4 Ways to Create Balance with Your Health & Fitness Routine
I cannot begin to stress how important it is to take care of our mind, body, and soul. While most of us are focused on making healthy choices daily, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and self-defeating when we do not reach the expectations we have set for ourselves.
I am exceptionally bad at this and am guilty of beating myself up when I do not take care of myself like I know I should. For instance, this entire week I was focused on following my workout plan in its entirety and keeping on top of eating healthy. Instead I spent an evening drinking with family and friends and then spent the next two days recovering from a hangover.
Not only was I nursing a hangover, I was also nursing feelings of guilt. I did not reach all of the goals I set for myself this week. I felt flawed because I did not contribute 100% to bettering myself. I spent the day thinking about this and reminded myself of the most important lesson I have learned time and time again throughout my fitness, health, and wellness journey. It is 100% okay to give yourself a break every once in awhile without feeling any type of guilt.
It is all about creating balance with your routine. There needs to be room for everything that you hold dear and that makes you happy. This may include: your career, family time, children, working out, eating healthy, indulging in sweets, sleeping in, etc. I have learned a few ways to create balance in my health and fitness routine so if you're having trouble try them out.
1. Listen to your body
Our bodies communicate with us all day every day. It is important to listen. How does your body feel? Are you sore? Do you feel nourished? It is extremely important to be in tune with your body and what it is telling you.
You will be able to sense what your body is up for on any given day. Do you feel overly energetic and want to do some sort of cardio focused workout? Do you feel well rested/fueled/strong and want to do a strength based workout? Is your body sore and exhausted? This may be a good opportunity to focus on stretching, yoga, or going for a walk. Or do you simply just need to take a day off to allow your body to properly relax?
Know that it is completely okay to nourish your body in any way that it needs.
2. Listen to your mind
Like our bodies, our mind is an essential component to our health. After all, it is usually the mind that talks us out of or encourages us to do a workout.
I'd be lying to you if I said I never felt like skipping a workout. There are days when I am stressed out of my mind from work and all I want to do is go home, lay on the couch, eat some ice cream, and watch reality tv all night. If I am really down in the dumps I may allow myself to do so. I will however limit myself to only do this when absolutely necessary.
There are also days when I can sense that I am simply just trying to talk myself out of working out. When this happens, there is one goal to focus on: getting there. Getting there is all you have to do. Once you are there, you have succeeded. Before you know it, the workout will be complete and you will feel fulfilled for doing it.
3. Let go
Be organized and dedicated to your fitness journey but also know that some days life is going to get in the way. Family may be visiting from out of town and they want you to eat out, your best friend wants to go have a few drinks for her birthday, your coworker brings your favorite cookies to the potluck, and so on. It is okay to give yourself a break and to let yourself indulge for a day.
The most important thing to remember is that Moderation is key.
4. Be patient with yourself and try again
Every day is a new day. A new chance to tackle the health and fitness goals you have set for yourself. Do not worry so much about the past or the future. It is not important that you did not work out or that you had three donuts for breakfast yesterday. That day is passed; it is of no importance to you now. Focus only on today. Pick up your routine right where you left off.
Living a healthy balanced life is a way of life, a journey, not an absolute thing. Push yourself to live a healthy happy life but do not restrict yourself from indulgence every once in awhile. Be patient with yourself and let go of feelings of guilt. Every day is a new opportunity for us to master overall health and wellness.