January 11: 15 minutes after half a bottle of wine

Is it wrong to exercise after drinking half a bottle of red? Most likely.

I finished my last glass about an hour ago. The exercise mantra has been hanging over my head all day, and it’s Sunday, “the day of rest”, but because I only need to find 15 minutes each day, I’ve been putting the whole thing off until the last minute, knowing it can be done.

The idea behind fitfor15in15 is doing a minimum of 15 minutes exercise per day in 2015. Today I did 15 minutes. Yesterday I did 30, which included a few minutes for falling over. Hey, I’m building a habit here – there’s bound to be ups and downs!!

But I know I CAN DO 15 MINUTES EVERY DAY, eeeasy, even after a few wines (sorry exercise Gods!). And it was all made up in my head. I grabbed my trusty chickpea tins, found a space, didn’t bother turning the radio on, and I worked out for 15 minutes using the timer on my phone.

There were squats with boxing punches and attempted planks (didn’t even last 15 seconds, my stomach muscles are still so sore from three days ago) and sit ups (I’ve realised sit ups with your hands on your head beside your ears are much harder than sit ups with your hands in front of you. Aha! I can do a sit up!) and squats with a dip and a twist, and arm raises and … and … basically I looked like a nob.

It was probably like a Jane Fonda workout from the 80s, minus the leg warmers. I even bothered to take a photo. Because you love a riveting photo, right?

Bicycle leg movements with opposing elbows. Riveting ...

Bicycle leg movements with opposing elbows. Riveting …

The left knee is going green thanks to yesterday’s bruising, so I did, like, two push ups, but I’m nowhere near as worried about that injury as I am about the damn left ball of my foot. Why does everything on the left side hurt? Am I a leftie? You should hear my left shoulder crunch when I lift that tin!

Like all hypochondriacs, I’ve done some self-medicated googling and think I have Metatarsalgia, thanks to wearing my furry snow boots after Christmas. Hopefully Metatarwhatsamathingy sounds worse than it is. It feels like needles are going into the bones when I walk, especially near the third toe on my left foot. But I won’t go on *yawn*. Fingers crossed it goes away soon.

C’mon, if I can find 15 minutes to make the thighs burn on an unmotivated day like today, you can find 15 minutes too, yeah!? (I’m so glad I did – I feel even more light-headed now!)

For some better motivation talk, how about you read this article instead

Wishing you a great day.

And lay off the vino 🙂

January 10: Jogging in the forest can be dangerous

Not bad weather here today, so finally had the chance to go jogging (or shuffling as I like to call it) in the forest near our house – my first shuffle of the year.

The view to my right when I run up the lollypop stick, heading into the forest

The view to my right when I run up the lollypop stick, heading into the forest

This 4km path is like a lollypop – I run up the very long stick, around the left perimeter in a sweet little loop, and then back down the stick again to home. It’s a pleasant mix of wide road and trail running, surrounded by farming fields, and it’s also reasonably flat.

It looks dark in there! Will I be in for a surprise?

It looks dark in there! Will there be a surprise?

I like running on the dirt path more than the beginning of the ‘stick’, which is a mix of gravel and bitumen sections. The bitumen part goes past one of my favourite working farms, which usually has cows you can pat. Sorry, I was so into the run, I forgot to take a photo of the calves. Next time.

On the left turn, once in the forest proper, the mood was lovely. Didn’t have any music today but that was no great loss. (I use the MapMyRun App on my phone to track the distance and split times and normally run with tunes, but today it wouldn’t play anything). It was peaceful.

A wonderful place to run. Got to keep on eye out for all the tree roots though

A wonderful place to run. Got to keep on eye out for all the tree roots on the path though

The second kilometre was flat and a bit muddy, but very doable and pretty.

There's a few of these bird houses scattered through this forest

There’s a few of these bird houses scattered through this forest

After 2.7km, I picked my way carefully through more mud and I could smell the finish line. I had this lollypop loop licked … but the trail had the last laugh. Timber!! I was really starting to shuffle along at this stage, clipped a rock in the path, and went down knees and hands first. After walking for a while to catch my breath and stop laughing, I arrived home after 31 minutes. Maybe without the walking (and falling), I would have finished in about 28 minutes. So that’s something to aim for next time. And lifting of the feet, oh yes, that’s something to aim for too.

