Still searching for that perfect exercise routine that has you feeling energized, strong, and recharged from the inside-out?
Written by Kiki Athanas, In-House Wellness Expert @ Calii Love and Founder of MEByKiki.com.
The answer may not be what you think. At least, it won’t be the same for all of us. With that said, there are a few simple fundamentals that you can use and follow to experiment with, and ultimately find the most restorative and conditioning movement that suits your unique bodily exactly how it should be. I’m about to spell it out for you in this post.
It all begins with…you guessed it: mindfulness. Mindful movement is really the key to long-term success here, and is the no-fail way to give your body precisely what it needs – moment-to-moment. See, when you’re exercising out of love for yourself and providing your body with what it craves and desires in the moment, you’ll always be on track for your best ever self (body included).
Tune into exactly why you want to do this, and then (and this next step is even more crucial and where the magic happens) tap into how you’ll feel once you’re there (i.e. once you’ve met that health goal and are feeling that radiant healthy – possibly sweaty – glow).
I’ve done my fair share of exercising – sometimes for the right reasons (hello more energy, increased flexibility, better sleep, etc.), but also at times for the wrong reasons (compensating for eating “bad” food, feeling like I am “lazy” or otherwise “unworthy” if I don’t exercise daily, etc.).
Recently, I’ve begun to seek a balance between tuning into what my body is asking for in the present, whilst still maintaining a healthy sense of discipline and routine that I know serves me well. Following this much more intuitive regime has not only improved my overall happiness and sense of self-respect – it actually hasn’t totally “ruined” my physical exercise capabilities (shocker!), and rather it’s improved my love and enjoyment for moving my body…enjoying every movement in whatever “workout” I choose to treat myself to that particular day (and no, it doesn’t always happen everyday).
For those of you looking to get more into the swing of things when it comes to your physical health, or, on the flip side, if you feel like you might be “prisoner” to whatever gym/workout program you’ve subscribed to (hint: if you feel this way, then it’s probably because it’s the reality of the matter) – I’d like to share a few tips and tricks that really helped me get over the “workout hump” so that I could start exercising the right way.
1) Find Your Why
We all think we know why we want to exercise and “be healthy”…it’s so incredibly obvious, isn’t it? Possibly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to really flush it out for yourself. Maybe it’s that you really want to shed some pounds so that you can feel better about yourself – more confident, more at peace and happy with your outwardly appearance. Or maybe challenging health issues are at the root of your cause – you’re struggling with something that will likely improve or possibly go away entirely if you were to provide your body with the right form of physical exercise at the right frequency. Tune into exactly why you want to do this, and then (and this next step is even more crucial and where the magic happens) tap into how you’ll feel once you’re there (i.e. once you’ve met that health goal and are feeling that radiant healthy – possibly sweaty – glow).
Once you feel how you’ll feel, the “dreams” start to become more of a reality, and the finish line not only becomes closer – it becomes doable…it’s already part of your story. Now’s the time to go make it happen!
2) Map Out Some Accessible Options
Now let’s make sure we are indeed operating in reality here, and that means finding what’s accessible in YOUR reality – right now in the present. That might mean finding some good at-home workout videos you can fit into your busy schedule – perhaps a pre-work yoga sesh in your bedroom, or a gentle evening stretch in your TV room (rather than a Netflix binge…or post-Netflix binge…your choice!).
You could also do a bit of research as to what the local gyms and community fitness studios in your area offer, and pin down some classes into your calendar, so that you can reference back to it throughout your week – having some already incredible viable options you (hopefully) don’t have to go too far out of your way for. After all, as cliche as it is to say: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Get yourself set-up for success, so that you can make mindful movement part of your schedule in a way that’s easy and accessible for yourself.
3) Always Be Kind
Okay, I know what you’re thinking – but no, this doesn’t mean being “lazy”. Being kind simply means actually listening to your body and responding in kindness. If you feel the need to sweat it out and get your endorphins going, great – go for a run or try out a swanky new HIIT class. Alternatively, if your body is craving rest, lose the guilt and negative self-talk and instead appreciate that your body is in recovery mode and will be adequately recharged if you give it the restoration it needs.
On a similar note, if you are feeling low-energy, but know deep down that it’s your brain that’s tired – not your body, practice discipline and give your body the flow you know deep down will do it a lot of good…and make you feel all the better for it!
So there you have it, no hyping up isometrics vs. plyometrics vs. any other kind of metrics other than tuning into YOUR OWN metrics. Stay present, stay fluid, and find the joy the movement (or don’t – and find the joy in resting instead!).