I didn't take my own advice and I'm paying the price. With my tail between my legs, I'm letting you in on where I went astray as a cautionary tale...
A couple months ago I started to noticed I had been slacking on my workouts for long enough. I was a bit soft, more easily winded and I was getting achey and anxious. I realized I needed to get back into a more consistent workout routine. So I did.
I followed all my Savage steps, starting planning my weeks ahead of time and scheduling in quick workouts squeezed in to my busy days. I was realistic about the schedule and making sure I could hit my goals. And I really nailed re-creating my healthy habit. I was consistent and I felt super strong.
But I forgot about the physical component. Mentally and technically, I was on it! I made sure I could create a consistent habit I felt good about prioritizing.
But I didn't take into account the weaker core I had from sitting in front of a computer and prioritizing my summer fun with the kids. I didn't take into account the lack of impact movements in my life for a few months. The shock that might give to my fragile back and hips (spoiler: retired acrobats don't have the healthiest joints!).
My back started getting tight. So I started stretching more but changed nothing. It got achey and, again, I didn't slow down and tried more foam rolling.
It got worse. I didn't want to go to the chiropractor because I thought I could work through it and fix it on my own.
So now I'm standing at my desk all day, not able to sit. My butt cheek is on fire while I drive. I can't run or can't do much leg strength work. And it suxxxxxx.
And I know how this goes. I know to ease in. To start from the core and ease in to a running routine. I tell my clients this ALL. THE. TIME. Because the ones who start strong out of the gates always fizzle or get hurt. Take it easy. See someone. Slow down.
But I thought I was different. I fell into my old headstrong approach to everything and just decided I wanted to do something so I'd make it work. Sigh...
So in case you're also someone who thinks you can just dive in full throttle, here are my 3 tips for starting a fitness routine that will stick and will get you seeing results:
1. Ease in
Your body and mind both need to ease in to a steady routine. Skip one of those and you're at HUGE risk (ie. I see it 100% of the time) for burning out. Either your body will get overly stressed and your nutrition intake and cravings will get all out of whack, or you will get injured.
A sprain or strain can take weeks to heal and need rest. Overuse injuries like tendonitis can last months and also...need rest. So now you're demotivated, you need to rehab, and can't get back to that vigorous routine. You're starting from scratch. That's hard.
Build your mindset at the same pace as your body. It's not about getting to the result faster, it's about getting to the result at all!
2. Create a routine rather than pushing to make individual efforts
Mentally you need to ease in, too! Starting a routine that is vastly different from what you were doing before is not only hard to sustain technically, without building it into your life, it's hard to keep the motivation to do. You haven't built the momentum yet so each effort takes..well, effort! It's hard to keep up that level of output. Hence -- a burn-out.
Build momentum. Start slowly and be proud of the consistent efforts you're making. Add on when you feel ready to commit to it. Set realistic goals, stay consistent, celebrate progress, and you are SO much more likely to reach your goals (ie. I see it 100% of the time). Small, consistent steps lead to BIG results!
3. Have a clear plan for YOUR needs -
Your What's and Whys
It's not just about the technical how and when to get in your workouts, but the why and what. When you have a plan to just "start working out more," you don't have the why or how. WHY do you want to work out more? You want to feel stronger? Sleep better? Lose a certain amount of weight? BE healthier? WHAT will work to get you there?
WHAT: First you need to make sure you understand how to make it work. Find tools and resources that work for you, your goals and your lifestyle. Do you research. Especially as moms, we have a long road to recovery after that fourth trimester (even if you didn't carry your baby for 9 months inside, you are definitely making some big changes to your physical life. So classes, apps and even personal trainers need to be vetted that they will provide a workout that will meet your new body's needs.
WHY: Figure out your why so won't be able to use the excuse, "well, I'll just start tomorrow." When it's about something important, something that feels good every time you make an effort, rather than focusing on some vague distant idea of what you want, you'll get to FEEL your efforts in your increased energy, better sleep, better moods. And since you're staying consistent, you'll watch your body transform. BOOM.
So there you go. I promise to follow my own advice from here on out! Until next time I go rogue *sigh* -- at least I know myself and can hopefully at least catch myself next time!
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Stay awesome and stay steady!