How I got out of my exercise rut

file0001816862747Over the years I’ve enjoyed a variety of physical activities that have kept me in fairly good shape.

As a kid, I was active in figure skating and gymnastics. In my 30’s I got into running and completed a marathon and eight half marathons. Yoga has been a weekly part of my life for at least 20 years. To get ready for my wedding, I hired a personal trainer and diligently did my cardio and weights each week at the gym. About seven years ago I became a JourneyDance facilitator and found a ton of joy in the practice of conscious dance.

Since moving outside the city, leaving the corporate world and now working mostly from home, I’ve struggled with developing a regular movement practice.

I’ve dabbled in barefoot running. Bought yoga and workout DVDs. Joined online workout clubs and services. I have a treadmill, weights and exercise equipment in the basement. My husband and I have purchased fancy pedometers to track our daily steps.

As my 46th birthday approached, I was feeling particularly untoned, sluggish and low energy. I started noticing some negative beliefs and excuses I’d created. “It takes too much time out of my day to drive in town for a class. Gyms just aren’t my thing. Crossfit is too intense. Personal training is too expensive. All the morning classes are too early. Late afternoon classes interfere with dinner time with my honey. I’m too busy. I don’t have time”

These thought patterns were on repeat in my head keeping me stuck in a movement rut.

Then a neighbour posted something on her Facebook page about a local gym she’d been attending. I checked it out online. When I saw her that weekend, I inquired and it seemed to be exactly what I as looking for. There’s a variety of class times to choose from. The classes are only 45 minutes long. It’s based on high intensity interval training (HIIT) which I’d be hearing good things about. The price is reasonable and I’d have someone to drive into town and attend the classes with. Perfect.

I’ve been going about three times a week for the past two years and I’m loving it. I’m thrilled to have found something that works for my endurance levels and my lifestyle.

Here are some of the key factors that helped me get out of my movement rut:

I was ready. I’d been struggling and contemplating for a few years. Like any lifestyle change, you have to be ready, willing and able. This timing was right. I was open to new ideas and solutions.

Having a buddy – It’s not a new idea, but it absolutely works. It’s made all the difference in the world to have someone to drive to- and attend classes with.

Timing – Finding your optimal time of day for movement is crucial. When is your energy at it’s peak? I’m not a super early morning person, so this gym has classes at 7:30 a.m.which is perfect. I’m home and working by 9:00 a.m.

Scheduling – Make your movement part of your day. Schedule it in like any other appointment. This gym has on online sign up form, so on Sunday night I book my classes for that week.

The challenge – I’ve been practising yoga for about 20 years and I adore it. Right now I need to add something else into the mix to kick things up a notch. I love this high intensity interval workout. It’s challenging, it pushes me, and I feel great after 45 minutes.

Variety – Even though I go to class three times a week, the workout has never been the same. Finding the variety that keeps you interested, excited and challenged is key. It’s the spice of life!

Community – Over the last two years I’ve run into a number of familiar faces at the gym. I’m getting to know the regulars in my classes. I feel welcomed and part of something.

Results – The first two weeks I was so sore. I could hardly walk or lift my arms. And I didn’t notice results right away. But after being fairly consistent for two years, I’m getting more toned, I lost 13 lbs and I’m feeling stronger. My moods, energy levels, sleep and outlook are so much more positive. This movement thing really does work!

Do you need a plan and some accountability to get back into a regular movement schedule? Drop me an email and we’ll schedule a time to meet and together we’ll develop an activity action plan that works for you and is tailored to your lifestyle and interests.

*This post was originally published in the Herald Community on October 29, 2014

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