8 Easy Ways To Stay Active

Hello beautiful people. It’s evening as I write this, unwinding with my preferred drug of choice, a big mug of coffee and patting myself on the back that I didn’t give in to any basic urges and punch someone today.

Working with, and dealing with the public has challenged that a lot lately.

I’m constantly amazed at the sense of entitlement so many have and it’s been an extraordinary and amazing to thing to not only keep my hands to myself, but my tongue too as my brain can conjure up sarcastic comments like crazy.

It’s work keeping that in!

Haha ok I jest…. well…. partially…

But let’s say I’m glad to now be relaxing and letting the ideas out of my head that have been bouncing around for awhile.

I thought we’d talk a bit about ways to make staying active easier. We are ending summer here in the states and moving towards fall and maybe a bit of winter here in the south. Typically a time of year when most begin to want to hibernate inside and the idea of exercise seems like an even bigger chore. Unless you are already a dedicated gym goer or have a disciplined exercise program you may not be thinking it’s a time of year you want to start getting active.

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Earlier this year… the sun looks deceiving… but it was in the high 20’s out riding. Coldest ride ever.  Just call me Ninja. This is what happens when exercise is just something you do 😛

 

So what are some steps to build a fitness plan?

No one, and I’m pretty sure no one, decides they are just gonna scamper into getting active. Let’s be honest, most dread the idea of having to do exercise even though they may talk about it and really want to do it.

You may admire those who are active, understand the benefits of doing it, and strive to do it yourself but somehow you can’t quite put it together. Of course you also understand that staying active take a lot of work and discipline.

Don’t get discouraged. Some planning and structure will go a long way to your success. Staying active does require more work than being sedentary but it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult to maintain.

Let’s take a look at some ideas to help.

Find the thing you want to do.

It’s important to choose something you think you will enjoy and can stick with. Don’t worry about being “good” at it or thinking you can’t do something. Just get out there and start taking baby steps. In time, you’ll gain confidence at it. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll look forward to your time working out.

Be consistent.

Like building any new habit, consistency is key. Find a time to workout in the day that is suitable for you and your schedule. Forget what your neighbor or sister is doing, you do your thing. Find a time that you can devote to yourself and put it in your day.

For me mornings have evolved over the past few years.  In the beginning it was what I did to get the job done before the rest of my day started. It was hard to get up earlier to get it done but I did.

Mornings are best for me because in the 24 hours of my day it’s when I have people needing and wanting me the least.

I’ve actually come to love being out on the road early. There’s something quite satisfying knocking out miles while the sun is coming up and the world is still getting coffee.

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Favorite view from my bike

Not only that, it just sets an energetic tone for the entire rest of my day.

Pick your time of day and stick to it.

Get your gear ready the night before.

Now days it doesn’t take much for me to reach for my exercise clothes. When I had to be up on Saturdays at 5a.m. for long runs, I had everything laid out for me to just step into. My mind immediately, although still sleepy, knew it was time to get serious. ( I do not wear athletic clothes as “leisure wear”, for me they represent work and my mind shifts to a different mode once I’m in them)

If your clothes, shoes, socks, accessories etc are there and waiting you won’t have to think about putting it all together. Even if you are an evening work out person, have it laid out and waiting.  It will be one less thing you have to think about doing.

Get your nutrition in order.

Knowing what you will have for breakfast and having it prepped will give you less reason to skip on fueling properly. If you are an early morning person, you may have food ready the night before.

Having healthy snacks prepped for pre and post workouts will keep your energy levels up and will be one less thing you have to attend to when you finish.

Have stretches or moves you use at the end of each workout.

I have several go-to yoga moves that feel good after I’ve been running and cycling. This helps my body recover after a workout and ease tight muscles.

Have some stretching and mobility exercises that you can use afterwards. Not only does it feel good, it helps your body to recover faster.

Leave your gear in the same place.

My running bag has everything from some spare change to extra cycling gloves, my running belt, ipod (although I rarely use it on the road anymore) my helmet, glasses, a clean top, and a whole host of other things. I always know where my stuff is at in a moment.

Find a bag or space that is dedicated to what you need for your workouts to keep you organized.

