“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
4:25AM is when my alarm goes off each morning. I don’t even think about it, I just get up, put on my workout clothes and start moving. I don’t even brush my teeth (just to clarify, I work out alone and no one even sees me until after I’m showered lol). I do this 6 days a week and it is the foundation to my morning routine. It is a habit ingrained so deep that I would actually feel off not getting up early and working out. Clothes, headphones, and sneakers are all set out the night before. Sometimes I even set out my yoga mat before going to bed. It leaves me with no choice but to get up, get dressed and move.
-Three days a week I go for a 3-4 mile run.
-Three days I do a 20 minute bodyweight circuit, and go for a walk.
-Sunday is my complete rest and recovery day.
I am in love with movement. I love the way it makes me feel, the humming of my body full of energy after each walk, training, run, swim. You honestly couldn’t pay me to not move. My evolution of working out and movement has been evolving since I was a kid. I grew up playing soccer, figure skating, and horseback riding. In the 80’s and 90’s we didn’t have all the technology, so we played outside all day. I went through lazy periods where I would still play sports but otherwise I was sedentary. I remember my sister saying “just come running with me” (she was an elite soccer athlete at the time). She got me off my bum and I fell in love with running. Running has been my consistent form of exercise pretty much my whole life. I will try other types of fitness but I have always come back to running. It is my roots, it makes me feel free, strong, and fierce. It gives me a sense of peace and brings me right back to just me and sis running around our block when we were teenagers. What is your favorite way to move?
“I tell people that going for a run is like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin because, like the drugs, exercise elevates these neurotransmitters. It’s a handy metaphor to get the point across, but the deeper explanation is that exercise balances neurotransmitters — along with the rest of the neurochemicals in the brain. And as you’ll see, keeping your brain in balance can change your life.”John Ratey “The revolutionary new science on exercise and the brain”
I used to workout for the wrong reasons. Working out felt like work. It wasn’t enjoyable. I saw it as a punishment to my body that I had to endure to be able to drink and eat junk food . It wasn’t healthy and I usually moaned and groaned my way through a run or workout, or I made myself feel super guilty on days that I just didn’t want to get out of bed. I have gotten into really good rhythms loving yoga, HIIT programs, but somewhere along the way I couldn’t find the balance of a healthy relationship with movement. I would over exercise and get injured, or I would not exercise and feel guilty. Many times I have stopped when I reached a short term goal I set (for example: Lose weight for my sister’s wedding). I would think I made it, but then of course backtrack into either gaining weight back or just not exercising at all. Let’s be real, we never “make it” but we can find balance! Finding the right exercise, and how much movement is enough or too much, is kind of like finding what food works for you. Trial and error my friends. I have tried a lot of sports and workout programs. I will list some below that I have liked, and I also suggest trying any program for at least a month before deciding if it’s for you or not. Find what works with your schedule, and what works best for your body. You don’t have to go crazy, just start small, go for a short walk, do a 10 minute yoga class, stretch, do 1 pushup. I’ve realized that once you start moving, you want to keep moving. That one pushup will turn into 10, that 5 minute walk when I think I am so tired will turn into 20 minutes, that 10 minute yoga class will turn into 30 minutes (hint you see the pattern). Just start moving, and be happy with a short walk. It could literally be parking farther away in the parking lot. Don’t beat yourself up, 1 pushup is more beneficial then none! Also !!REALLY IMPORTANT!! Change doesn’t happen overnight, give yourself time. I guarantee you will have more energy, and be a happier person when you find a movement activity you love. We are a pretty active family, we go for walks, bike rides, surf, swim, and ski depending on the season. Right now my daughter and I “practice” ballet. Although I was a figure skater when I was young and could get a foot above my head while flying across the ice, I have never done ballet a day in my life. So we are learning together. She is teaching me what she learns in ballet class, and I am teaching her from a step by step book I bought.It is a super cute and fun way to move with my baby!
Try this exercise below and see where you are on the scale? This was life changing for me!! Changing my mindset to “I am so grateful that I have a strong body, that I have this morning time set aside for just me and my body. I am grateful for my health, and energy that I receive by moving my body daily.” I don’t know about you but I want to be around for a long time! Sleep, nutrition, and exercise is the key to a healthy life. Mindset change is where it’s at!!!
“You may think I’m crazy. Here I am, a professional in the health field, and I’m asking you for now to forget about health factors as your motivator. But I don’t ask lightly. I ask because I don’t want you to fail now, or fail again. If you fail, it doesn’t matter how good your intentions were when you started. Right now, let’s really pin down your personal Meaning for exercise: When you think about exercise, does it feel like a chore you have to do? Or like a gift you can’t wait to open? …
On a scale of 1 to 5—with 1 being ‘a chore to accomplish’ and 5 being ‘a gift to give yourself’—circle the number that best describes how you feel about exercise:
1 2 3 4 5
Michelle Segar “No Sweat”
If you want inspiration, sign up for a running or walking race. Observe the crowd, people of all ages young and old, all different body types. I have seen amputees, men in full military gear (pack and boots) running for their fallen friends, wheel chairs, groups and communities moving for a cause, strangers cheering you on to the finish. Talk about inspiration!! It gives me goosebumps and all the feels for sure and 100 percent inspires me to move more.
