A few weeks ago, I kicked off a new series at about balancing fitness & life! I think this is something many of us are working on, so I want to get different perspectives on how others approach it. My hope is that if we discuss our experiences with this balancing act here, we can learn from each other! Enjoy!
Hello, Better with Veggies readers! My name is Paige, and I blog over at Your Trainer Paige about fitness, health, and life.
A little about me….Like Heather, I’m a fellow Coloradoan, a state that I moved to less than a year ago from Illinois! I’m a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and KIND brand ambassador, and I love to go hiking with my husband and friends in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. When Heather asked me to participate in her series on balancing life and fitness, I happily agreed, because it sounded like a fun topic! Plus, it forced me to sit down and really think about it.
My Fitness Perspective
I’ve been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 2009, and before that I played volleyball, so fitness has always been a big part of my life. Being a personal trainer is a truly rewarding job, and one that I love doing (nearly) every day. However, it’s still a job.
Yes, it’s a job that’s in the fitness industry, and I’m in a gym all day, but I’m not working out myself when training clients. Working out is typically fun for me. I love lifting, cycling, climbing, and hiking. However, fitting in my own workout after training 5 or 6 clients in a day can be tough at times. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is stay in the gym for another hour to get in my own lifting workout. On these days, I have to rely on some tips and tricks to find my balance between life and fitness.
Life + Fitness Balance
1. Realize that something is better than nothing.
Just the other day, I was a little tired, my elbow hurt, and I had exactly 50 minutes to get in a lifting workout before my next client. I knew that wasn’t long enough to get my entire planned workout for the day done, and flirted with the idea of walking home to sit on the couch for a bit. Instead, I did a quick warm up, and then did some squats and chin ups. Better than nothing, and I felt great afterward, too.
2. Picture yourself at the end of your workout.
If I had gone home and sat on the couch, I wouldn’t feel very gratified walking back over to the gym. Instead, I envisioned how I would feel if I got moving and did a few sets, and realized I’d feel much better if I completed (part of) the workout.
3. Skip the workout.
What? Isn’t this contrary to everything I just said? Well yes, it is. But if for some reason doing that workout would cause me more stress than not doing it, I would definitely skip it. If I didn’t get much sleep the night before, if my body was just saying NO, or if I just downright dreaded that workout, I’d skip it, and feel no guilt at all.
4. Plan your workouts… but leave room for flexibility.
If you have your workouts on a calendar, or are planning to meet someone at the gym, the chances of you following through are much greater. For me, I like to have a baseline of my ideal workouts each week: 3 lifting workouts, 2 cardio workouts (preferably hikes,) and walking my dog, Niko, and stretching every day. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I’ll only lift twice or I’ll miss my metabolic workout. That said, I’m a big believer of not letting your workouts run your schedule. If I had a spin class planned for 7:00 pm, but my friend’s also having her birthday dinner at that time, I would absolutely make it to my friend’s dinner! My friend is more important than a spin bike. Instead, perhaps I’d just get a workout in earlier or later, or refer to #3 😉
5. Join a community.
I love taking indoor cycling classes because there’s such a great energy in the group during the ride. Plus, if you keep on going to the same class, it’s likely that many others in the class are, too. Soon, you’ll start to feel like you’re part of a community. If it’s not an option to join a club or group, then venture to the interwebs! There’s plenty of online fitness forums and communities to get support and motivation.
Questions for you:
Which tip resonates with you the most?
What’s one way you balanced fitness & life this week?