In looking back over the past year, I’m realizing that my daily exercise habits have been driven more by routine, connection, and a need to decompress rather than by my usual need to achieve. That’s not to say that my drive to achieve has gone away, but that need has become less important as I am placing more value on spending time with K and reducing the amount of time I spend looking at a screen.
The added pressure that I usually apply when setting goals has been replaced by a mindset of patience and understanding. Things are looking up, but the world we are living in remains a bit upside down. We’ve all adapted because we’ve had to adapt, which may stir up feelings of resistance to the changes we’ve made, even if we accept that the changes are necessary.
I’ve shared previously that exercise is one of my non-negotiable activities, taking its place next to eating and sleeping.
Recently, I saw a video of a man so sleep-deprived that he was falling asleep standing up, and, while the video is painful to watch (the gentleman falls down; he is so exhausted), the message is powerful. We cannot continue to go on indefinitely without taking care of ourselves. To attempt to do so is unsustainable.
Just as exercising is a form of self-care, so is resting. Taking time to recover is imperative.
Are you taking time to rest and recover? Do you have a list of activities that help you to refresh and recharge?
For me, exercise provides a break from the mental work of the business day and my list of things to do. Rather than pushing for a personal record in running or other fitness activities, I’ve been using my exercise time to recharge.
Have you felt a shift in how you view exercise lately?
Do you treat your exercise time as time for you, regardless of how intense the workout?
It’s your exercise journey.
Sometimes a tough workout is exactly what is called for to burn off stress and extra energy. Sometimes a more relaxed workout is the right answer to let your body move without adding additional stress. Varying your exercise routine and listening to your body — learning to understand how you are feeling, including when to push and when to ease back — can help you to find the balance that works for you.
If you are constantly pushing to achieve the next goal, you might miss the beauty of the journey.
…And if you are taking it easy most of the time, you might not reach your goals as quickly as you might like.
When it comes to the ideal fitness routine, there is no one answer that will work for all of us. Though rest and recovery aren’t optional, it’s up to each of us to determine our preferred balance between fitness or other self-care activities and the other aspects of our lives.