What is your view on exercise?
I’ve been exercising regularly for nearly a decade, but my relationship with movement wasn’t always the best.
I thought if I wanted to be “healthy” that I needed to workout every single day, only do cardio (you know, because it burns the most calories), sweat profusely, and be in physical pain. I thought a workout needed to push me to exhaustion…and if I couldn’t sit on the toilet the next day without being in pain, then I didn’t work out hard enough.
After finding a life of food freedom using mindful & intuitive eating, I am so happy to say that I have found joyful movement – moving my body in a way that physically feels good. I’m not working out 2+ hours a day anymore, leaving my body exhausted. But, I am realistic in that joyful movement makes my days better. I get that endorphin release that sets a tone for my day. So, I make it my goal every morning to get my workout in – to physically feel good.
Here are tips I use to find time in my busy life for joyful movement.
Tip 1: Build time in your schedule.
The great thing about having a busy schedule is that you are in control of it! Find time in your day that works well for you. It can be as simple as getting out your calendar and penciling in your workout regimen.
Tip 2: Pick an exercise plan that you will love.
Personally, I love all types of exercise, but I have grown to appreciate them. I used to hate lifting weights, but now I love it and do it at least 3 times per week. The point is that you will be more likely to stick to your exercise plan if you choose something you enjoy doing. Of course, I am a promoter of dance style workouts (my personal gateway to fitness), but that is because I am a dance instructor, and I love it! I have a story with dance fitness, but it is not for everybody. I really do not like biking, so guess what? I do not bike…not now anyway. Find what you enjoy doing, and set goals for yourself. When you do something you love, it will not seem like “exercise” at all, and you will be looking forward to it. This will be a great tool for you so you can move your body in an enjoyable way.
Tip 3: Get an accountability partner.
In other words, get a workout buddy! This is someone who can encourage you to keep it up. Find time a few times a week to exercise with this person. This person can help motivate you to make time for exercising with them. I have had several accountability partners for many different things. For instance, the picture below shows my cousin and I completing a half marathon. She helped me through my first half, and encouraged me when I did my second.
Tip 4: Take recovery days.
This is so important. Give your muscles a break. When I first began my exercise journey, I was obsessed with getting fit-fast that I never let my muscles rest. Because of that, I put some permanent damage on my knee and had physical therapy help me strengthen it back. Taking a recovery day is vital to your muscles as they repair from your workouts. You can still be lightly active on these days (think walking, swimming, etc), but be careful to allow enough time for healing.
Tip 5: Stay hydrated and fueled.
Of course, I had to give my dietitian tip. In order to be privileged to move your body, ya gotta eat and drink…there is just now way out of it. Without food and water, you will be sluggish and tired and not motivated to workout, which hinders that “endorphin release” (aka, happy hormone) to make your body feel good. Trust me. I have been there. Drink a few bottles of water before and after your workout that way you will be nice and energized for your workout. Drink your water. Eat your nutrient dense, whole grains, fruits, and veggies throughout the day, and if you are lifting heavy loads in the gym, you may want to look into adding a little more protein to your diet.
There you have it–five simple, yet easy ways to add exercise into your busy schedule. Make it a part of your life, not just an accessory you try on from time to time. You can pick one tip to try, or go the extra mile and do all five. Let me know if any of these helped you!
Jumpstart your mindful eating journey by downloading my 6 Steps to Mindful Eating guide here – it’s free!