For Topic Tuesday, I thought I would share how I prioritize movement and exercise in my week. Until recently, up until the last few months, I ceased any high intensity training. Prior to my sickness and even while sick, I worked out hard, often too hard. A doctor advised me to take a season of rest and I terminated working out. I primarily spent my season of rest bedridden with occasional walks a few times a week. I tried CrossFit and loved it but it caused my body to crash so I stopped.
Once we moved to Nashville, I intended to start a rigorous exercise routine again. However, my body required additional time for healing as the move spiked my stress levels. I did squeeze in more movement than before and I felt better. I limited myself walking and yoga classes during the time. Once we moved in our house, we setup a home gym in the garage, and I started strength training a couple days per week.
All in all, it took three years of breaking from conducting high intensity training to recover. During those three years of trusting and listening to what my body needed, the weight started to come off. For so long, I worked to become skinny. I over trained and under-fueled my body. I believed the world: I was overweight because of my choices. This mindset resulted in health issues, weight gain, and an unhealthy relationship with both food and exercise.
I think it is powerful and paramount to avoid comparing ourselves to each other. I do not want you to see I prioritizing exercise 5 days a week and ample movement without seeing the full picture of what it has taken me to heal.
Sometimes we need rest, and rest is GOOD. Rest helped my body to heal and allowed me to be where I am now. Exercise & movement are important but must align with what your body is telling you. Right now, I am in a season of low stress and high energy. I am feeling spirited and I know my body is ready for more than just walks and hikes.
Since January, I started Orange Theory and I love it! I started with 2 days a week but moved to the unlimited package. My goal is train 5 times a week while still listening to my body and understanding some weeks may require additional rest and recovery. My dog Beau, the sweetest Goldendoodle, needs to go on walks which helps incorporate more movement in a day.
There are a host of benefits to regular physical activity- better sleep, boosting mood, increased energy and sex drive, combating health conditions and diseases (metabolic syndrome, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression etc.), and helping to regulate weight. If your body is at a place capable of increased physical activity, exercise and movement, it could be fruitful to start prioritizing it.
Start with a plan and achievable goals. Set yourself up for success to avoid disappointment. Take the time to evaluate what works and set your goals accordingly. For example, I started with committing to 2 days a week.
After consistent exercise, I saw my body could handle more and I changed my goal.
What are some of your goals around exercise and movement?