I found out recently that I have an athletic body type. This means that my shoulders and hips are roughly about the same width and that my waistline isn’t super defined. I had to chuckle because anyone who knows me KNOWS that I am not an athletic person. I mean, I took soccer in 3rd grade and ran FROM the ball instead of running up to kick it!
As I became an adult, however, I realized the need for regular movement of my body. And, being a child of the 80s, I turned to aerobics. I tried it all – step aerobics, cardio-resistance training, kickboxing, etc. And, I loved it all – I loved the “high” I would get when the endorphins kicked in, but I also thought that such high-intensity was the only way to exercise.
Being a busy adult, however, many weeks I couldn’t make it to the gym at least 3 times. So, when I did make it, I would be sore for several days and very tired after my workouts. I didn’t try to work out anyplace else other than the gym, because I wanted to make the workouts count.
But, as I slowly listened to my body, I learned that I could workout in ways that were KIND to my body. Sure – sweating is a good thing. But, for my less-than-stellar flexibility, maybe other types of workouts would benefit me more. I began trying yoga, pilates, and walking. And, my body LOVED it. I still do kickboxing sometimes, but I am so happy that I found what I was craving – the right exercise balance for me.
So how can you find out what type of movement is best for you and your body?
1. Try balancing your workouts
You probably have seen super-buff guys who only lift weights, and then svelte yoginis who never miss their yoga practice. While I totally respect these people’s dedication, there’s a possibility that these two types could benefit from trying each others’ favorite workout. Tight, buff people could probably use some stretching and lengthening. Flexible people may benefit from lifting weights or kickboxing. Understand which type of workout you prefer, and maybe throw in the opposite every once in a while and see how you feel.
2. Listen to your body
When I was working out so hard, I was sort of miserable. And, my body didn’t feel very good. It definitely didn’t make working out enjoyable. Now that I am “freeing” myself to explore new and different ways to workout and do what I enjoy, my body is thanking me. If the thought of your workout fills you with dread or an “I have to do this,” then pay attention to that feeling. Try to find something else that you would LOVE to do, so that working out is a treat and something wonderful you are doing for your body.
3. Everything counts
Even if you can’t make it to the gym, it doesn’t mean you have “failed” or can give up for the day. Your body NEEDS and CRAVES daily movement, so while you may get a more intense workout at the gym, you can do other things on your days at home. Dance with your kids. Do a workout video. Take a hike. Dave and I try to walk the dog every weekday morning and it is an amazing to start the day that way (and it counts)!
I’d love to hear from you about what type of workout balance is right for you. Leave me a comment below!
And, if you need help around finding the right workout for you, contact me to schedule a 30-minute get-to-know-you-talk. We’ll chat about they best way that you can you find the right workouts for your lifestyle and for your body.
Enjoy moving – don’t sweat it! 🙂