Healthyish 3: Move Your Body More

If you’ve been following along over the past couple of weeks I’ve been talking about learning how to live a Healthyish lifestyle and how it applies to the way that we eat. In case you missed it, I got some feedback from you guys that maybe it’s easier said than done, so I wrote a follow-up on the blog with some actionable tools for implementing Healthyish eating. The point of all of this is to focus on consistency, not perfection and balancing our physical and mental energy in order to achieve sustainable long-term outcomes.

Healthyish isn’t only about the way we eat; it’s also about the ways we choose to exercise and move our bodies. I’ve asked you guys what your number one struggle is, and many of you responded to tell me that you have trouble staying motivated and consistent with exercise. I hear you, and I’ve been there (and still am there sometimes!). I’ve been through many exercise phases: kickboxing, yoga, running, spinning; I’ve tried tonnes of different things. I’ve totally had problems with consistency, especially now with two little kids and barely 30 minutes to myself on any given day. The struggle is real! When you’re feeling stuck and unable to get consistent with your exercise, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting more consistent with your exercise and movement:

LOVE what you do. No brainer: if you dislike your workout there’s no way you’re going to stick to it. So that means keep trying new things until you find something that’s palatable for you. If it doesn’t serve you, move on until you find something that does! If it’s not enjoyable, you’re going to struggle to stay consistent.

Maximize the benefits and minimize the time with a short, intense workout (think:30 minutes max). Trust me when I tell you that you do NOT need one hour to exercise in order to get stronger and see results. Your time is valuable and you can accomplish a lot with a shorter, higher intensity session using moderate to heavy weights than you can with a lower intensity and longer time. When we train this way we are building more muscle faster, and increasing our ability to continue to burn calories after the workout is over. I train myself this way because it’s fun, challenging and efficient.

Balance your rest and your exertion. We don’t place enough value on rest. It’s really important to build restorative rituals into our weekly programming in order to balance our exertion with rest instead of pushing hard every day of the week. An example of this would be taking a slow and leisurely walk outdoors or taking time for stretching and mindfulness. These activities can help decrease stress levels and balance hormones which are an important part of fat loss. Allowing ourselves time to rest and recover also helps us to focus and push harder the next time we’re ready to exert ourselves.

Ditch the long-winded steady state cardio sessions. Let me back up for a second and say that if you’re doing tonnes of steady state cardio purely because you just love it, that’s great. You should definitely do things that you love. BUT, if you’re a slave to your cardio in hopes of getting aesthetic results, you’re likely spinning your wheels because over time, your body becomes resistant to steady state cardiovascular activity. That means that the more you do, your body expects you to do in order to stimulate a response.

Move your body more throughout the day. You can do this by going out of your way to park farther away, take the stairs instead of the elevator or take transit instead of driving. I find that unless we mentally shift our focus towards making our days just a little bit harder, it’s way to enticing to take the easy route. Wearing a Fitbit or other pedometer to track daily step count can be another helpful tool to bring awareness to how much we move throughout the day. Taking little actions to make our day harder adds up each day and over time.

I challenge you guys to re-evaluate the way you move your body, so that you can bring more consistency and enjoyment into your exercise program. Remember, sustainability gets us where we need to be in the long-term. If you need a little support or guidance with this I’m always hear to help, send me an email anytime.  xo J

 

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