Monday! A beautiful new beginning.
Between working every day, a brief visit from my family, seeing a musical, lots of delicious food and (trying) to catch up on my NASM studying, the past few days have been crazy. I’d love to say that the weekends are a time for me to rest and recuperate but that’s rarely the case. Oh well! I definitely can’t complain. PS: Jekyll & Hyde at The Pantages was phenomenal. Recommended.
Last week, I began talking about the importance of finding your own unique version of happiness. I was thrilled to see that the topic resonated with so many of you and decided to turn it into a series, of sorts. Because building your bliss and doing what you love shouldn’t only apply to one area of life.
So, today I want to discuss the importance of exercise happiness.
Let’s face it, there is a never-ending list of questions when it comes to exercise. How many days a week should I work out? How often should I lift weights and do cardio? Are rest days necessary? Is lifting heavy going to make me “bulky”? Will I lose more weight if I work out on an empty stomach? You get my point, right? Everyone wants to find answers that, frankly, don’t exist.
The most common question? What is the best exercise?
Let’s take a step back. Sure, tests have proven that certain exercise regimes are more beneficial when looking for specific results (ex: lifting heavy weights to gain muscle, HIIT training for fat loss, etc.) but there are always exceptions to these rules. And, when push comes to shove, it doesn’t really matter.
The best exercise is the one that you’ll do and that you enjoy. Plain and simple.
If you love being outdoors, walk or hike. If you’re a social butterfly, take classes at your local gym. If you enjoy being in the weight room, get in there and lift. If you’re competitive, sign up for a race and challenge yourself to train for it. If you love to dance, take Zumba or hip-hop dance classes…
Exercise is an extremely broad term and, if you keep an open mind, I promise you’ll find something that you actually enjoy doing. Life is too short to force yourself through workouts that you find miserable. I’ve been there and done that and, let me tell you, it’s not worth it. Exercise should be fun.
Don’t get me wrong, change is always going to be uncomfortable at first but it won’t feel as horrible if you’re doing something you love. Plus, setting goals for yourself, conquering things that seem daunting and making accomplishments is an extremely rewarding experience.
So, this week, I challenge you to try something new! Take a yoga class, attempt to set a new running PR, overcome your fear of joining the “big boys” in the weight room…anything! You might hate it and decide it’s not your thing (which is totally fine!) or you might discover something you absolutely love.
On Thursday I decided to change up my ab routine and use the decline bench. I’m definitely guilty of getting in exercise ruts- particularly when it comes to core training. After talking about the importance of stability and core training in my previous post, I knew it was time to try something new. This little workout doesn’t take very long (less than 15 minutes!) but my abs were on fire. Give it a try!
(If you’ve never done a Swiss Ball Pike, there’s an explanation/demo here. Swiss Ball Knee-Ins are done in the same position, just roll your knees in towards your chest instead of pressing your butt up.)
What workouts leave you feeling the happiest?
Here’s to a happy mind and body…