I’ve been training for this period of my life. But not in the way that you would think! I’m trying to get the message out there that fitness is soooo much more than losing weight, or looking good, or having a healthy physical body. It is instead all about mind, body, and spirit. Plus it gives you tools to handle life!
All fitness professionals should be aiming to provide a holistic approach to fitness because at the end of the day if you have all the exercises ready, a plan, availability to your equipment or a gym and your mindset isn’t there or motivation is at an all time low, your consistency will be on the line.
What I want to talk about today is how different forms of fitness practices can be used as mental tools to handle complex life situations.
I will outline today the four tools of fitness that I have been focusing on lately which are cardio, resistance training, meditation/breathing, and flexibility/stretching/muscle release.
I have been working on all of these areas for the last few years at the best of times when my life wasn’t so crazy and I’m glad that I built up these skill sets. It is great to be able to lock these skills in when life seems to be on a high but sometimes we too get hit with roadblock after roadblock. Regardless of where you are at in life there is never a bad time to start working on your physical and mental fitness, in fact it will only benefit and help you through these times.
Recently I started a brand new job that has been pretty overwhelming. Here is how each aspect of my fitness practices has helped during the week.
Meditation and Breathing has helped me this week to calm my irrational thoughts related to new job fears and has helped me stay calm and collected.
Cardio which for me has been hiking, has also really helped with clearing my head from the day and get some gratitude and positive good thoughts rolling back in.
Flexibility/Muscle Release has been a super important routine for me to add into my day as I have been battling a hip issue for a very long time. I will feel my bad hip if I quit doing my rolling and it is essential for me to be comfortable moving and sitting in certain positions so it’s basically kept me comfortable.
Resistance training has allowed me to EAT! lol I still get a great, strong, invincible feeling when lifting weights but has been especially important during my reverse diet as I am consuming more calories than I have been for a very long time.
Before I even started the week I was aware there would be some challenges so I made a baseline plan to fit in my fitness practices. As soon as I started I realized my plan would take some trial and error so I would check in on how effective my plan was at the end of the day and make adjustments for the next day.
Right now (after my first week) here is the plan that is working for me :
Wake up – Meditate
I initially tried to do a walk and meditate to check off two things at the same time but I found I could not successfully meditate and walk. I also am REALLY bad for scheduling in my meditations later in the day so first thing in the morning is the ONLY way I can get er done which is great because the research says this is the best time to do it.
Post Meditation – Foam Roll and Short walk
For me including a short walk to get the blood flowing and get some sunshine has felt really great before a work day, also gets me a little more energized. This is where I take the opportunity as well to foam roll and stretch my problem areas (IT band and back for me) to wake my connective tissue up and get blood flowing to those areas for support.
Post Work – Either Cardio or Resistance Training
This I usually decide based on how I am feeling. If my brain feels overwhelmed and I need to digest information I choose cardio. If I’m feeling good mentally and not super hungry I go for a good lift session.
Evening – Evening I also feel out if I’m either ready for a resistance training session, feeling another walk with my dog, or just take a rest day.
I am such a planner so having a plan for these things has always been an important aspect for me to stay consistent. But I’ve learned to give myself a little more flexibility and trial and error with each coming day, this makes me feel less pressured or that I HAVE to work out but go base on what I feel.
An important thing to remember is that works for me may not work for someone else. But what is also important is to try and create consistency with these four things. They truly are GREAT life tools to help you feel mentally okay, positive, and energized for whatever life throws your way.
I challenge you to make a plan or schedule for next week. Pencil in all of these things remembering that you don’t have to do ALL four things EVERYDAY (except meditation or breathing).
Evaluate your plan at the end of the day to see what worked well and make little changes until you get a great healthy routine going:)
Have a great week!