Unfortunately, for most of us, we operate under this notion that if we don’t make it to that cycle class, the yoga studio, crossfit or Zumba, then we didn’t work out and, therefore, we’re lazy, unhealthy and destined to a life of frump and gloom. Now, of course, if you enjoy any of the activities I just mentioned, continue to rock it out! But if you don’t, don’t sweat it. Save that for an activity you truly enjoy.
I personally love yoga and I'm continuously motivated (most of the time) to get to the studio a few times a week because I know how much better I will feel after class. But, that being said, I don't have it all figured out just because I do yoga. If I'm being honest, I need be incorporating more cardio into my weekly routine and figuring out how to accomplish that is still a work in progress.
That's the thing about it...it's always a work in progress. That kick-boxing class you really loved last spring, you might dread now and, as a result, you're always finding excuses to skip it. You haven't lost your willpower (what does that mean anyway?! more on that later) maybe, you just lost interest or you're craving a different activity in the winter months.
Most people struggle with keeping up with their exercise routine for two (2) main reasons:
1. They don’t enjoy it.
2. They're focused on external rewards, i.e. losing weight or bigger muscles, as oppose to how the activity makes them feel and what it adds to their life. For example: more energy, a better attitude, self-confidence, and stress relief, just to name a few.
Plus, much more counts as exercise throughout your day than I bet you’re giving yourself credit for!
GAME CHANGER: Daily movement is key, anyway you can get it.
I wasn’t always so clear about what I really enjoyed. It took many years of trial and error and many failed attempts at “being a runner” until I finally got to a place where I look forward to breaking a sweat. Once I started to change my perspective around what it means to exercise regularly and started to look for more opporuntities to move my body daily then this concept of "working out" was less overwhelming and much more natural.
With this clarity, I began to apply a more non-traditional approach to working out in my life. For instance, although I’m not a big fan of running, I love to walk! Morning walks, walks to clear my head, walking to run errands, walking to meet a friend for lunch. You name it, I’ll walk it (as long as I'm not wearing heels) So while I can’t always fit in a yoga class or 30 minutes on the elliptical, if we need some groceries, I’ll walk to pick them up. I get in a little cardio on the way there and a little strength training, carrying my bags, on the way back. At work, I’ll rarely use the elevators and I take the long way to meetings when I have time. Working at home, I’ll break up the day with 10 minute cardio videos or jumping jacks to get the blood flowing. These attempts at incorporating short burst of activity throughout my day really add up and leave me feeling much more energized and focused.
Find what works for you! Every little bit counts and, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be complicated!