Over she goes! Lucky I was wearing long pants, so no grot in there luckily

Over she goes! Lucky I was wearing long pants – no forest dirt in there

January 9: 30 minutes on the little step machine

Well, today I can feel my stomach muscles, thanks to yesterday’s workout! Wowsers. Imagine how sore I’d be if I’d been able to do all the sit ups – and properly!

Outdoor plans went “out the window” with the wind and rain. Here’s a picture … “out the window”. The wind was coming from the north (the photo looks south), and it was cccoooold.

Strong, cold winds and rain prevented the planned walk/jog in the forest

Strong, cold winds and rain prevented the planned walk/jog in the forest

So I settled on dragging out the small stepper I bought about three years ago, when I first arrived in Switzerland, to keep me *ahem* fit. Yes, I used it a handful of times and then it was relegated to the shed. Until today.

Crazily, I thought I’d watch a whole movie while working out – I lasted 30 minutes, and it had nothing to do with the film’s quality. It was an Austrian number from 1955 called “Drei Männer im Schnee”, which deals with mistaken identities. I’ve read the book (in German, hurrah!) and thought it would be a bit of fun. Maybe I’ll watch another 30 minutes on the stepper next week if the weather is bad.

The little stepper who could ...

The little stepper that could …

Yes, that is a sweat trail on my t-shirt after 30 minutes

Yes, that is a sweat trail on my t-shirt after 30 minutes

My arms were feeling a bit sore today too, but I grabbed my beloved chick pea tins to give them another workout. Flabby arms are two things I am really conscious about. In our family, we call them “toodles”, because when we wave goodbye, our arms continue to wobble long after we’ve gone. It’s like they don’t want to stop saying bye.

It’s been a strange day. What with the wind and finishing this damned book, I was in a thoroughly horrid frame of mind. The exercise and silly movie have made me feel much “lighter”, so to speak.

Have you ever had a disagreeable reaction to a book? I felt as disgusted as Bradley Cooper’s character in “Silver Linings Playbook” when he hurled that book out the window! I didn’t fancy breaking the glass here though.

Wishing you a great day.

January 8: 25 minutes of strength exercises

Remember how I wrote I have no upper body strength? Today I now know I have no core strength either! Argh!

I’ve signed up for a free week of workouts from an Australian training guru who I only just read about a few days ago. Her name is Kayla Itsines and you can find her website here. The transformations section is very inspiring, but I have no desire to be as ripped as some of those girls. Including her exercises will help mix up my daily workout options. Thanks Kayla!

Four minutes of random-off-the-top-of-my head warm-up exercises to Mando Diao’s “Dance with Somebody” (click here to hear it) and then it was straight into circuit one, which is split into three workout sections – legs, arms and abs – with four exercises in each section.

I was happy doing the leg exercises, with minimal problems. My favourite tracks were on shuffle, the exercises felt good – ALL was good in the world. The chick pea tins were again my weights, and the ladder to our bedroom was the step up bench.

The ladder to our bedroom and office has now become an important part of my home exercise routine!

The ladder to our bedroom and office has now become an important part of my home exercise routine!

Then it was time for arms. I did the burpees but I must have looked like a four-legged octopus, my limbs flailing around everywhere. Next time I’ll focus more on control. Burpees have never been my thing, so I was just happy to get the 10 done and move on (plus there’s the low ceiling to limit my enthusiasm!) Push ups were on my knees (my goal is to do them with straight legs), tricep dips using the ladder again, and then plank, which I managed for the required 30 seconds. And one little drop of sweat landed on the yoga mat. Score!

Finally, abs … no problem, right? The bike exercise was fine and bent leg jackknifes weren’t pretty but still achievable (my back kept making fart noises on the mat when I moved my legs up and down. Oh the hilarity!)

