beachbody Insanity video I had laying around. We’ve mixed up the kind of squats and lunges we do. I’ve also found plank holds and wall sits to be pretty effective at getting sweaty. And jumping jacks (but Nathan’s not a huge fan of cardio first thing in the morning). We’ve got the treadmill down there if we want to do sprints. We’ve got the pull-up bar if we need it. And we recently added a white board to our basement gym, so sometimes we list the exercises on there so we both know what’s coming next.
We also try to end the workout with some belly breathing, which is extremely relaxing (and something we don’t normally take the time to do). I have really enjoyed this time with Nathan. We are husband and wife, but I also consider us “teammates” in the game of life. We love setting goals and working together towards them, and this is no exception. And while I won’t pretend this is going to be the magic ticket, I am always willing to try something new. And if the only thing we get out of this is the gift of time together, I call that a win in my book!