Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Balancing Act

Please hire me!

Business is picking up for me. For those of you unaware of my occupation, I am a graphic designer. I have a full time design job in New Jersey by day and by night I try to do as much freelance as possible. When the latter business is slow, I find it relatively easy to make time for exercise and cooking. When it's not slow (which is ideal), fitting it all in without going mad is a struggle.

Somehow, exercise so far this month has included:

Tuesday, March 2: Arc Trainer (30 min) + No More Trouble Zones (30 min)
Wednesday, March 3: Arc Trainer (30 min) + Yoga Meltdown (35 min) + Back 2 Bollywood (30 min)
Thursday, March 4: Arc Trainer (30 min) + The Shred (25 min)
Friday, March 5: The Shred (25 min) + Brisk Walk (45 min)
Saturday: REST
Sunday, March 7: Bicycling as transportation (15 minutes) + The Shred (25 min)
Monday, March 8 : Arc Trainer (30 min) + No More Trouble Zones (55 min)
Tuesday, March 9: Banish Fat Boost Metabolism (55 min)
Wednesday, March 10: Arc Trainer (30 min)
Thursday, March 11: The Shred (25 min) + Stationary Bike (30 min)
Friday, March 12: Arc Trainer (30 min) + Hip Hop Cardio (20 min)
Saturday, March 13: REST
Sunday, March 14: REST
Monday, March 15: Arc Trainer (30 min) + The Shred (25 min)
Tuesday, March 16: The Shred (25 min) + Brisk Walk (40 min)

Looking at that recap, I feel pretty good. It looks like most days I get almost an hour of activity in. I'm not sure HOW, since I feel as though I've constantly been behind a computer screen lately.

However, this past week I've had some pain in my right knee as well as my left ankle. It's quite discouraging and I don't want to stop being active. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do that won't put further stress on these areas? I'm feeling like The Shred might be the culprit, though I'm going to switch from the Arc Trainer to the elliptical for a week and see if less impact helps.

Evidence of upping my calories. Meal courtesy of the gentleman.
Disclaimer: This is not my typical breakfast!

I've upped my calories substantially to balance with the exercise and feel like my energy level has improved, so all is well on that front. I'm not weighing myself at the moment to prevent discouragement. I'm eating healthy and feeling good and realize that this is all that matters. Since I started eating more substantial, well-balanced and satisfying meals I've noticed my post-work kitchen raid for snacks has subsided. I'm also a lot nicer to everyone. That's a perk, right?

Reflecting, I feel like I'm doing an OK job at balancing everything out between work and wellness. I need to work on fitting my social life in there, as I've been pretty impossible to hang out with lately. How do you find a balance between everything?


Jen B said...

What is ArcTrainer?

Katie said...

I've been an on and off runner for 12 years and never had any problems with my knees until last year. I'm finding that strengthening the muscles around my knees help, but I've still got some pain. When the knee pain started last year, I stuck with spin classes for a few months until I did my usual 'take 6 months off from exercise'. Now I'm back with running. The Shred is not easy on the knees, specifically the lunge + bicep curls in level 1, so I just modify it so it's easier on the knees.

Shraddha Chhabra said...

Suggestion for the knee... I have been going to Yoga class, and the teacher always says for any weight bearing exercises be careful with how you apply pressure on the knee, keep your knee bent to get the pressure off when doing dumbles etc... ALso when you do lunges etc, use your core and make sure you do slow movements..
Hope that helps !!

Jenelle said...

Jen: The Arc Trainer is kind of like an elliptical but not. It burns more calories. I like to use the high step function on it. The ones at my gym kind of look like this, but I think they're a little older

Katie: Ironically enough, I ran for the first time in months yesterday and was shocked at how EASY it was. I think that building some sort of muscle has really helped in that dept. I know they say it's not the best thing for the knees, but that particular motion/impact didn't hurt my knee. It's got to be something in those lunges, etc that's bothering me. Do you run outdoors or on a treadmill? I've never been able to really get into it, but I think this time around might be different.

Shreds!: Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe my form has been off when doing weight exercises involving my legs. I'm going to pay close attention to it next time. This helps a lot. How do you like yoga classes?

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Diane Fit to the Finish said...

I have to be super careful with my knees. I avoid lunges because of it, and only run occasionally. I hope it gets better soon.

Congrats on the graphics business!

Lauren said...

Hi Jenelle,
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!
Have you ever seen a physiotherapist? I was having a lot of knee pain while running and a physiotherapist helped me with stretches and exercises to do to help heal it and prevent further knee pain.

In terms of balance, I have a very difficult time with this too. It's hard to do everything that needs to be done, and still have time for the fun stuff or the extras.

Congrats on your business...happy to hear its picking up for you!

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