For many of us, work isn’t done when the clock strikes five or when the weekend rolls around. Work is done only when we say it is done because there is always more to explore, unwrap, analyze, sell, make, create, or ponder.
That’s the issue, at hand, for all of us Type A personalities, hard workers, go-getters, entrepreneurs, and workaholics. The sky’s the limit…or put, more succinctly, we’re the limit. The problem is, we’re not meant to be pushed to a limit. We’re meant to ebb and flow. We’re meant to honor the two sides of ourselves: the active and the passive, the yin and the yang, the inhale and the exhale. Our activity must be followed by rest whether that’s scheduled, postponed, or involuntary. Activity applies equally to mental and physical exertion. When that rest is not received and the body is not restored, our emotional body will start to act up. Discord in emotion deteriorates quickly into mental or physical discord. This is why awareness of our emotions is the first step in preventative care. Exercising and nutrition boost the immunity and wellness of the emotional body, which extends to our physical and mental aptitude, and higher-level functioning.
Understanding this perspective allows us to move past the “I don’t have enough time” mentality and we start to see it as a poor decision we are making. To get in the habit of anything new, though, we must prepare, anticipate, get strategic, reward, and find balance. For fitness that balance relates to exertion, nutrition and recovery, and I recommend the following 10 steps:
1. Set aside your workout clothes before you go to bed.
2. Keep a protein shaker in your bag. Protein is the only nutrient that feeds your muscle and keeps your metabolism humming. Just add water to a scoop of 100% whey protein.
3. Schedule it. Set your alarm. Block off your calendar. Your self-worth increases as you schedule time for fitness.
4. Execute the “one and done” most days of the week. One hour is all you need, but make it one dedicated hour. This is superior to an hour’s worth of steps spread out over an entire day or three hours of fitness one day and nothing the next three.
5. Reward your fitness with something other than food — a pedicure, fresh-cut flowers, a massage. Shift food from serving as a reward to high-octane fuel.
6. Include some time for play and fun. Dancing, cooking, coloring, comedy, community events, or whatever makes you feel light and playful.
7. Get out of your comfort zone. If you love yoga, try a cardio format. If you’re a cardio junkie, add a mind-body class.
8. Ensure your fitness curriculum includes balance. Balance enhances the mind-muscle connection and body awareness, while preventing injury. Injury besets your consistency, progress, and quality of life the most.
9. Anticipate the days when you have a big project or looming deadline. This is not when your fitness takes a back seat; this is when you need your fitness the most.
10. Turn to gratitude when you feel a negative story taking over in your mind. List out ten “I feel so grateful for…” or “I feel so blessed for…” statements.