Exercise: My Personal Manifesto

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I get asked fairly often about my own personal fitness routine. I’m not sure what people expect to hear (insert giggle here), but since I am a yoga instructor and personal trainer, it seems like they expect an answer that is exciting or innovative. They look at me anticipating a juicy secret, or a new fitness trend they can incorporate into their own life. I think people are usually pretty disappointed with my answer. My answer is really quite boring: With fitness, I value consistency over anything else. 

Read on to see what I mean, and you'll see it is quite attainable for you as well.

If you are also a personal trainer, fitness instructor, or exercise enthusiast, then you know what I know. Consistency is essential to fitness, and really, at the end of the day what is most desired is a LIFESTYLE that supports well being.

So the literal answer that I give is plain and simple: I just try and do something every day. 

​Then their eyes glaze over with disappointment…. I imagine they are thinking “Hmmm. It’s hard enough exercising one or two times a week. No thanks.” Then they disregard everything else I say since more of what they are already doing sounds like a prison sentence. BUT— hear me out, and you’ll realize it’s really quite freeing.I used to work out a few times a week, too. Heck, I used to never work out. So I am writing from my own experience and how someone like me actually loves (and leads others) in fitness. It is now my passion, and it all happened from this one little strategy.

If you work out 1, 2 or 3 times a week, it’s pretty important to have some sort of plan for it. You need a strategy so that you are strengthening your body evenly and not developing muscle imbalances or injuries. You’ll need to think through what type of workout you should do that day, some of which require programming with repetitions, weight, rounds, etc. You’ll also need to plan for how much time it will take and when/how you can fit it into your busy life. You’ll want a healthy rotation of resistance training, cardiorespiratory training, stretching, and anything else you like (fitness classes, yoga, etc.). That’s a LOT of decisions. That’s a lot of pressure. And unless you are super motivated to work out, then you may just ditch the entire thing. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Now think of it my way. If I do something every day, then it frees me up to do whatever I feel like doing that day. It takes so much pressure off of me to create, plan, and execute the perfect workout. Because I am doing something every day, I have consistency on my side, and eventually it becomes a lifestyle. I decide— quickly— what I feel like doing that day, and I go do it. If I’m motivated, I do a lot. If I’m low energy, I do a little.

I can hear your excuses right now. It may sound ridiculous for me to assume that you have time to go to the gym every day. Wait— did I say that?! NO. I never said “go to the gym every day.” I said “do something every day.” There is such a huge, huge difference in the two statements.

You’re probably just like everyone else: a very busy person. Here are some ways you can do “something” even if your day is slammed…

  • Go on a 10 minute power walk, bike ride, jog, or walk your dog.
  • Hold a plank for a minute. Maybe do it a few times.
  • Do 50 squats as fast as you can (or however many you can in 2 minutes).
  • Are you a yogi? Do a couple rounds of Sun Salutations.
  • Dance to a few of your favorite songs. This also makes you feel like a badass.
  • Go up and down your stairs a few times.
  • Look up a 10 or 15 minute workout on YouTube. To actually do, not just watch.
  • Do Walking Lunges in your house.
  • Take two exercises that are challenging to you and alternate them for a minute at a time. (Ex: Hold plank for 1 minute. Do squats for a minute. Maybe do that 2, 3 or 4 times.)
  • Jumprope. I’m winded after only a couple minutes!
  • On Vacation? Explore on foot. Beach walking, city exploring, whatever works. Or do anything mentioned above in your hotel room.

The bottom line is that even though you were busy, you did something. I have had many a day when I was busy, tired, or unmotivated and I held a plank for ONE minute. Check. I did something. It might not sound like much, but more times than not, I’ll feel better immediately and end up doing something else. But even if that one minute plank is all you have time for, do it! It will give you momentum to continue the habit… and before you know it, you’ll be on day 43 of “do something” and all of a sudden it’s a lifestyle.

For help with planning it out and making it happen, read my post 4 Exercise Hacks To Get YOU Moving, and if you really just don't like going to the gym, then you can easily Make Your Own Home Gym

For the record, currently I do cardio (running or rowing machine) about once every 10 days. I lift weights (light and heavy) 2-3 times a week. The rest is yoga. Finding what’s right for you is a constant experiment, and it will keep on evolving. Choose the things you love to do, throw in some things that you need to do, and make sure it’s FUN.

Love & Light.

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