Bowling counts as exercise, right?

When Brandon and I first met and started dating, both of our social lives revolved around hanging out with friends at bars. Catching up over a beer (or two, or three) was the norm. I consider myself a pretty social person, and love meeting up with friends throughout the week and weekend to balance work and time spent at home. I found myself at a point where I was drinking far too much alcohol during the week, which I know was affecting my health negatively.

Slowly, Brandon and I started taking steps to get healthier (and save money!). We joined a gym, started eating out less and began cooking more healthy meals at home. The hardest change of all was to drastically reduce our drinking. It wasn’t difficult because we missed alcohol per se, but because drinking is the social activity of choice among our group of friends. We quickly realized doing the standard bar meet-up while being the only ones not drinking was too difficult. Instead, we’ve tried to find other activities that will be fun sans alcohol. We’ve had lots of game nights and bowling nights, and we’re looking for more fun alcohol free activities.

Since we’ve been spending a lot of time at home in lieu of going out to bars when Brandon’s brother invited us bowling Wednesday night we decided it would be a fun way to break up the week. I had planned on going to the gym in the evening, but sometimes you just need time to socialize! It’s all about balance, right?

Before we left for the bowling alley we ate one of our favorite snacks.

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Grilled artichokes! The sauce on the side is a mix of mayo, sriracha and capers (sounds weird but it’s so good!).

We headed up to the bowling alley to meet Brandon’s brother Mike, his girlfriend Abby, and a few of Mike’s friends.

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I must say, the shoes at the bowling alley near Mike’s house are not nearly as nice as the ones near ours. But they’re neon, at least! My bowling game is improving and I broke 100 again. We played two games and had fun chatting with Mike and Abby.

I was planning on getting up early in the morning to squeeze in a workout, but after getting home late I decided sleep was worth it. I think it was a good decision, but I will definitely be going this evening.

Fitness Goals

Joining the gym a few months ago totally transformed my views of health and fitness. Prior to becoming a “gym rat” I did the bare minimum, and while I wasn’t overweight I definitely wasn’t in shape either. As I’ve slowly increased my fitness routine I’ve become stronger, more confident, gotten sick less, and had a huge boost in my mood. While the benefits have been huge, I know I’ve really only dipped my toes in the fitness water. Recently, I decided to develop some short-term fitness goals to help me expand my exercise regime in the right direction.

Fitness Goals
Try a few new machines
Try a group fitness class
Train for a 5K
Get on a fitness schedule (either all morning or all evening workouts)
Extend my cardio sessions

I’m already working on a few of these goals. Last night before I did my regular cardio workout, I tried a machine I’ve been eyeing but hadn’t yet worked up the courage to try:

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The rower! I don’t know why this machine intimidated me so much because once I hopped on I found it fairly easy to maintain good form and I worked up a sweat almost immediately. I didn’t spend too long on this machine because I wanted to ease into it, but I’ll definitely be incorporating it more often.

A few months ago I signed up for my first 5K, which will be on November 2nd.

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Running is possibly my least favorite form of exercise, so by signing up for a 5K I hoped that having an end goal would motivate me to run more. I’ve run on the treadmill a few times, but kept my cardio workouts mostly on the elliptical. With a month to go before the 5K, I need to step it up and get in a few more running workouts each week.

Another goal that is easily attainable is extending my cardio workouts. For this, I need to devote a little more time to the gym. A slightly more difficult goal will be getting on a consistent schedule. Right now my workouts are scattered between getting up early on the weekends and trying to get up early before work (this has been far more difficult than I’d hoped hah) and going really late at night when my morning workouts fall through. Does anyone have tips for getting on a schedule?

Trying a group fitness class will also be a little more difficult since my gym is pretty tiny and doesn’t offer many. I have quite a few friends who are into Power Fit and Cross Fit, so I may try a class with them (eek!).

I hope that the above goals are reasonable enough that I can make small steps towards them in the near future. My overall goal is to slowly increase my fitness routine until I reach a higher, but sustainable, level of fitness.