Focus on your workout.

ok I’m notorious for being in the midst of a workout thinking about what needs my attention when I’m done, what I want to write about next, or being distracted by other random thoughts.

This totally takes my mental focus off what my body is doing and keeps me working hard on the task in front of me.

Be in the moment with what you’re doing. Appreciate all your body can do for you, think about how movement feels. All the other stuff will still be waiting for you when you finish.

Plan your workouts.

Seriously.

I literally schedule appointments around knowing the time it takes me to get them in and clean up and look like a respectable human again.

With my duathlon training I consider what days in my week I can devote to my longer sessions, my run/ bike days, and put them there. Shorter mornings may be one of my fast high intensity workouts that I can slam out in 30 minutes or less. Regardless, I know where to fit them in and how much time it will take.

And no, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling that anymore than scheduling a doctors appointment. It’s important, just do it.

With some planning, structure, and intentional purpose you can build a strong and healthy exercise program that will serve you well. When our minds know what to expect we can look forward to being active and truly benefit from each activity.

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Find an activity you can enjoy and look forward to doing 🙂

Tell me, do you have any tips or tricks that helped you get on a disciplined path for exercise?

 

 

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The Pursuit Of A Dream Body

I was updating my Instagram account recently and after I had finished was just randomly scrolling through different accounts. I follow so many people who are strong and active. They are amazing athletes and their physical bodies are carved from the work they invest to their sport.  They do big things that encourage and remind me I can keep on shooting for the stars when it comes to pursuing bigger goals.

Then there are the accounts that are almost **yawn** same old, same old,  women posed into a mirror, butts popped out ( the bigger the better now days, right?), tight shirts with artificial breasts spilling out, zero body fat, lean abs, plenty of makeup…. you may have seen pages like that. Many proclaim to be fitness trainers, personal trainers etc

I’m not like, being critical here, I’m just saying my goals and efforts are aimed in a different direction. What I choose to follow reflects my pursuits.

I want to be out working hard and looking like a hot mess with no make up, sweat flying every where as I crush another workout…or it crushes me… haha

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My oh so glamorous IG photo 😛

 

As I glanced at one of these accounts one of the captions jumped out at me.  I’ve seen it before in various places…

“Contact me to help get your dream body today!”

Listen, the amount of fitness “coaches” on IG is as plentiful as flies at a summer picnic on the potato salad.

Some are most likely legit, others, well the jury might still be out.

That being said, no one will help you get your dream body but you and few will achieve it.

Ok, so why won’t they?

When I got my Charger R/T Max 2 years ago, I was a happy camper. ( I still am) Aside from looking like it can eat your lunch, I can hit it on the highway in mere seconds to head spinning speeds ( hubby loves it when I tell him that…. haha… not.)

Not to mention it has tons of other super cool features too it but this isn’t a car and road post so I won’t bore you 😉

The car I would’ve LOVED to have scooped up if ya know, the money thing wasn’t an issue, would’ve been the Charger SRT Hellcat.

Hello 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds which makes my 0-60 in 8 seem…slow….

There are limited editions made each year and they also go to people who bust their butts and work for them. The people who own them have had to invest a lot to get that amazing car. They don’t have it without putting in the work for it.

You following me here?

People who have amazing bodies or maybe their “dream” body, have had to bust their butt and work for it. And they have to work hard.

Well what does that look like, the illusive dream body?

Well, that of course could vary person to person. So many women today seem to want what’s pushed on them through social media or what they see in magazines.  I guess it would be a similar thing for guys too.

I mean really, when I started on my journey 8 years ago if you’d asked me I would’ve said my dream body would be strong, functional and most of all healthy. It’s still at the top of my list now, even more so.

I’m not overly hung up on having my body try and look certain ways.

Abs though… ok… well maybe those are up there… 😉

There’s just something about those lines and ripples that I kinda dig. And being that I’m getting closer and closer to my Senior citizen discount breakfast, I consider it a victory of sorts.

But that doesn’t come without work and effort. And sometimes I’m more cut depending on my training and how lean I’m getting. It’s a process I’ve learned to roll with

Really though, my goals are to keep my body strong and healthy so I can do life and do my athletic stuff for a long time. I don’t need to try and shape myself into the current “trend”. I have though, been shaped by the very activities I enjoy doing so it’s almost a side effect, my changing body composition, to what I do.

