Hey all! Happy (almost) weekend! As many of us use our precious time on the weekends for physical activity, I wanted to talk a bit about exercise today. Mainly, how to keep it fun AND stay consistent. We all know how great physical activity can be for stress and keeping our bodies healthy, but moderation is key. I became pretty obsessive about exercise in college. If I didn’t run over 5 miles and spend time in the gym, I didn’t feel like I could have a good day. It has taken me a long time to find moderation in my physical activities and to be honest, I’m still very much working on it! Since moving to California a few months ago, getting married and experiencing some changes in my health and wellness priorities, I have been making an effort to be very mindful about many areas of my life, including exercise. Lately, I only want to do things that I actually enjoy and take a bit of the “work” out of working out. I think it’s possible!
The key is finding something for exercise that you really love to do. For me, that is not spinning, bootcamp or anything where I am being yelled at and the music is crazy loud. Some people love that and find it motivating, but I have realized that I am not one of those people and my time spent exercising is very reflective and I appreciate and need that. I also still love to run, but only a couple of times a week and for about 3-4 miles. I find this is just enough to get my heart rate up and give me a kick of energy for the rest of the day without feeling depleted. It’s also much easier for me to commit to running for 30 minutes as opposed to over an hour. I love to see the trees and feel the sun on my face. I also love running in the rain (anyone else?!) especially in the summer time. Feels so good! We are also fortunate to live in a very walkable area of LA (yes, there is such a thing) and I have been loving walks around our neighborhood, taking public transportation and avoiding the car whenever I can.
I have also realized that although I am a yoga teacher and yoga is certainly one of my passions, I don’t need to hit my yoga mat for a full hour practice every day. There is so much freedom in releasing the expectation to do a certain amount of a certain thing every day. There is yoga in everything we do (if we let it in) so I allow hikes, runs and walks to be my yoga that day if I want them to be. Laughing with friends and family? Also yoga! Working on a project and tapping into your creative energy? Yoga again! I still love my classes and home practices and find that practicing 3-4x per week helps me feel balanced and retain my gratitude and joy for yoga.
Let’s not forget about the most important component to any exercise program, REST! We must trust our very intelligent bodies to guide us and let us know what they need. If we are tired or sick, we should chill. There is always tomorrow and another chance to get moving. We need different things at different times so just because you would rather watch Netflix, read a book or get some sleep over working out one day, it doesn’t mean that you are failing or should give up. It means the exact opposite, actually, and that you are honoring your body and avoiding burn out. Go you!
If you’re in a bit of an exercise rut, I recommend using ClassPass (www.classpass.com). It’s particularly helpful if you are living in a new place and want to check some studios out (and even gyms!) before you commit. It varies by city, but here in LA the first month is $19 and you get 5 classes. You can graduate to a 10 class/ month program for $115 after that. You cannot go to the same studio/ gym more than 3 times in a month cycle though, so if you are like me and know what you like to do and it’s only yoga and outdoorsy stuff, consider that. If you want to try barre, spinning, TRX, get in some gym time and just try some stuff for fun, you should do it! I did for a couple of months and it helped me to gain valuable insight on what type of exercise feels best for my body and now I’m back to the basics. Sometimes, we just need to switch it up!
What do you all like to do for exercise? How do you keep yourself engaged? What are your tips and tricks?
Happy moving and HAVE FUN!