Onto the last two exercises – two varieties of sit ups. I thought I’d do the full (regular) sit ups first and then the raised leg sit ups, seeing as I was in the correct position on the mat already. After 10 attempted full sit ups, I had to put my feet under the couch to finish the last 10. And the raised leg variety? Forgedaboudit. I tried. I really did. In the end, I just did little pulse sit ups to finish off the routine. Maybe my lower back is weak as well?

I’ve learnt something about myself that I thought wasn’t an issue at all. I can’t do a bl**dy full sit up. I’m totally shocked! Gone are my (unprofessional!) pole dancing days, when my stomach muscles were rock solid. My current flabby tummy is hiding some horrible truths, but that’s what this fitfor15in15 challenge is all about – to get back in shape so I can be in a good place as the years roll on.

It will be good to include this workout, which took about 20 minutes in total, and Kayla’s second circuit into my program over the coming weeks and months. Variety is really important to me. I couldn’t imagine doing the same thing every week, let alone every day!

Have you been shocked by something lately that’s inspired you to take action? I now know I need to take ab work more seriously. I’ll be searching for more circuits and ideas. Maybe Kayla’s program could work for you? (I have no affiliation with her whatsoever, just throwing information out there that could help you on your fitfor15in15 way!)

Wishing you a great day.

January 7: Exercise video in the lounge room

Today was tough. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and had no inspiration at all … ridiculously lazy … waa waa waa. The sun was shining in a cloudless sky! What more do you want, slacker?!

Maybe my threshold for something new is one week? I’ve read it takes 21 days to form a habit. It’s day seven and I could feel myself returning to my old ways of thinking – What’s the point? Enjoy life as you are! Who wants to be an exercise junkie? I’m happy with the way I am. You need extra fat in winter and so on and so on … Some days really are a mental challenge.

So what if I have absolutely no upper body strength and everything creaks and cracks when I exercise? Who cares about the clothes that don’t fit, the spare tyre and those wobbly bits? Well, actually I’m not so worried about the wobbly bits. I’m worried a sedentary lifestyle is going to be hard to change the older I get, and that my body will set into a premature rigor mortis. I don’t want simple things like tying up my shoelaces to become a massive issue. I don’t want to be old before my time. I used to pride myself on how flexible I was, doing the splits etc, and kinda thought it would always be that way.

Ahh, wrong. Now I strain to touch my toes with straight legs and have issues with my left wrist (weird bone in the joint, no strength for years), left shoulder (skiing fall in 2012, crunches when raised), left knee (snapped cruciate ligament skiing in 1996, which still aches in cold weather) and right foot (yay, finally something on the right! A fractured bone in 1999). All these things still cause problems, and I feel them when I exercise like I did today.

I did a Jillian Michaels workout for just under 30 minutes. It’s the Level 1 class of her 30-Day Shred series. Click here if you want to see the video. I’d never done this ‘class’ before (I did some of her yoga videos on YouTube last year) and there were push ups *gasp* and squats with weighted arm raises *groan*. Everything that makes my left side go ouch. To top it off, I twinged something in my left ankle doing the skipping on the concrete terrace a few days ago. What a sorry sack I am – can you grasp my mood today?!

Ok, time to lift it a bit. The video was fun, I raised a sweat just doing the beginner-level exercises, and I feel great. I laughed about hitting my hands on the ceiling when doing the star jumps, and before I knew it, we were doing the warm down. How did that time just go so fast?

If you don’t feel like exercising, think about the habit you’re trying to form. Every day for a minimum of 15 minutes. The class really did fly by – I was done before I could stop whining and I’m happy I didn’t give in. Keep at it! Every little bit counts. Why not look up some other exercise videos on YouTube to have ready for a rainy day?

As a giggle, I’d like to show you our lounge room, so you can see how low the ceiling is. I have to do star jumps with my hands either side of the centre beam and there’s no chance of ever doing a clap at the top!

Wishing you a great day.

This is my hand stretched out in front. If I hold it straight up, I can lay it flat on the white ceiling while flat footed.

This is my hand stretched out in front. If I hold it straight up, I can lay it flat on the white ceiling while flat footed.

Wide lounge room

I push the coffee table into the dining area (where I’m standing), lay out my yoga mat (or a towel) and use tins of chick peas as my weights.

January 5: 15 minutes of skipping

The skipping rope, and the view

The skipping rope, and the view

Well this one was harder than I expected, and I knew it would be tough. Constant skipping for 15 minutes is strenuous when you’re unfit. I mixed it up between forwards skipping, backwards skipping, the one foot hop and change, two feet together etc etc. Maybe when I’m fitter, I’ll try the double spin jump now and then!

I just wanted to move around. My heart rate went up, and I sweated a bit, which is good considering it’s 4 degrees (Celsius) outside. But the sun was shining and I feel great.

I used a normal skipping rope, which has weighted handles, donned my best sports bra and sneakers, and enjoyed feeling my tummy bounce up and down. Never thought I’d ever say that! But at least it means I have stuff to lose and the only way is up! (In fitness levels, down in weight hopefully!)

You don’t need to go out and buy equipment, it’s all around you, but I had this skipping rope from previous attempts to get fit, and have now hung it near the front door, so it’s easy to see and grab when I need it.

January 3: Walking in Bern

Walking around Bern

Walking around Bern

Today we drove into the city to collect my contact lenses, parked just outside the main centre and walked into and around town. Can’t say it was an excessive day of exercise. The idea for fitfor15in15 was just brewing in my head, so I wasn’t actively looking to exercise.

It was cold, it was nice. This running track in the photo hadn’t been used for exercise – you can see the actual track is still covered in snow. Those footprints in the middle are probably from people walking their dogs or taking a short cut to the river!

January 1: Happy New Year walk around Wohlen

Claudia, Leo, myself and Dani on our walk around Wohlen

Claudia, Leo, myself and Dani on our walk around Wohlen

Happy New Year! Today is the first day of my attempt to get fitfor15in15.

Leo and I and our friends Claudia and Dani walked off the minimal excesses of the previous night with a walk around our neighbourhood. It was cold but sunny and a great way to spend an hour.

Claudia and I walked and talked together, probably slower than what could be classed as exercise, but we had a great time. The previous evening I had tossed up the idea of fitfor15in15 to her while taking another walk, and it’s slowly taking shape in my head.

Who knows what the year will bring? Hopefully a fitter and healthier me!

Hello and welcome to a crazy idea that could possibly work

fitfor15in15 … Get fit for 15 in 15 … Get fit for 2015 in 15 … Get fit for 2015 in 15 minutes … Get fit for 2015 in a minimum of 15 minutes per day …

Ok everybody, now that the concept behind this blog is out there, are you interested in this challenge? Create a healthier 2015 (if you’re not already feeling healthy, that is) by doing a minimum of 15 minutes exercise a day.

It’s a catchy idea, and hopefully one that sticks in your head in an effort to boost your fitness and health in 2015.

I think about doing exercise all the time! How good it would be, how great I would feel, and eventually how I’d be pleased with the results.

But then something called procrastination, laziness, indifference, care factor zero, or whatever you want to call it, kicks in and takes over and I don’t do anything.

So this year, I’m taking a catchy phrase and making it my mantra. Fit for 15 in 15.

I’m not a health care expert, I have no qualifications in fitness or exercise, I am just an ordinary person who wants to be motivated this year to do something a bit more challenging and hopefully boost my fitness levels so I can run for the bus without running out of breath.

If you have any ideas, would like to contribute or just want to join in and make your own plans for a fit 2015, then please say hello.

All it takes is a minimum of 15 minutes per day. It could be 15 minutes of lifting soup tins, doing squats, knee raises, an exercise class on YouTube, star jumps or sit ups, going for a walk or a jog, or a combination of any of these ideas – set yourself a goal to do at least 15 minutes a day. It doesn’t matter what time of the day – before work, during your lunch break, after work, before you go to bed – whenever!

The first step is always the hardest. Forming a habit will make this easier. By doing at least 15 minutes a day, every day, you form a habit. Hopefully one you will enjoy! And by making it a requirement, a must, a desire, a wish, a joy each and every day, you can’t be tempted to say “Oh, it’s raining, I’ll go for that jog tomorrow” or “I’m feeling tired today, I’ll start next week”.

Something small or large, every day, for a minimum of 15 minutes …

Are you interested in making it your mantra too?