The title to this post goes against everything you’ve probably ever heard about working out, right? We’ve always been taught to go harder, longer, and faster whenever it comes to working out and sometimes, it can feel really good to crush a run or push ourselves till we’re dripping sweat, muscles quivering. And don’t get me wrong, those types of workouts can be exactly what we need that day, and they certainly have their benefits, but the problem lies in the belief that it’s the only way to workout.
When we constantly feel like we have to live up to a 45-minute run on the treadmill or 30-minutes of throwing heavy weights around, we tend to think that anything less is, well, not enough. So instead of allowing ourselves a shorter, lighter workout on the days we’re just not feelin’ it, we tend to guilt ourselves into sprints or just skip it all together, because of our all-or-nothing mentality.
What tends to happen, however, is that overtime we start skipping the gym more and more because the thought of these types of workouts begin to feel overwhelming. We often don’t give ourselves permission to go and just do a 20-minute jog or even get outside for a walk on a beautiful evening, when that may be exactly what would make us feel better. Why? Because it feels like it’s not enough.
All Movement Counts
Many of my clients will tell me that they’ve stopped working out or they’re only going sporadically because the thought of spending an hour in the gym after work feels like torture, so they end up forgoing it all together and sitting on their couch. As a result, they miss out on the incredible benefits of moving their body, while also routinely wallowing in guilt because they didn’t go to the gym.
I say to my clients,
“What if you committed to going to the gym for just 10-15 minutes, how does that feel?” Or,
“What if you knew that taking a walk outside or going on a bike ride counted?”
When I tell them things like this, they’re surprised at my suggestion but there’s also a sense of ease that shows up on their face.
“I can definitely do that, but I didn’t think just 10-15 minutes would be worth it.”
Yes, my friend, all movement counts. The key is to just start moving and doing things that you enjoy and are drawn to.
Slowing Down May be Exactly What You Need
Guys, sometimes we just need to slow down and that’s okay. Yes, daily movement is essential to our mental, emotional, and physical health, but it should be based on what we need that day and where we are energetically.
Forcing yourself through an hour-long workout, when all your body is asking for is an easy walk, will drain your energy and leave you exhausted. Just like we do with eating, we tend to override what our bodies are asking for or are trying to communicate to us because we always think we know better.
I like to challenge to my body. It feels good to strengthen my muscles and build-up my cardiovascular endurance, but long gone are the days where I’m forcing myself through a HIIT workout on the regular that leaves me feeling drained. Now I push myself on the days that I have the energy and my body is asking for it, but I also respect when it just needs a walk around one of the beautiful parks in Columbus.
If you haven’t been to Antrim Lake, I highly recommend you stop by.
Forget the gym today, and get outside
Posted by Lindsey Mathes Nutrition on Sunday, September 3, 2017
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