“Bottom line: If you don’t mindfully give yourself Permission to prioritize time for your own self-care, no one else will.”
My two favorite stories of inspiration right now are my daughter and husband. She recently ran her first trail race. It was a children’s 2K (1 mile) trail race at Gunstock mountain. My husband took her while I was working, and planned to run it with her. But when they got her bib she asked if she could run it all by herself saying “Dad I got this”. Letting her be her strong 5 year old self she took off from the starting line and disappeared into the woods with the other kids. As time went on my husband felt like it was taking them an awfully long time to run one mile, so he went to ask a volunteer. As he approached the man he overheard on the walkie talkie that they had “Misdirected” the children and they were actually running the 5K course (3 miles) through the woods, and actually had to cross streets and everything!!! How does this happen?? I have no idea!! My husband started panicking “I just sent my 5 year old into the woods by herself to run 3 miles wtf!!!”. He immediately started running the course backwards to find her. Coming up to them with about 1 mile left he saw her, he said, “She was jogging along, happily trying to cheer up and encourage a poor little boy who did not appreciate the two extra miles they were running.” This brought me to tears. I was so freaking proud of her and still am. She finished the race with my husband, and finished strong. Most importantly she had a positive attitude and the resilience to keep going, and help others along the way. Such a proud parent moment for the both of us!!
When Araliya Ming Senerat was in her early twenties, she was depressed, living in a city far away from her family and friends, and unhappy at work. She made a plan to take her own life. The day she intended to go through with it, she went to the gym for one last workout. She deadlifted 185 pounds, a personal best. When she put the bar down, she realized that she didn’t want to die. Instead, she remembers, ‘I wanted to see how strong I could become.’ Five years later, she can now deadlift 300 pounds.” The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal
My husband decided in 2020 that he wanted to become an ultra marathon trail runner. He wanted to train and do something he had never done before, set goals that seemed impossible and crush them. He ran his first 50K (for reference its 30 miles) trail race on Mount Agamenticus on May 1st 2021. And even better he convinced my two brothers, his sister, and his brother-in-law to all run or walk it with him. Not only were they running this monumental race together, it also brought a good portion of my family together for a weekend reunion after not seeing each other for a really long time due to COVID. It was all pretty epic, but the finish was a memory we won’t forget. We all were able to wait at the top of the mountain and cheer them on as they finished. My husband and brother’s finished together, and finished strong after almost 8 hours of running through the woods! The cutest part..my daughter, niece, and nephew made signs for their Dad’s and ran out to meet them when they came out of the woods towards the finish line. My daughter ran the last stretch of the race with her Dad, my niece bounced around in my brother’s arms crossing the finish line. I was so proud of all of them! Not only for the huge athletic accomplishment, but also coming together to create this memory for our family. I think it will be a memory we will have forever.
Workout tips I have found to be helpful
You can’t out exercise a bad diet. Before you do anything, check your nutrition. This is going to be the leading role to any progress, and also prevent injury.
Starting your day with exercise gives you energy. I feel on fire after a workout, like I can run the world Beyonce style. No matter how tired I am when my alarm goes off I NEVER regret getting up and moving to start my day.
Workout programs keep you on track and are so easy to follow. Social media and the internet gives us unlimited options for workouts. Try one, try many, just try.
Track it!! Whenever you are held accountable for something you show up more. If you are tracking your steps, calories, heart rate etc. you are more likely to move more. I shoot for at least 10k steps a day. This sounds like a lot but if you are taking short walks, chasing your kids, walking the dog, this adds up quickly.
Do not say “I don’t have time”. Make time. 4:30am people…make time, it can be as short as 5 minutes. No excuses.
Consistency is key. Make it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth, get up and move. The more consistent you are the easier it will get, the quicker results you will see. Just SHOW UP, not for the instagram selfie, show up for yourself!!!
“People say motivation doesn’t last, well neither does bathing, that is why we recommend both daily.” Zig Ziglar
Think about this…What is your number one self care habit? #1 for me is sleep, then comes exercise, nutrition, and spiritual practice. They are all so important to me and help me thrive on a daily basis. I truly believe all of these habits work together to give me a balanced lifestyle, without one of them I am out of sync. I start with sleep and get my dominoes in a row. Sleep, wake up and move, eat, meditate and journal, repeat all day everyday. Find what is most important for you, and start making it a priority today. Make it a habit to show up for yourself, to give your body what it needs to live your best life!
Workout programs that have worked for me:
Bodyplanapp – Taylor Dilk HIIT program is really fun and challenging.
Alexajeanfitness– Alexa’s workout’s can literally be done anywhere with no equipment.
Yoga glo– Yoga, pilates, mediation. Glo is where it’s at. Katherine Budig is one of my favorite instructors of all time!
Rachael Attard programs– Rachael’s programs are lower intensity, not a lot of jumping or stress on your joints. I love incorporating them in on rest days from running. Don’t knock it till you try it!! They are NOT easy.