Intuitive movement hasn’t always been my fitness “routine.”
I used to be that person who mentally scheduled every workout I was going to do in a week. I knew I had my CrossFit classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Which meant Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday would be my cardio days…long runs outside or on the treadmill. Sunday was rest day, and then back at it the next week. If I woke up feeling tired on Monday, didn’t matter. I was going to that CrossFit class regardless.
Phheew. I get tired just thinking about it…no wonder I got burnt out. (More on that story later…)
In the past few years, my fitness “routine” has changed completely. I actually don’t think it could be technically called a “routine,” because it changes week-to-week based on how I’m feeling.
I’m a personal trainer, which comes with the stigma of working hard in the gym every single day…getting shredded and leaning out.
You GUYS. I’m soooo over that.
It took me years, but I finally had the realization that my body is not a machine. It’s a dynamic, always-changing, soft womanly creature that needs fuel, rest and movement. Every day my body needs something a little bit different. One day it may need to go for a trail run and breathe some crisp mountain air. The next it might want to lift some heavy things, but then the day after, it may just want to stretch on a yoga mat and breathe gently and slowly.
It is SO important to honor what our bodies want!
Some of you may be thinking…well, my body wants a cushy couch, a Netflix series and a big bowl of brownie-batter ice cream. But I guarantee that if you did that for one week in a row, if you really listened to your body, it would be screaming at you to MOVE!
Sometimes it can take some time to learn what your body is trying to tell you. And that’s ok! If you need to follow a workout “plan” or calendar until you can learn how to move intuitively, that’s ok! Just make sure to create a realistic calendar that’s somewhat flexible, and plan plenty of rest days in there.
So what does my weekly exercise routine look like? I get this question quite often from clients. And honestly, it looks quite different depending on the week. But, I do have a few “options” of movement that I like to choose from and rotate through, based on the types of movement I enjoy. Here’s my list I usually pick from:
• Lifting weights in my home-gym (I divide my workouts by muscle groups: legs/booty one day, back/biceps one day, shoulder/triceps/chest one day.)
• Circuit training in my at-home gym (these are often HIIT-style, full-body workouts that include some cardio and strength training.)
• Yoga at home following along with the “Down Dog” app.
• Hiking/running the trails around my house.
• Sitting on my butt doing absolutely nothing 😉
When I wake up in the morning, I take a moment to assess how my body is feeling. I ask myself if I feel rested, if I have lots of energy or not so much. I also notice any soreness or tightness of muscles and joints. And then, I ask myself what sounds fun and beneficial to do that day. If I wake up exhausted and tight, I’ll do a gentle yoga session. If I have loads of energy and want to get outside, I’ll go for a trail run. Sometimes I notice myself just craving to lift something HEAVY, so I’ll do a weight-lifting session.
Training this way just feels so right. Exercise never feels like a “chore” or “punishment” because I’m making a choice of what sounds good to me, and if nothing does, I have the choice to do just that…NOTHING. And (newsflash) that is SOOOO ok!
So…whether you’re a fitness “newbie” just starting up a “routine,” or a seasoned athlete, I’d encourage you to give intuitive movement a try. It can take some getting used to when you’re used to sticking to a specific plan or routine, but once you get into the groove of things, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how freeing it really is.
Questions or comments about intuitive movement and my fitness “routine?” Comment below and let’s chat about it!