A Healthy Way to Approach Fitness

Working Out

Working Out

What's your workout routine like?

Do you lift? Run? Crossfit? Cycle? Yoga? Swim? Or maybe you haven't found the routine that works the best for your life, goals and time.

That’s totally okay. Today, I'd like to talk about fitness. I won't be telling you what I think you should do to workout or what gets the best results when it comes to physical fitness. After talking to some friends and thinking about it myself, I've come to the realization that some of us may have a skewed perception of what "being fit" really is. When we open up social media or look around us, we are bombarded with all these different types of workouts and different workout-gurus. There are instructional videos and people posting their successes online. There's nothing wrong with that — I'm honestly super happy for those people and where they have found their success. But just because they look a certain way because of a certain workout they do, does not mean you have to do it. 

I have to admit, I have fallen into the lie that only certain types of workouts will "work", or will get me a six pack. Often, I have thought that I need a skinnier waist and leaner thighs and the only way to do that is to lift heavy every single day for the rest of my life and run seventy miles a day.False!In His grand design, God made each and every one of us differently. He formed our muscles and our frames differently and they are all so lovely. What I have realized over the years is that just because someone is working out this way, does not mean that I have to as well. We are all built differently (in the best ways) and we all have different capabilities. For the past six years, I have personal trained and group trained with a wonderful gal. I first started working out with her when I found out I have fibromaylgia and I needed to get into a more consistent routine, both physically and mentally. It was a challenge to get my butt to a gym; I hadn't really lifted anything as exercise because I had been a classical dancer! Instantly, I fell in love with the training that we were doing. The type of workout that we did (and I still do) is considered functional training. 

The main goal of these types of workouts are to equip your body to do the normal things in life that we want to do! During these workouts, we lift weights, do lots of cardio and aerobic moves and resistance training. It is literally one of my favorite things to do — and so sweet to have an awesome trainer throughout it all. She encourages me to work within my limits, but still push myself to be better. She is uplifting and gracious with her time and her energy.The reason I bring this up is because my trainer (now sweet friend) has been such a huge encouragement to me when it comes to physical fitness. She has reminded me that it is important to stay consistent in exercise, but also give the body grace. Everyone is built differently and we all have different capacities... and that is totally okay. You don't have to squat every day at the gym and do a million crunches. There isn't a rule that says you have to run on the treadmill for hours on end -- just so you can work off that ice cream you had the night before.

More than anything, I think we need to approach fitness differently — remember why we do it and why its important.We should stop obsessing over the numbers on the scales and the amount of fat we may retain. The reason that we should pursue a healthy lifestyle should be because we want to live a well-rounded and healthy life. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with working out — heck, I love working out! And we all should — in any way that works. But I think that working out purely because we are able to move our bodies should be encouraged. Working out to be able to play with your kids, ride your bike or keep up at work should be the goal.I used to think that I had to be a certain weight and have a certain sized waist. I still criticize my body from time to time — thinking that certain areas should be smaller or whatever.

But I've realized that is so unhealthy; when we dwell and obsess over areas of our lives, change often does not follow. It only hinders change because we are obsessed over material things and not our overall well-being. God has been reminding me to be thankful for the body that he has given me and to use it to my best abilities. There is always things to criticize, but there is also so much to be celebrated. So I guess this post was really more of a rant, but I've been feeling so convicted to remind myself AND all of you why maintaining a healthy mindset is also important when approaching fitness. There are so many awesome types of workouts to try now! It's amazing to look around and see what is out there! I hope that you're reminded that you are your own, beautiful person and you are made with your own, unique capabilities.Do what works best for you and your body. Challenge yourself, nonetheless, but do what is right within your capacity. Workout to be healthy and please never obsess over the scales. As a friend said, "Eat lots of good food." I always say that everything should be eaten in moderation, but still enjoyed. 😉 Here are some of my favorite types of workouts — try them out if you're interested and see if you love them!

  • Weight Training: **Lifting -- doesn't mean you have to lift huge like bodybuilders but a moderate amount of weight.

  • Pilates: Core and abdominal training -- great for strengthening your back and abdominals

  • Cardio: Did you know that you can still get your cardio in without running? (Personally, I do not like running haha but I still need to get my heart rate up.) Switch your workouts up and try something like "HIIT" that will really get it up.

 What's your favorite type of workout and why do you love it? I'd love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments!