When Real Life Happens: Here's How My Good Habits Help
Sh*t Happens. Life Happens. To all of us - no matter your walk of life or profession. And that includes me. As a trainer, I face the same real life as you do and a lot of the times, it gets in the way of my health and fitness! But with the solid foundation of healthy habits I have built for myself, I can usually roll with the punches of life and still stay somewhat on track - here are some real life scenarios and how building healthy habits to lean on can help get through them with less damage!
When I'm Feeling Too Tired These days are hard - when the bed is warm and all I want to do is stay under the covers. I'll give in every now and then but only if my mind and body are really telling me they need a break (I can tell this by checking in with myself for symptoms like fatigued muscles, if my eyes are heavy, body aches and a feeling of being too overwhelmed).
If I take a minute to check in with myself and realize I'm just feeling lazy and low motivation, I'll remind myself that I never regret a workout and how energized I'll feel. I'll start going through the motions like getting dressed for a workout, filling my water bottle and putting on some music -- once I do those, I'm pretty geared up and ready to go. For this real life situation - learn to check in with your body and mind -- and be honest with yourself, are you actually needing a rest or are you just needing to kick yourself in the butt a little bit???
When I'm Sick This one, I really pay attention too! Your body talks to you and sickness is usually best fought with rest. I base my decision on what symptoms and illness I have. If I have a small cold but feel generally well, it's workout as normal but I'll boost my water intake higher than normal and make sure I go bed a little earlier than normal to get more rest. If I feel really ill, have congestion in my chest or a fever I will skip working out and focus on getting rest, eating really well and lots of water. I won't push through flus, stomach bugs or anything that makes me feel really awful -- I'll let my body use all the energy to getting better, the workout can wait!
When My Schedule Changes and/or Gets Hectic It took awhile of consistently working out for me to be able to handle schedule changes really well. With this game of life, schedules change and things come up so I don't get to rigid with myself if I have to miss a normal workout because I don't have time. Instead, I think these are great chances to change it up! If I can't fit in my normal morning workout, I'll squeeze in a quick body weight workout, try a class or go for a walk. A change in schedule doesn't have to mean I do nothing at all - it just means I get active in different ways. I don't get stressed about it because all my body needs is movement - it doesn't need a specific workout every time. Change is good!
When I'm Sore This is another one where I'll check in with my body (see a pattern here??). If my muscles are sore from a previous workout, I'll still workout but I won't work the sore muscles - I focus on other muscles. But there's a difference between muscle soreness from a workout and actual pain. If I am in pain, I will take precaution and not work through pain - this could cause more injury. In this real life situation, I might skip weight training and do light cardio like walking or do yoga instead.
When My Mental Health is Suffering During really stressful or emotional times where my mental health might be suffering, my workouts are usually even more important since it is a form of therapy for me and a great coping tool. However, if I'm experiencing a lot of symptoms that tell me I need more than a workout then I'll get the the help I need - such as heavy sadness, feeling weak or very unfocused. During these times, a combination of being active, some self care and talking it out is just what I need.
When I Haven't Eaten Well It happens - I'm not perfect and I don't want to be. Sometimes I overeat when we go out, at a party or even just on my couch by myself. I'll feel bloated, heavy and very lethargic when I don't eat well or eat too much. But when this real life situation happens, I do not beat myself up about it - I make a promise to myself that I will make it up to my body by getting back on track. The next day, I'll re-hydrate with water, I'll eat lighter and I'll make sure to get more movement in my day. I do not starve myself the next day or do hours of cardio - I also don't judge myself or shame. It's really important to acknowledge that I may have overdid it, but that I can do better today!
Not many people can or want to live a life of restriction so building healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle has to include real life -- and it doesn't always go as planned! Refire Fitness can help you navigate real life situations!