Hey guys! We’ve been experiencing some insane heatwaves here in Los Angeles (leave a comment below if you know what I’m talking about!) and one area where I admittedly have slipped on in my self-care routine is exercise (I did walk 4 miles with my sister today, though!) I’m realizing with this heat that it’s SO much easier to make the excuse “it’s too hot to exercise.” I decided today to share with you 5 things that I wish I knew when I first started exercising, 1) to inspire you guys to live a healthy, vibrant life and 2) to kick my own butt into gear and remind myself of ways to stay fit, no matter what. Here you are:
1 | It can be fun!
The messaging we receive about exercise in our culture is that it’s something that is dreaded, done because “we have to” and that it needs to be slogged through or gotten over with quickly. This is SO not helpful programming to receive! How often have you heard acquaintances or colleagues complain about how they “should work out” or “want to lose weight” or “hate running”? No wonder we collectively avoid exercise as a culture. What if we changed our entire perception of it from something we HAVE to do, to something we WANT to do? I think it would make an immense difference.
When people ask me what type of exercise is the best, I say “the one you enjoy doing, because that’s what you’ll do most often.” I also quote Bruce Lee and say that “Long term consistency beats short term intensity." This brings me to my next point...
2 | Patience is key
When it comes to seeing the results of exercise in your physique, feeling a difference in your strength and getting trained up for an event, be patient. I know this is easier said than done, but I wish I had kept this in mind when I was first getting big into fitness. I would get SO excited and motivated by a particular athletic goal that I would push too hard, too fast and end up hurting myself. And guess what? When you injure yourself, you have to take so much time off and start over that you end up losing time overall. To quote Seth Godin, "the short way really is the long way."
3 | You don’t need to look cute
One of the first things I thought when I was first working out was that I must need a ton of workout clothes to get started. So not true! Yes, I needed to invest in a good pair of running shoes (because I tend to get shin splints if I skimp,) but other than that any old t-shirt and shorts will do. What I realize now is that “not having enough workout clothes” or my “workout clothes being dirty” was actually a perfect excuse to not do it!
4 | Ditch the “all or nothing” thinking
We all fall into this common trap sometimes…you’ve decided to work out for an hour a day every day, and the first few days are going great. You’re hitting the gym, getting a sweat in before or after work and you feel like you’re in beast mode. Then life throws you a set-back like an unexpected crisis, work responsibility or family emergency. This puts a big wrench in your daily 1-hour workout goal. What do we tend to do when this happens? We let out a big sigh and say “oh well, I guess there goes working out every day” instead of rolling with the punches and finding a creative solution to the issue.
This is called black and white thinking. We falsely believe that working out is only “worth it” if we do it exactly the way we imagine it. Well, what about creative solutions? Like getting a few squats in at work or turning your next social outing into a neighborhood walk. There are lots of ways to get moving. Don’t get caught in the trap of all-or-nothing thinking!
5 | Get unexpected exercise
Waiting in line at Starbucks? Do calf lifts. Going to the grocery store? Park on the fringes and walk back with some bags of food. Hanging out with your kids? Run around with them and use the play equipment and try to keep up with them. At work? Do tricep dips on an office chair. Watching TV? Do a wall sit. There are lots of ways you can sneak in extra exercise without having to commit an hour plus a day. Just get creative. I’ve totally done yoga poses waiting in a long line at Ikea and have done a headstand in a hallway at a conference. First people look at you like you’re crazy…until they see how much fun you’re having and ask to join in! If you want more ideas, you can check out this article of 50 bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere.
*Full disclosure, I'm not a fitness professional (just an enthusiast!), so please consult with a physician or personal trainer before attempting any of the exercises mentioned here.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
- What is your favorite form of exercise?
- Have you ever gone overboard with a fitness routine and realized you need a more balanced approach?
- Do you ever fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking? How do you snap out of it?
- Which are your best tips for squeezing in extra exercise when you’re short on time?
I would love to hear your experiences, comments and questions. As always, thank you for reading and be well! xoxo Nat
about the author
Hi! I'm Natalie. And my passion is helping people live more peaceful, meaningful lives. Through holistic therapy in Pasadena and here on the blog, my mission is to provide people with the support and tools they need to live their best life.