Fitness

How To Enjoy Movement Again After A Guilt-Based Gym Relationship


Is hitting the gym just another chore to check off your list?  I had that perspective for a long time and felt guilty when I didn’t go for weeks at a time.   When I failed at maintaining any sort of consistency, I gave up on trying to work out at all, felt like a failure, and didn’t treat my body well.  I think we’re all familiar with that vicious cycle to some degree.  My complacency and poor nutritional choices resulted in a dangerous spiral that led to many health issues that you can read more about here.

In the past year, I’ve been working on shifting my mindset about fitness from being rooted in guilt and comparison to something based on positive, long-term sustainability.  Instead of looking at a workout as just another task I have to complete each day,  I try to consider what new types of movement will make my body feel good and improve my health, even if just in a small way.   Having an open-minded approach to fitness has also been helpful in adapting my activity to whatever environment I’m in when I’m traveling.   Below are some ideas for ways you can branch out and enjoy new forms of movement.

FB_IMG_1530715477990

Community Fitness – Being outdoors is one of my favorite things in life, so when I found out there were several outdoor free fitness opportunities near me, I couldn’t wait to try them.   I love the variety and camaraderie of community workouts – on any given day you could be doing a fartlek, cherry picker, Tabata workout, parking garage race, playground workout, hoistees, or partner leg throwdowns (Don’t worry, most of those words were new to me, too!)  It pushes me to go harder than I would if I were just working out alone, and movement with other people is more enjoyable.

Hiking – If you love the outdoors, this is a great way to explore and get in some good activity at the same time.   I love taking my pup to the park and immersing myself in nature.  It might be a challenging uphill trek, but I’m usually too busy watching turtles and deer along the path to ever think about it as work.  You can find good trails near you here.FB_IMG_1503619121355

Walking – No matter your level of fitness, you can start small and walk at your own pace.  As you get more fit, try adding interval walking, which has been shown to be an effective way to burn fat.  Try starting with 15 minutes per day and watch how just adding a little movement can improve your outlook

.IMG_20181110_115151207

 

Planking – Such a great way to work on your ab definition and core strength.  I enjoy planking by unique landmarks whenever I’m in a new place.  It will inevitably cause some stares, smiles and sometimes laughs from those around me (some people are even inspired to plank along with me!)  It’s one of my favorite ways to remind myself and others that movement should be fun.  If you’d like to start planking but aren’t sure about how to do it, I’d love for you to join my 2019 Planking Challenge that will run from January through June!

IMG_20180430_095439251_HDR

Obstacle Course Races – If you have a competitive side and also enjoy running, why not try an obstacle course race like Rugged Maniac?  It’s less intense than a Spartan or Tough Mudder, but still provides a serious fitness challenge.  It’s a great way to push yourself and focus on teamwork since you typically race in groups of 2 or 4.

IMG_20170930_120001646_HDR

Outdoor fitness parks (aka adult playgrounds) – These are becoming more widespread around the US, much to my delight!  On a recent trip to Virginia Beach, we encountered Hillier Ignite Fitness Park right on the beach, so of course, we had to stop and play for a while.  It’s nice to just let loose and feel like a kid again while being active at the same time!

IMG_20181109_110841826

Volleyball Tournaments – I grew up playing indoor volleyball, but in recent years have gravitated toward outdoor grass and sand tournaments.  I enjoy getting in a full body workout during all-day tournaments, soaking up the sun, and being able to spend time with friends while meeting new ones at the same time.  You can read more about the many fun outdoor tournaments that exist here 

IMG_20180602_123128025

HIIT workouts – These have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and for good reason.  They consist of going all out for short high-intensity intervals, followed by a short period of rest (usually 20-30 seconds of movement with 10-20 seconds of rest).  What I love about interval workouts is that there are endless possibilities and you can do them indoors or outdoors, without needing much space or equipment.  Here is a sample HIIT workout below, courtesy of my husband!

What do you think?  Do any of the activities appeal to you or is there another type of movement you enjoy?  I hope these suggestions will help you embrace a positive mindset regarding physical activity.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or struggles below.

Thanks so much for reading.

Emily

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links.  This means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Thank you for your support!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s