FITNESS – Everyone needs a Back Up Plan

by: Vicky Reihana on

back up plan

Does sticking to your exercise routine come easily to you? Or are you the person who seems to have to put your health and fitness routine on hold every other day, because life takes over?

How is it that some people seem to maintain their fitness routines so effortlessly while others struggle to maintain anything but promises to self, that tomorrow their fitness and health will be the number one priority?

If you’re someone who has ever given up on your fitness routine due to lack of time or because you’ve been stressed out or tired; you’ve probably found yourself wondering what makes you different to all those dedicated people who manage to maintain their fitness, no matter what. How do they do it? Doesn’t their life take over sometimes? Don’t they get tired of it all?

Here’s the secret – it’s inevitable that at some point, we will all get busy, distracted, stressed or unmotivated and when this happens, exercise and healthy lifestyle is often the first thing to be sacrificed. The key to maintaining you fitness routine is not in making sure you do the same thing every day without fail, but rather to make sure you have a backup plan for when things turn to custard. Your fitness backup plan needs to be something quick and convenient, which you can implement almost anywhere or any time – no excuses.

Here’s how it works.

So its midweek and you’ve had a broken sleep. The alarm didn’t go off, or maybe you slept through it. The kids are extra cranky this morning and they are fighting about something.  Your first step out of bed is greeted with the discovery that the dog has defecated on your freshly steam cleaned carpet and to top it all off, master six refuses to dress himself for school. Looks like it’s going to be a great day.

This morning in particular is not off to a great start. Then there’s all the other happenings that take place before you set foot out the door, setting the tone for the day. Chaotic households in the morning are not uncommon for working parents. Balancing family, work and kids is often challenging. None of us are perfect and we all have days like this that test our patience, strength and endurance. Even in the quietest of households, things just don’t always run smoothly, no matter how organized we like to think we are. These are the days when your fitness regime will be tested most.

As a Mum of two, I’m not exempt from this crazy household syndrome. Just last week I’d had a crappy sleep and was feeling pretty tired. I missed my morning workout and had a busy and not so great day in the office. By the time night fall came and I was preparing dinner, I found myself contemplating whether I could still fit a quick workout or whether I’d have to give it a miss altogether. Just then, my husband returned from a busy looking somewhat frazzled himself.

He greeted me by telling me he was heading to the gym for half an hour to blow out the cobwebs from the day. I was right in the middle of dinner prep and it would have been easy for me to just continue what I was doing, followed by the usual chores – washing, emails, dishes, kid stuff, but I thought, “Okay, just thirty minutes – I can do that!” And for my own sanity I knew I needed to try to get some sort of exercise in, so I made up my mind, changed quickly and flew to the gym for a quick exercise session with my partner.

Even though I love my fitness, when I arrived at the gym, I still wasn’t feeling my usual enthusiastic self, so I played it safe and jumped on the stationary bike. I set a plan for twenty minutes of HIIT sprints and to finish with ten minutes of stretching. Not too demanding for me mentally, but challenging enough break a sweat; get the blood pumping, the legs and lungs burning and an opportunity to release some of the stresses of the day away.

I am very blessed to have a partner who shares my passion and enthusiasm for exercise and health, and my kids are at an age where they can be left for twenty minutes while I exercise. It hasn’t always been this way, and each day is different.

I understand not everyone has a supportive partner, kids who are old enough to leave for half an hour, or the ability to get to a gym. I understand that not everyone has the support of another person to help motivate them to maintain their fitness or who understands the desire to be healthy.

Because life does sometimes take over, become stressful or get in the way, because our circumstances don’t always allow us to stick to our original exercise regime – it’s really important to have a backup plan when it comes to fitness.

A Backup Plan is an exercise regime which you can stick to, even when things don’t go as planned. Here’s what you need to consider for your Backup Plan.

  1. Write down a ‘GO TO WORKOUT’ for those days when you feel least motivated, or for when life gets in the way.
  2. Choose a workout that you love, that you can do anywhere, anytime and with anyone.
  3. Ensure your workout is challenging enough that you feel like you have made progress or at least have built up a sweat.
  4. Make your workout sharp and short lasting no more than thirty minutes.


Points to remember

  • Not every workout has to be better than the last
  • 100 squats yesterday doesn’t mean you have to do 110 the next workout
  • Conditions don’t have to be perfect for you to exercise
  • You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment to work out
  • Stand by your commitment to exercise, even when you can think of a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t.

Having a Backup Plan for your fitness regime is your safety net. Your backup plan will see that you become one of those people who don’t give up or give in when things get tough. Your backup plan will keep you ticking over and will help you to stay motivated. Plus, a good backup plan will put a stop to the mental drain of thinking “I have to train” when you’re really unsure if you want to or not.

Need a little help coming up with your own Backup Plan?

That’s okay, you can use mine!



High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Stationary Bike WORKOUT

  1. 2 min warm up 60 Rev’s per minute
  2. Sprint for 30 seconds on level 9 – Maintain 100 RPM
  3. Active recovery for 30 seconds on level 7 –Maintain 60-70 RPM
  4. TOTAL of  20 MINUTES

Find a LEVEL your can sprint at maintaining 100 RPM

(This workout can be performed as outdoor sprints, on a treadmill., rower, or cross trainer)



USING A TABTA TIMER APP  or count 10 reps for each exercise

20 Seconds of work for each exercise

10 Seconds of rest in-between each exercise

1 Minute rest after each round of  8 exercises

X 4 Rounds for a total of 20 minutes

  2. PUSH UP
  6. PUSH UP

No matter how professional athletes are, even the fittest and the elite also need a backup plan for the days that they can not work out as they would like to…

Your Backup Plan Is The Key To A Greater You – Every Single Day.

No more excuses. You CAN do it.