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Gym Is Closing Down For Remodel

push up

photo by US army

Our gym at work is closing down for a 3 month remodel….

This is going to throw a huge monkey wrench into my New Year’s Resolution of staying alive and exercising 4-5 times per week. I go to the gym at lunch and it really helps me get through the day. Humans aren’t built to work on a computer all day long. My shoulders are always tight, my back is sore, and overall I’m not feeling well. Yes, I have had an ergonomic review and my work station is set up correctly. I even installed software that stops me from working periodically and prompts me to do various stretches.

These all help, but I think the thing that helps me the most is going to the gym during lunch. I like to get on the elliptical machines for about 30 minutes and then do a few resistance exercises after that. The gym also has two yoga classes per week and I try to attend those as often as possible. Working out at lunch give me a great break away from my desk. I feel a lot more awake after lunch and can work at full capacity in the afternoon. If I go out for lunch, I’ll usually be very lethargic by 3pm or so.

I don’t know what I will do for an alternative. It’s winter in the Pacific Northwest now and it will be raining from now until next July. I know I won’t be running in the rain; that is too much trouble for me and running isn’t really my thing. I know I won’t stick with it.

Maybe I can set up a work out to do at home to at least get a little exercise.

Push ups (This is a great upper body exercise, maybe I can join Fat Guy Skinny Wallet’s 100 push up challenge.)

Squats (I can hold baby RB40 while doing squat. It’ll be a great work out, he’s getting really heavy.)


Planks (Thanks Sasha for suggesting this.)

I wish I still had my pull up station, but there is no room for it here in our smaller place.

If I can do 3-4 sets of push ups, squats, and lunges per day, that would at least keep complete muscle atrophy from setting in. I can also do 10-15 minutes of yoga to keep me limber. Maybe I can get a 10 lbs medicine ball to vary the workout a bit.

What about aerobic exercise? What can I do for that? I think that will just get dropped for now.

The remodel is inconvenient, but the gym will be much nicer afterward. I’ll have to make the best of the situation and keep working out minimally at home until the gym opens up again. After all, I kept the exercise resolution this long and it would be a shame to let that resolution fail with only two months left. I will call it a success if I can avoid gaining 5lbs this holidays. I can’t go to a gym after work since I have to help take care of baby RB40.  If you have any suggestion as to what exercise I can do indoors while taking care of a baby, don’t hesitate to share. 😉

Mid-day update: I went for a walk around the office buildings today and it wasn’t a bad 20 minutes walk. I climbed 6 flights of stairs in total and can probably add a few more. Let’s see if I can stick with this for 2 months.

I can’t believe nobody commented on the awesome costumes below. 😀

Have a safe Halloween!

jack daniel marlboro halloween

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{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Cherleen @ The College Investor October 31, 2011, 2:26 am

    What about taking a walk during your lunch break? It may not be as strenuous as your resistance exercises, but at least, it can equate your elliptical routine.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 9:59 am

      I’ll try that today and see how it goes. Our campus is pretty big and I’ll go up and downstairs a few times. I’ll time myself and see how long it take, probably 15-20 minutes.

  • Brave New Life October 31, 2011, 5:51 am

    Kettleballs. I do 90% of my working out with a single 40 pound kettleball.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:00 am

      That’s what 101C does. 40 lbs is way too heavy for me though. I’ll see how much a medicine ball cost. I know it’s not the same, but it’ll be something.

      • 101 Centavos November 1, 2011, 2:58 am

        Don’t forget “Thor”… 🙂

        • retirebyforty November 1, 2011, 9:05 am

          Oh man, that would be dangerous in our little space. I can go down to the plaza, but someone probably would call the cops. There are a lot of whackoes around here already. 🙂

  • Little House October 31, 2011, 6:44 am

    What about walking inside a mall or large enclosure of some sort for cardio? Or, does someone in your office have a treadmill or elliptical trainer you can borrow during your lunch time?

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:00 am

      I’ll try walking around work at lunch today and see how it goes.

  • Eric J. Nisall October 31, 2011, 6:55 am

    There are a lot of exercises that can be done without much equipment. You can try wall squats, bench dips between 2 chairs, step-ups on a chair, incline or decline push-ups and many more. Check out sites like bodybuilding.com, mensfitness.com and muscleandfitness.com for home workout ideas.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:02 am

      I’ll check some sites out. The ones you listed works the same muscle as push ups, squat, and lunge. It will be good for variation though.

  • PKamp3 October 31, 2011, 8:01 am

    If your door frames are sturdy, consider a pull-up bar. They hang overhead and call out to you when you walk by – it’s hard to resist the pull-up bar when it’s always in your face.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:03 am

      I’ll check it out, but I don’t think those pull-up bars will fit our weird space. They are pretty expensive too, but if I use it everyday it will be worth it.

  • Hunter @ Financially Consumed October 31, 2011, 8:51 am

    Are there others in your office that also use the gym? Perhaps you could get together for a walk or run at lunch?

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:05 am

      There are a few people, but they don’t go everyday. They’ll probably put it off until after the remodel is done. I’m tempted to do that too and take a nice long break. 🙂

  • Sasha Wade October 31, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Doing planks on both your forearms and on your side are great for upper body strength and for strengthening your core muscles. I got into a bad car accident and hurt my lower back and planks helped a lot to relieve the pain or strengthen my back muscles. An exercise called the Bird-Dog helped a lot too.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 2:29 pm

      I like plank so I’ll add that to the routine. 🙂
      I haven’t heard of bird-dog, I’ll look it up. Thanks!

