In the past I’ve been terrible about working out — unless there’s an event coming up like FinCon or a vacation. In those cases, I’d procrastinate until five to six weeks beforehand, then workout furiously using YouTube videos. As soon as I was back from the trip I’d lapse into sloth.
Because of that, the YouTube videos have been more than enough. Each time I’d start exercising again I’d have to start small and work my way up. Due to the limited time frame, I’d just be getting into the groove of the three-mile walking* videos by the time I was ready to leave. I never needed more than that.
Things are a bit different this time. Specifically, I’ve been exercising without any external impetus.
Well, to be fair I’m somewhat motivated by my desire to avoid going on cholesterol medication. To do this I need to workout more and increase my fiber intake. Which is why I now have fiber gummies. Because I can be adult enough to be concerned about my health and immature enough to only take fiber if it’s essentially candy.
Anyway, the point is that there’s no trip or big event that has been spurring me on to work out. I’ve just been doing it to be healthier. (I know, I was surprised too.) Because of this, I’ve been exercising long enough that those three-mile videos aren’t nearly as challenging as they should be. In fact, I’ve been wearing 2.5 lb weights on each leg and can still comfortably use my legs afterward.
I’ve even tried increasing weights another way. One video uses two-pound dumbbells, but I’ve increased to five-pounds. That means I’m carrying an extra 15 lbs on my body, but I still complete the workout without wanting to collapse in a whimpering heap. (Though my arms at least are definitely getting a workout.)
If I get to the point that I can comfortably use the five-pound weights I’m going to be in trouble. I don’t want to go any heavier lest I put too much strain on my back. Besides, you’re only supposed to use weights every other day, meaning that at least twice a week I’m getting a lot less challenge in my workout.
I’m worried that, since my body is adapting, I’m going to burn fewer and fewer calories as time goes on. And I’m not working out for 45 minutes just to get a mediocre calorie-burn thankyouverymuch.
So I have two options: find a four-mile video or increase the ankle weights.
Where my videos at?
Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t have any four-mile videos, so I’ll have to actually (shudder) buy a video. There are some Leslie Sansone options on Amazon. But we don’t have a DVD player right now, so I’m stuck paying retail streaming video prices.
To be fair, $9.99 ain’t bad as far as workout videos go. Still, part of me bristles at having to pay at all.
I haven’t had to spend money on exercise equipment in years. I got my yoga mat back in Seattle when Tim and I first got together 12 years ago. The ankle weights were a (requested) birthday gift from my in-laws a few years ago. And the last dumbbells I bought were in 2014.
So I’ve gotten out of the habit of anything other than free exercise. Still, it doesn’t look like I have much of a choice… Eventually.
Now I weigh me down to sweat
My current ankle weights are wearing out. The fabric is splitting in the back and before long the weights may not want to stay in much longer.
Out of sheer principle, I’ll get some duct tape to close up the tears, but their condition isn’t the only problem. They’re simply not providing enough resistance for me.
So the obvious move is to get some heavier weights. This will make the videos harder again, since they involve, among other things, kicks and knee raises. More weight on my ankles will provide a lot more challenge overall.
But ankle weights, especially the heavier ones, ain’t cheap. Some cost more than $30!
After looking at several products, I settled on an adjustable 10-lb set (five pounds per leg) for $18.99. Each weight has five one-sleeves and a one-pound weight for each sleeve. You can fill or empty the sleeves as needed, so I can have anywhere from two to 10 lbs on my legs at any given time.
I plan to wear them around the house at the full 10 lbs, which will help strengthen (and hopefully better tone) my legs. I’ll start with four pounds, which should definitely help make my workouts harder.
As that gets easier, I’ll increase to five pounds. And only once five pounds becomes too easy will I finally spend the money on the four-mile walking video. And the weights will help increase how long I can use that video too.
Still… Grumble grumble
Logically I know that $18.99 ($19.60) after tax isn’t that much. Heck, even adding in the $9.99 video I’ll be paying less than most people pay for a single month’s gym fees.
Still, I hate paying for my workouts.
And yes, I could go outside to take walks, but I find it’s more draining to leave the house for a walk. Maybe it’s just knowing that I can stop at any time and not be stranded. Maybe — actually, probably — it’s a weird tic of my depression. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s much easier for me to work out at home in place.
Not to mention that four miles would be hard to measure with our twisty-turny streets. And that it’s easier to keep a steady, challenging pace when using the video.
So I resign myself to actually paying for the privilege of torturing my muscles. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat my gummies like a responsible adult.
Do you work out at home? When did you last have to pay for exercise supplies?
*The term “walking” should be used loosely here. Sansone sneaks in some low-level aerobics at times. But you can walk through those steps — and more importantly, the programs are very approachable. I guess that’s what matters. Still pretty sneaky though!