Quick...you only have 30 minutes to squeeze in a workout today, which one do you choose?
Cardio, strength or yoga?
It's a tough decision.
Let me guess...you're trying to lose weight, so cardio is the right answer, yes? But what about the theory of strength training and muscle development helping to burn more calories throughout your day. Ok, so you want to get shapely muscles. Strength training is the correct answer. Not always. Some will say you need to burn the layer of fat off with cardio, before you will see any definition. Well you definitely want to do yoga if your hamstrings are tight, right? Sure, it might work. Only problem is you have a hundred things on your check list for the day and most likely your mind won't be able to quiet down to get the full benefits of a yoga practice.
Ugh! It seems impossible to find the right answer.
All the ideas above are valid. But what if you started to make your fitness decisions based more on how you are feeling rather than what your external desire is? Instead of tracking your steps or heart rate, you started to track our energy and emotional gauges.
Am I getting a little too coo coo for you? I promise you I am not going off the philosophical deep end.
I simply want us to have a conversation about a different approach to get more of what we need in a shorter period of time without having to use any other guide but yourself.
Our world is so digitized right now and I am afraid the further we dive into the technological universe, the more we are dependent on the number of friends we have on Facebook or likes on an Instagram post to boost our day. Even if you're not a social media junkie, you may wear a fitness tracking device to show you "how you are doing". Or you could solely rely on the reading of a scale or the fit of your clothes to dictate your health level or your social acceptance.
Wow, this just got heavy. But it doesn't have to be. These extras are fun to play with but I want you to also be experiencing how extraordinary you are regardless of your weight, how many steps you took today or your virtual status.
We all have value and your greatest value is knowing who you are.
So how do you tap into your greatness without being distracted by the outside world?
When you take the time to experiment with each of the exercise components listed above and listen to the reactions of your body, you begin to develop what I call fitness intuition.
Fitness intuition is a self-awareness developed from a commitment to a balanced fitness lifestyle.
Sounds fancy doesn't it?
Bringing it back to reality. How can you use fitness intuition to create less frustration, save you time and get you the results you need & want?
This is where your Challenge of the Week comes into play.
1. Go about your week as usual.
2. Mentally take note of how you feel every morning when you wake up.
3. Observe how your body feels when you engage in "exercise" (workout, gardening, walking the dog, etc...)
4. Ask yourself honestly, did the "exercise" uplift your spirits, feel great AND accomplish your physical desire jointly?
Sounds like a lot of work when you write it down but at the end of the day this experiment will take only seconds to mentally process and will give you feedback that will help you for a lifetime.
That's it! Unless you are struggling with how to get started with this challenge. If that's the case, do a simple vinyasa flow like below to get you going. I use this sequence to begin my day when I'm feeling sluggish or end my day when my mind is racing. Test it out and see what happens.
We will chat next week about applying this method to your life. Until them, keep moving and listen to your body.