Movement is as individual as food. We all find joy in different movement based on our personality, body abilities and accessibility to equipment. When I asked on Instagram what you all wanted to know more about, this came up a lot. The ask was how I create or come up with the workouts that I do each week.
There is a little method to what I choose to do each day, but the most important factor in deciding how to move is how I am feeling. I lean towards intense workouts. I love to lift, spin fast and run. I also recognize that I am almost 40 years old, have birthed two awesome kiddos and my body can’t hit it hard everyday and feel good.
For every push, your body needs a pull. That is the first lesson in creating my weekly flow. Keep the hard days hard. Keep the easy days easy.
That balance works well for me, because I make a choice to move my body each day. Even if that movement is a long walk with Pepper in our neighborhood, I mindfully move each day for my mental health.
I have experienced anxiety in the past, as so many have. For me, good sleep and exercise have been the two things that have created calm in my body. I can get on the bike, treadmill or yoga mat feeling like my brain is going 1,000 mph. When I am done with my workout, I feel focused, strong and most importantly happy.
Exercise is a pillar in my self-care rituals. It isn’t something I use to punish myself or balance out indulgent meals. My body and mind need movement like my lungs need air.
If you are able to think about how and why you want to move your body, movement doesn’t become a chore. It becomes something you very much look forward to gifting yourself each day.
I also think it is important to shake up what exercise means to you. Exercise could be chasing your kids in the yard, swimming or treading water, walking the golf course instead of taking a cart, dancing with your friends on a night out. It absolutely doesn’t have to be pounding the pavement and dripping in sweat. If you are just starting out with this, experiment!
Find a way to exercise that makes you feel like you are going to have a fun time and not be staring at the clock waiting for it to end.
Just as I encourage clients, family and friends, play around with what lights you up. Not what you THINK you should be doing in order to be successful with exercise. Personally, I thrive working out at home in the very early morning hours. Over time, we have built up a great at-home gym that includes our Peloton bike, Landice Treadmill, multiple dumbbells in varying weights and other resistance training tools.
Michael and I both workout each day together. And, I think it is important to share that having a partner who views movement in the same way as you do is so helpful. We have this unspoken accountability that we will meet up in the garage together. Alternating who gets to ride the Peloton and who does strength work. I love knowing that this is a priority in both of our lives.
I schedule my workouts in the same way that I plan my dinners. I write them out on my calendar, download them to my Peloton app and make sure to include easy work and hard work.
I look at the week ahead and see what days I have 6 AM client meetings, when Michael is traveling, if I have to do kitchen prep work before the kids wake up and go from there.
Every other day I ride our Peloton. One of those workouts is what Matt Wilper’s (one of my favorite instructors) calls a “benchmark” workout. One longer than the others. Usually on Saturday or Sunday I have that workout and it is a 60-90 minute endurance ride. Those rides are awesome because you feel so confident in every other ride knowing what you are capable of.
My other rides each week are based on how I am feeling. I love to do HIIT and Hills or Tabata classes. But, as I have gotten older I find that I can’t do as many of those each week because they just wipe me out ;). I love low impact rides and find that my body gets just as much out of that type of ride as it does the really tough ones.
Lifting weights and strength work is something that I adore! I remember reading a very long time ago that lifting weights improves your bone health. So, every time I lift a dumbbell I think that it is making my bones strong and if I fall when I get older maybe my bones won’t break because of the work I am doing now. Again, the parallel with food and movement for me is strong. I want to live a long, healthy and vibrant life. I love that I can still pick up Evan and carry him around as a joke and not collapse.
Every other day (when not riding), I do strength work. I include barre, Pilates, body weight strength and heavy weights. As far as structure goes, I usually do full body on those days and it look like this: 10 minutes of arms, 10 minutes of lower body and 10 minutes of abs.
Peloton also has classes called bootcamps that I love. They are a blend of 50% treadmill work and 50% strength. Often I will opt for that because it covers everything from the top of your head to your toes.
I love feeling calm, clear headed and strong at the start of each day. That feeling carries over into every aspect of daily life for me. Really tuning into why you want to move helps you to not have to be motivated each day. Motivation can be a fleeting feeling and I have found that you just get up and begin. No one can really motivate you, but you. When you find something you LOVE it won’t seem like a chore, either.
Let’s talk about motivation for a moment. Motivation isn’t a reliable feeling and isn’t something that I depend on to get me up and in the garage to workout. I do have a strong purpose to take care of me. And, a large part of that self-care piece is moving. Purpose is SO much stronger than motivation because purpose isn’t fleeting. Purpose is deeply rooted. That is why up above I asked if you had a “why” around your plan to move your body. That why is your purpose.
That purpose is what will get you moving each day, not fleeting motivation. Find your purpose and use it each day.
At the end of the day, I want you to think about movement as something that, body willing, you get to do. There were times in my life when I was not able to move my body and it was very humbling. I think about people who would do anything to be able to run, ride a bike, walk the dog or do yoga but are not able to.
Every minute counts. Every rep counts. Moving forward counts. You find the way you want to move and do it. Consistently until you create a habit that is second nature. Build on that foundation and see how you feel.
I am here for you if you have any additional questions about movement, but let’s break them down real quick.
Keep your hard days hard. Keep your easy days easy.
Connect to why you want to move your body.
Move in fun, playful, purposeful ways.
Write out your weekly schedule for exercise. Including cardio, strength, flexibility and stretching.
Do 1 longer, benchmark workout each week.
Be sure to include strength work each week; bodyweight workouts are a great place to start.
Root yourself in your PURPOSE. Do not count on motivation to get you to your workout.
Just move for you and remember that every. single. bit. counts.
Ending this post with a wonderful quote from Robin Arzon, another favorite Peloton instructor:
“Replace I don’t have time with ‘it doesn’t matter’ and see how that feels.”
We all make time for the things that are the most important to us. If movement is important to you, you will create and carve out the time for it. If you need an early wake up call, let me know- ha! We are up bright and early!
Have a great day today and hope you find a way to joyfully move!