It’s ok though to have your own personal goals or perhaps “image” of what you want to strive for. In fact, it would be helpful pursuing it if you did know what you wanted.

Maybe your ultimate dream body would be losing weight and being 50 pounds less.

Perhaps you want to strive for a weight you were when you were younger ( not always the best sometimes) the weight you were when you were younger might not be as suited for you being older when 5 or 10 lbs would be more flattering

You may want to have a body with more visible muscle or maybe you want a body that can go run a 5k. Maybe you haven’t been able to run and it’s a dream of yours.

But for the illusive body of strong muscled proportions with low body fat and seemingly perfect appearance, like the Hellcat, most will not invest what’s required to make it happen to own it.

It’s that discipline thing

We aren’t given things in life, for most of us, we have to work for them. The same goes for our bodies.

When I see someone who’s really fit, and yeah they stand out, it’s hard for me to not admire them. And I don’t mean in a weird way, I admire them for what I know it took them to get there, I admire the discipline I know is a part of their life because that’s the major thing to starting towards any goal.

It takes discipline to get out the door, to the gym, to run, to cycle to intentionally go lift really heavy things. It takes discipline to go to Crossfit or those nightly classes for strength. It takes discipline to eat well and past on foods or drinks that don’t support those goals.

But we want the easy way sometimes, right?

Nothing makes me feel more sad than to see smart people commenting on weight loss posts clamoring at the latest “miracle” that will quickly help them lose weight and get their dream body. The sad fact is, all they will lose is their money and even if it did work, it certainly wouldn’t teach them the discipline and drive needed to be successful at it, and keep at it.

The bottom line is, people just don’t realize how hard it will be.

All the other factors

there are so many other things that will hinder someone from the pursuit of their “dream” body.

  • Procrastination. Stop putting it off till “Monday” or after a “holiday” or whatever, just start. Procrastination is the killer of dreams.
  • It’s hard! Understand changing your body won’t be easy and but when you get that, you’ll be in the right frame of mind.
  • No room for error is allowed. There will be a day you just want a cookie, or two. This is not a reason to throw in towel and go on an all out binge or think you’ve failed. . Those cookies won’t take down your hard work, but a food binge will make you feel bad physically and mentally.  Eat it and move on.
  • You’re hungry. Eat adequate food, enough but not to much and make sure each meal has plenty of protein, that’s your friend to keep you from getting hungry.
  • You workout hard, but eat harder. Don’t use your workouts to justify eating more food.
  • You drink a lot of calories. Seriously, all those sugary drinks whether coffees or sodas, smoothies, shakes, all those calories add up and liquid calories also leave you hungry sooner. Watch your consumption of those things.
  • You over complicate things. Really, losing weight is a pretty straightforward process. If you want to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. If you want to gain some muscle, eat more and lift heavier weights. Don’t get caught up in all the trends… “don’t eat dairy or grains or whatever”, “don’t eat after 7″ ,”eat 6 meals a day” “eat all the fat!” etc etc. Don’t complicate the system.
  • Understand friends or family won’t always cheer you or support your efforts. Focus on you and don’t worry about the rest.
  • Calories matter. I’m not a calorie counter but I do understand my body has a specific amount it can operate on to support my life and activities, more than that I gain weight, less I’ll lose. Same for you. Know what you need and learn to operate in that zone.
  • You aren’t motivated enough. We all have our “thing” that can drive us. Find what motivates you to chase after your goals.  Without motivation, you aren’t going anywhere.
  • You only think in short term limits.  30 days out, 60 days out. Most “plans” only make you think that far like you aren’t going to want to keep going or need direction past that. You need long term goals as well. Your body goals won’t be accomplished in a matter of weeks or a couple months. Where will you be in a year or two?
  • You weight yourself to much. Really, stay off the damn scale! It will only side track you and make you feel like a loser on some days when you don’t need to feel that way. The scale doesn’t measure you’re overall “worth”, those numbers don’t define you or make you a better person. AND it certainly isn’t an indicator of your total health. If you absolutely must, once a week is adequate. ( find my posts on the scale here….) https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/03/29/why-ive-given-up-on-the-scale/   https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/08/27/the-scale-experiment/    https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/03/12/that-stupid-scale/
  • You are always comparing yourself to others or worse, Hollywood stars or your more fit friend.  Stop it. You are you. You won’t look like them or be shaped like them. You have a different muscle structure and body size.  Learn to appreciate every single inch of who you are. Looking at others and comparing will only make you feel bad about yourself.
  • Don’t let someone tell you that you look “okay”. Really. Why would anyone ever discourage someone from improving themselves by saying they look “okay”? That’s a key word for just stay as you are.
  • You don’t even have a solid idea of what your “dream” body is. Without some concrete ideas, you will be spinning your wheels. Have ideas of what you’d like to work towards or achieve, it will help move you to your goals and know how you need to plan.
  • You haven’t visualized how awesome it will feel to have your body the way you want it.  Like anything that takes hard work and discipline, building your body or changing it will take a lot of work but it’s totally possible when you make a commitment to it and discipline yourself to do the things that will get you there.