      • Sasha Wade October 31, 2011, 2:40 pm

        Bird-Dog is basically like this:

        You start on all fours and then extend your right arm forward and your left leg back and then you bring your right hand to your left right while holding yourself up. Then you do it again on the other side. It looks and sounds easy but believe me, its not. It takes some time to build up the strength (if your upper body is weak like mine was) to be able to do a lot of repetitions of this exercise and it is hard to balance at first but after a while its a lot easier.

        • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:11 pm

          There is a similar move in yoga. I’ll try it out. 🙂

  • krantcents October 31, 2011, 3:16 pm

    Have you thought of going for a walk during lunch? That is a simple exercise. If you do it with someone, it can be very enjoyable.

  • My University Money October 31, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I am big believer in dumbbells as well, but the most indispensable piece of workout equipment in my arsenal is my skipping rope (actually just put up an article on our site about this last night). I grew up thinking that skipping was only for girls, and that us masculine basketball/football guys didn’t do stuff like that. Then I started boxing, and quickly found out that real men skip rope haha! It’s perfect for relieving tension, working multiple muscle groups, warming up, cooling down, building agility, and getting your heart rate up. As a side benefit it also makes you a better dancer!

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:13 pm

      Rope skipping sounds like a good work out, but I don’t have space. Maybe I can do jumping jacks instead, I know that’s hard work.

  • 101 Centavos October 31, 2011, 3:47 pm

    Hey RB40, those are some awesome costumes. Right in line with one my dividend sectors, “Sin and Debauchery”.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:10 pm

      Haha, yeap, pretty hilarious.

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 31, 2011, 6:28 pm

    Oh you have done so well to keep your resolution this long. I’m glad you are working on some practical alternatives (working out at home; walking up the stairs and around the building). I completely appreciate how changing your “winning” routine can be deleterious. Good luck.

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:14 pm

      I know. There are only two months left and I don’t like changes at all.

  • Aloysa October 31, 2011, 7:32 pm

    Walk really fast twice a day (two 20 min breaks if you can do it). Also, try going to the bathroom on a different floor and take stairs. That’s what I do. In fact I’ve been so busy lately with my work that I stopped going to the gym months ago. I need to get back into the groove. Gym always makes me feel so much better. 🙂 Loved the costumes!

    • retirebyforty October 31, 2011, 10:10 pm

      I will try that. I can do one at lunch and one on my way home. When I take public transportation, the last leg is only about .5 miles and I can walk that if it’s not raining to badly. Oh no, you quit going to the gym? You’re one of the New Year’s crowd. 🙂

      • Aloysa November 1, 2011, 12:17 pm

        LOL I know, I know! I am busy and tired and lazy! 🙂 Good news are I am going back this week. Back to my deadlifts and such. lol

  • MoneyforCollegePro November 1, 2011, 2:22 am

    I think you are on the right track with the stairs idea. I know for me, it also helps just to get out of my office and get some fresh air, so to speak.

    You could also try yoga in your office if you have space. A yoga mat rolls up quite small, ad you can even store it at your office.

    Hopefully once the remodel is over, they will have even better equipment in the gym for you to use!

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2011, 9:04 am

      I really don’t have space for yoga in my cubicle. There are literally not enough space to put down a yoga mat without removing the chair. Yes, it is that dreary around here. That’s why I need to go to the gym at lunch!

  • Shaun @ Money Cactus November 1, 2011, 5:03 am

    Definitely use the kid for some resistance training, they get heavy really quickly! Lifting and swinging around at home or carrying in a mall (instead of in a stroller) will work for sure. Your little guy will love it too, I know my daughter does.

    Hope the fitness plan goes well.

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2011, 9:06 am

      I tried squat and lunge with the kid last night. It’s not as easy as I thought. 🙂

  • Darwin's Money November 1, 2011, 12:48 pm

    You could probably score a decent deal at a local gym just for 3 months. You could tell them you’re trying them out and they’d probably give you a pretty good deal looking to entice you to rejoin for a longer period… worth a try!

    • Sasha Wade November 1, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Great idea!!!

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2011, 10:44 pm

      That’s a good idea, but I want to come home and help with baby and cooking after work. The only time I have for exercise is during lunch.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time November 1, 2011, 9:09 pm

    Others have given sufficient suggestion on alternate work outs. I will stick to the costumes. Cigarette and Whiskey the two healthiest frugal ways to spend your money. Have the two together every day and you’ll never afford to retire…

    • retirebyforty November 1, 2011, 10:45 pm

      If you spend a lot of money on cigarettes and hard liquor, chances are you don’t really need to plan for retirement. 😀

  • Christa November 2, 2011, 9:36 am

    My mom used to use us kids for her resistance training, so that’s something you could do with baby RB40. Her favorites: leg presses (laying down on the floor) with a kid on the end of her feet, seated leg presses with a kid holding on to her legs, and arm presses by lifting us over her head. We all loved to “work out” with mom because she made it fun!

    • retirebyforty November 2, 2011, 3:24 pm

      That sounds great! I’ll do that when he’s a bit older. He can’t hold on right now and all I can do is squats and lunges while holding him.

  • Tony @ Investorz Blog November 3, 2011, 4:04 am

    I hate working out. I absolutely, hate it. It’s just so painful. But I still go to the gym three times a week, because it’s good for me.

    • retirebyforty November 3, 2011, 9:05 am

      You know that’s not sustainable. If you hate it, you won’t be able to stick with it in the long term. See if you find some activity that you like, perhaps tennis or golfing.

  • Melissa November 3, 2011, 4:49 am

    I would love one of those desks that is attached to a treadmill so you can take an easy walk while working on the computer. . .

    • retirebyforty November 3, 2011, 9:05 am

      That’s a great idea. I wonder why there aren’t a product out already.

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