I feel pretty confident in saying that we have all, at some point in our lives, experienced what I like to call, an exercise rut. Where you just don’t enjoy your exercise routine and can’t seem to find your flow.I know I definitely have. I have been actively in the fitness industry for roughly 4 years now and as much as quite a large amount of people think I would never experience this kind of thing, I’m here to tell you I do.
One thing I have learnt through my experience, is applying a minimalistic approach to my exercise regime to try and limit the effects of a potential block. This tool can be applied to absolutely any pillar of your life but right now, we are talking about exercise specifically. I’m a firm believer in that your exercise routine should be something you enjoy. Something you look forward to, It should be something you can turn to after a long and possibly stressful day to get your blood pumping and get your happiness tank back up above the red line.
The first step to creating a more minimalistic exercise routine is finding out what type of exercise you love, because forcing yourself to go to a bikram yoga class when you leave feeling more stressed than when you arrived is just not cool. Maybe you’re better off trying another type of class, or maybe you’re into crossfit. Maybe your not. Find what you enjoy, not what the internet tells you to enjoy. What feeds your soul? What gets you out of bed in the morning or gets you excited after a long day at work? If its going for a walk along the beach - do that. If its going to a yoga class - do that. If its running 10k - do that, but please don’t invite me.
One of the things I have realised I don’t really enjoy, is running. I just can’t seem to find the enjoyment in it. If you see me running, call the police because someone is chasing me. But seriously, there are many other ways to get a good cardio workout without having to run. Find what works for you.
Steve Jobs once said “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles”. There is no judgement here regarding what you choose to do with your body but unless you’re working towards being an athlete or in specific training for competitions for a particular sport. Then there is no need to slog out hour after hour at the gym day in and day out. If you put in a quality hour then that is a great effort and more than enough on most days. I constantly see people get burnt out, sick and tired and end up over doing it. This can lead to weeks of having no energy to exercise and then before you know it your back to square one and starting all over again.
Be gentle with your body. You can still workout an hour each day and possibly see better results than if you were to workout 3 hours a day. When you are putting your body through that much physical exercise each day, your body is going to get tired, sky rocketing your risk of injury. Just do your body a favour and take a few steps back, slow it down a little and focus on increasing the quality of your work outs rather than the quantity. On the other side of everything I just said, if you are someone who does workout a few hours a day and feels like you have the energy to do so then go get it girl, hats off to you. The main thing I am trying to encourage is doing what works for your body and not placing sky high expectations on what you should be doing to be fit and healthy.
I know this is going to seem a little contradicting to be encouraging you to go and buy your self some new active wear when we are discussing minimalism, but when was the last time you actually treated yourself to a new outfit for the gym? Have a think about it and then I want you to think about how you felt when you wore that outfit for the first time to workout. Did you feel good in it? Did it make you feel empowered? Did it make you workout that little bit harder? If you’re holding onto old items that don’t make you feel great and just tend to sit in the back of your wardrobe, it might be time for you to have a wardrobe detox and shed those unwanted items, leaving less clutter and more space for active wear that makes you feel good, makes you want to workout, active wear that makes you feel inspired.
It can actually be quite a liberating and cleansing process. Make yourself a cup of tea, put your favourite tunes on and get in the zone. Now, take a deep breath, let go of things you don’t love and rekindle your love for moving your body. Think of it as a service to your own personal development in increasing your self-love and self worth. Even if for you that means just going on a walk everyday. Something is always better than nothing.
You have total control of your life, have fun with it. You can do anything!