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That discipline word…

I enjoy helping and encouraging others on their health and fitness journeys. I’m certainly not an “expert” but I’ve learned a lot over the past few years. The biggest thing I had to remind a young woman of the other day is that right now, where she’s at, she is building the discipline of taking herself out each day for her exercise.

Discipline is crucial for her long term success.

It’s great to think you’ll always be motivated with the idea of pursuing your dream body, your goal weight or your muscled arms. The reality is you won’t, I won’t ,no one will always be motivated to get up and do the work required.

When you’ve been consistent and have built daily discipline through your fitness routines, you will fall into that when motivation is lagging.

There are days it is purely my discipline that gets me out on the road. I know that once I’m out there, I will then do what I’m there to do. Some days might be stronger or faster than others but the fact remains, I got out there. I didn’t make an excuse to not go get it done.

Our goals are often lost in our excuses of reasons why we “can’t” do something.

Know what you want and go for it.

Understand that having a different body will require work, effort, and a ton of self discipline to build it. No one will do it for you. No one will be pushing you ( unless you get a tough personal trainer) but at the end of the day it will come down to the effort you put into your eating and exercise.

Get real with your ideas and goals, determine what you need to do, don’t procrastinate and start taking steps to making it happen.

Do you have an ideal “dream” body? Do you have goals you want for yourself? How attainable do they feel to you?

Your Body Perfectly Imperfect

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The perfect body. The right look. The best abs. The right “booty”. Sculpted arms.

The perfect “everything”.

Men and women are bombarded today with images and news stories that the media or fitness world tries to convince us that we should look like.

It might bring you down before you even get started. The seemingly overwhelming and impossible task to look “perfect” without living a restrictive diet and hours in the gym.

Does the average person even have time for it, if perhaps, that was their goal?

And let’s be honest, what’s perfect to one, will not always be perfect to another. It’s a very illusive pursuit.

Let’s also not forget how much genetics will play into our bodies and how we can shape them. If you have your moms  wide hips you might be able to slim them down or tone them up, but you most likely will never have a small round bottom like you admire on your fit friend.

You might want long lean cut abs, but again, depending on your body type and structure the look you want might be harder, if not impossible to achieve.

Besides a good disciplined exercise program, your nutrition needs to be on point the majority of the time to lose the fat and build some muscle.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I thought I wanted the past few years I’ve been on my health and fitness journey. I’ve learned more about what matters, or what is important to me.

Learning what I wanted

In the beginning, I thought just being “thin” was the goal. Just get “thin”.  I really had no goal beyond that and looking back now I wonder what seemed so desirable to me about just being thin ( as a goal) Of course I needed to lose some fat.. that was important. And I did get thin.

But I was still learning…

Once I had lost weight ( I was exercising along the way too) I started to see how exercise and some weights were shaping me differently. I had picked up running and it was during the time of really cutting calories and more exercise I realized I had abs.

Ok…so… that’s cool… well at least to a middle aged woman who had never really had defined abs or a strong hard core before. Age is not a limiting factor to changing your body composition, by the way.

When I got injured and couldn’t run for over a year, I picked up cycling and did a lot more weight training. Not running 55-60 miles a week, it allowed a little weight back on me that was being reshaped into a stronger more powerful body.

Embracing my body. This is where I got it.

This is where I started to appreciate exactly what my body could do even if I wasn’t a perfect fitness model for a magazine or even if my body parts never shaped up like the articles I saw in magazines.

It didn’t matter and I didn’t care.

The important part?

In all my training and various activities, my body performed for me. It was strong. It was powerful. It adapted to my training to allow me to do more. It made more blood, grew more vessels, learned to deliver oxygen in a more efficient manner during my strongest workout sessions, it grew new cells and more mitochondria ( the literal powerhouse of the cells) it grew my heart and also made it more efficient by giving me a super low resting heart rate so it doesn’t have to work as hard. The other side of that is having a faster recovery heart rate. My muscles grew and got stronger. I was able to run longer, faster and with more ease. I could lift more weight and do more reps.

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Do we ever stop and ponder how totally adaptable and changeable our bodies are? What amazing machines they can be with the proper care and fuel?  The glorious things you can do with them with some investment of time and proper nutrition  to train them to be stronger?

Do we value them as they are, where we are, at this moment in time?

We live surrounded by media and the world that would constantly convince us we are not there yet, that we are lacking, that we aren’t “enough”.

If you’re on a weight loss journey, be patient with yourself and embrace what your body can do now. Know that as you lose weight and exercise you’ll become more fit and definitely more healthy.

If you’re already working out, stay the course, appreciate where you’ve come from and that if you want continued change, it’s possible for you.

But no matter where you are on your journey, never lose sight of the amazing, adaptable gift your body is and all it’s capable of doing for you.

As you move into this year with new goals and plans remember this: Love and value your body, it’s the only one you’ve got. Remember you are “enough” and don’t shrink from all you’re capable of being and all you’re capable of doing.

Have you learned to embrace yourself ? Do you appreciate your body for all it can do for you even if you may not have achieved certain goals?

 

 

 

Just Don’t Quit

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I stumbled across this quote one morning looking for something on not quitting for one of my social media posts.

I liked it because it wasn’t one of the zillion cliché quotes about not quitting or giving up… and well.. it was honestly quirky enough to completely suit me.

I recently asked for thoughts from people on why they believe people quit what they start.  Why do some hold on to what they set out to do with all they have, working hard and refusing to give up and others, with the slightest discomfort, lack of reward, or immediate gain, throw in the towel and quit ?

I had my own opinions/thoughts on it, but wanted some feedback.

I got responses like “it’s a part of our individual personality”, ” it’s how we were raised”, “it’s something learned”,  to my favorite, “it’s pure stubbornness and a refusal to give in”. I think that’s my favorite ’cause it’s how I’m wired 😉

But I was also raised to finish what I started. I was raised by strong women who didn’t give in when things got rough.

As a grown woman who has lived a lot of life I realize I have that same grit and strength I was exposed to growing up.

It serves me well.

But then there is also who I am as a person. By nature, strong willed and a wee bit stubborn.

I believe all those traits meld together to push me to take on things that make me feel like they can eat my lunch… like my fast upcoming duathlon.

I did my most likely, next to last training session on the course this morning.

It was grey, cold, windy, and some on and off again misty stuff thrown in for good measure. Rain mingled with my sweat is always an interesting feeling.

The wind seemed to delight in coming from angles that weren’t helpful crawling big hills on the bike. It was my suckiest time ever since I started. On a good side, I also did my fastest 5k time, dropping it again from last week.

The good and bad.  I mean I was out there doing it so it’s all a win, right? But that quitting quote rolled through my head.

Not mind you, that I was pondering quitting. Not when I’ve come so far and worked so hard.

Not a fat chance.

But let’s look at a few reasons why people might throw in the towel, or you know, quit.

~ People usually give up or quit when the going gets rough or it takes to long. They fail a few times, don’t know that the struggle is part of the game and walk away from it.  Obstacles are a part of pursuing our goals or dreams and as we get more proficient in what we are doing the obstacles get a bit easier to get over.

~ There’s a lack of ownership. Is it your goal? Your dream? It’s difficult to stay motivated if it’s not yours. You must buy into your goals and dreams. Own them. It totally changes the game. Once you own them, you can begin the steps of practicing to get where you are going.

~ Not willing to put in time required. Training for a duathlon, I knew what I was up against if I was going to do it. I knew the time and training that would be required to get me to the starting line. If you decide to set a lofty goal for yourself, understand what the time investment will be. Reaching our goals takes hard work and a lot of practice. If we don’t excel in something it will take both of those to get there.  Being a multi sport athlete is certainly nothing that was in my back round or skill level. It has required hard work and a lot of practice.

~ Limit distractions that get in your way. So many things clamor for our attention now days and if you let them get in your way you may find yourself getting side tracked from what you are pursuing. You may have to set things aside to make time for your goals and to ensure you don’t quit.

~ People often quit when there is insufficient reward or as I refer to it, instant gratification.  They feel like they’ve invested a little time of a few weeks or a month and expect results. Everything from weight loss, to a new career or hobby or getting fit. It takes time. I didn’t wake up one morning and go run a marathon. I didn’t just sign up for a duathlon and go do it. Little things at a time have built on the other leading me to bigger successes. This goes for anyone. If you want to do more, you’ve gotta invest the time and energy and not expect instant results.

~  A lack of belief in themselves. Simply put, you’ve gotta believe you can do it or you’re out of the game from the beginning.  The first time I realized I was really committing to running a full marathon the thought danced through  my head…. ” That’s 26.2 miles. That’s so long. How will I do it?”  I immediately stomped those thoughts down, never let them back in, an proceeded to not only train for my marathon but go on and do more too.  Those thoughts had no place in my head if I was going to be successful.

~ And a final thought that I think is perhaps the biggest reason to why people quit or give up or whatever you wanna call it.

They simply lack the discipline to see their goal or idea through to the end.

They can’t get themselves to see the end result of what they are pursuing.  They haven’t developed the habits required to work on the days they not only feel like it, but more importantly, days they don’t feel like it.  Trust me, heading out into a cold, wet morning to train isn’t necessarily my idea of a great time. Staying in warm and drinking coffee is definitely more appealing but it’s on those days I have to rely on my discipline to get me out the door and get the job done.

There has to be a willingness to take on the good days and the bad days to get where you’re going.  You have to push forward no matter what the challenges are that come at you IF you are determined and stubborn to reach your goals or dreams that you have.

If you struggle with quitting when things get rough or don’t produce fast enough results, consider some of these points and determine where you can change things in yourself.

With some intentional choices and a willingness to fail and make mistakes, along with some stubbornness and purposeful dedication, you will be able to achieve your goals.

Do you struggle with following through? Have you before but have you overcome obstacles to get to your goals? What did you find worked best for you?

Thankfulness And The Gift Of Exercise

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I’m writing late tonight. Actually, I wasn’t going to write at all today and give my mind a rest.

But I got to thinking… always… thinking….

Thinking about how blessed and fortunate I am on so many levels in so many ways. A family who loves me warts and all, an amazing, supportive, encouraging husband who loves me and my free spirit, beautiful kids, grandkids, and friends. I have all of my needs more than adequately met, and I’m healthy.

It’s hard to not feel thankful with so many blessings.

I thought about this out on the road this morning…  thankfulness.

Today was my run/cycle/run day. It was a warm humid morning … my reminder that I will be training in it daily pretty soon…

I’ve mentioned in previous posts I have my eyes set on tackling a duathlon so acclimating my body to the change of movement from running to cycling will take some training. It’s been about a month now and its getting easier on the second run.

Anyway, back to being thankful…

it was on my last, final leg of my workout those thoughts crossed my mind. I had about a mile left on my  5k, sweating was running into my eyes so I had to pull my glasses off to clear them to see and I was battling some nausea which came out of nowhere ( maybe it was the lone banana bouncing around in my stomach 😛 )

I was hungry. I was beyond sweaty. The sun was beating down on me.  My legs were letting me know they had been moving for close to 2 hours….

And I realized (again) how thankful I am that I can do what I do. What a glorious, beautiful privilege.

I have a strong healthy body that can exercise.

What an amazing gift.

I can run.. and move fairly fast for a middle aged grandmother 😉

I can ride a bike like a demon and I can lift heavy things.

Moving our bodies in exercise is such a gift and blessing.  Perhaps it’s why my heart hurts for people who make jokes about exercising and have not ever let themselves fully embrace the joy of it. Who choose to remain sedentary and not do the very thing they are made to do.

Yeah I get it. In the beginning, it’s hard.  You sweat. You realize how out of shape you are as you gasp for air. You may hurt and ache for a few days. You’ve got to be intentional about making it happen.  You have to find an activity you want to do. Then you do it… no excuses.

It takes effort.

I know. I’ve been there. Done that. Felt that way.

But when you do get moving….. and it starts getting in your blood.. and you look forward to it..

that’s when you feel so alive, so grateful, so appreciative.

That my friend, is when you realize how thankful you are for the pure gift of being able to do what you do and you never take that beautiful gift for granted again.

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To Exercise Or Not To Exercise

I exercise

 

Ever have a morning where you wake up and you know right away, you’re just not gonna be on your game that day?

That’s where I was yesterday morning. And by that I mean I woke up not feeling “bad”  just not feeling awesome.

My tummy was growling for food, but I wasn’t sure if I should give it food ( know what I mean?) I kinda felt like someone was just in my stomach stirring it. I didn’t feel super energetic and eek… coffee… made me feel a little queasy.

I know things aren’t going well if coffee makes me queasy… that is just so very…wrong….

Anyway, as I was waking up and determining what exactly the deal was and why I wasn’t feeling a 100% impressive, I was also weighing out this….

“Am I on for my workout? Is what’s going on enough to call it a rest day or is it something that I can stomp down and plow through?”

I’ve always been really in touch with my body and listening to it. In the past few years, as an athlete, I’ve become more aware and conscious of it. Running has taught me a head to toe awareness when I’m on the road… a constant assessment of all systems.

On rare occasions when I didn’t feel something was right, I’d cut my run shorter.

So here I was this morning doing the mental assessment. I didn’t honestly “feel” like it but if I listened to my feelings there would be a lot of times I didn’t get out there. I was trying to listen to my body and determine….

was I trying to make an excuse to not workout ( hey, you could make today a “rest” day) it seemed like a good morning to just put my feet up…sip on coffee that was making me queasy…. OR…

get my gear on and head out for a little and see how things went. I convinced myself I could go try 30 minutes on the rowing machine and if I wanted to do more, I could. If not, I’d wrap it at 30 minutes. I can do anything for that short length of time.

I grabbed the weights thinking I’d do a short session with them first before the rower. That was my first clue… they felt so…heavy. Now I hear you… “aren’t they supposed to be?” but you see there is the heavy I’m accustomed to and prepare to engage with and then there’s the “it feels heavy ’cause I don’t feel so strong this morning”  feeling.

After a few minutes with them, I left that behind ( no weights today) and moved to the rower. Again, 10 minutes in I was feeling warm but not the usual way I feel when my body is getting fired up from a workout.

I finished out my 30 minutes (cause I’m stubborn like that and knew I wasn’t going to die for doing it)

I headed in and feed the body a protein breakfast with some veggies which it handled fine.

And you know what? Mentally I just felt better for having done something. It’s crazy but I feel so “off” when I don’t get a workout in.

I knew I wasn’t totally on my game so I adjusted my plans. A little bit was better than nothing.

Don’t get me wrong or hear me wrong…. if I’m really sick I won’t work out. That’s just paying attention to my body and listening and honoring it.

But I’ve learned that I have to discern sometimes between my mind and body connection and fight down things that come to all of us.

Do I have a valid issue for not working out? Or am I leaning into the “being lazy” zone?

I’m no different than you. There are days I want to make excuses to not get up and get out there and do it. Trust me… I’ve had those thoughts. It’s just way easier for me to stomp them down and keep moving and not listen to the voices that are encouraging me to be lazy ( because that’s what it is for me).

I know that my workouts empower me and make me feel strong and energetic for my day. I feel worse not doing them. I feel out of sorts and not myself.  These reasons are exactly why I push through the ideas suggesting I not workout.

Maybe you struggle with similar things. Perhaps you have been in places of assessing if your workout needs to go on, or if it’s a time for you to rest and come back stronger for the next one.

I want to encourage you to listen to your body and do what you need to maintain your health, but also be mindful of those lurking excuses that might keep you from doing what you need to do.

Tell me… do you listen to your body when it comes to working out? How do you call a workout? Are you able to see excuses over valid health concerns?