How to Love Your Workout
Guest Blogger Lindsey Simcik who is a fitness model, and trainer at SoulCycle wrote a guest blog for us about How to Love Your Workout.
Working out used to be something I did to check a box. WORKING OUT WAS ANNOYING AF. In my early to mid 20s, I worked out so that I could guiltlessly tip the scale in the other direction. Twenty minutes on the treadmill bought me a dirty martini, a spin class was a pass to pizza town. I failed to notice how my mood and energy was positively affected by busting my butt at the gym because I was in such a rush to reward myself for sweating.
After an intense breakup and a lot of soul searching, fitness eventually became my reward. The exercise became the catalyst for a lot of internal shifts. Once I valued the time that I was taking for myself, it became a habit. Exercising was no longer a “selfish” 45 minutes I would try to fit into my schedule, rather it became a necessary moving meditation. Taking care of yourself and loving this practice is not always easy. I have six tips that I use to help me to love/obsess over every workout!
Fuel your body for success. When was the last time you went out to dinner and drinks with friends, extended the night at the bar next door, danced for a few hours past your bedtime, and then woke up early the next morning excited to workout? If that made you nauseous, you’re not alone. I preach balance. I love my WINE and CARBS. I love going out with friends. But I have become very in tune with how my nutrition, hydration, and sleeping habits directly affect my energy. What works for me? 8 hours of sleep per night, eight 8oz glasses of water per day, and making sure that 75% of every meal is plant based.
Find the challenge. Your workout should be something that you remember. Something that you can draw inspiration from later in your day, or later your week. If the workout is not challenging, you will not remember it. PERIOD. Whether you are working out on your own or in a group, with a trainer or in front of a virtual trainer, it is ultimately up to you how hard you work. It is a choice to find the challenge. Just meeting the challenge will promote growth. Challenge yourself to find the joy in doing something outside of your comfort zone. Most people dance inside of theirs—so celebrate the fact that you choose to answer the call from your NEXT LEVEL YOU.
Show up and watch what happens. Showing up is the hardest part. KNOW THAT. Once your there the inspiration to keep going will come from the work. The funny part is that choosing to take time for yourself yields some amazing returns from the universe. If you show up for yourself, other people and opportunities are going to start showing up for you. If you believe that, it will happen. If that sounds crazy….SURE! Maybe it is. But it’s true. WATCH.
Connect the dots. This takes a bit of reflection. Keep it simple. How do you feel after a workout? Tired, sure. But how does moving your body make you FEEL? Do you feel lighter? Do you have more clarity? Are you more relaxed after a good sweat? Does the accomplishment of finishing something you showed up for excite you/inspire you/motivate you? Are you more patient with people and situations after a workout? Are you happier? A big ol’ YES to a few of these, and DAMN it makes EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT worth it. Make it a habit to connect the dots and remind yourself why it is important to you.
Moving your body will help you get unstuck. We are made of a bazillion molecules that are very sensitive to our state of mind. Your body will physicalize your feelings. Have you ever experienced a stiff neck when you are super stressed? Or low energy when you are feeling defeated or hopeless? Those molecules need a SHIFT. When you move your body, chemicals called “endorphins” are released. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Suddenly, the pain from that breakup becomes less heavy, your focus might shift to light rather than concentrating on the dark. Notice how moving pushes your thoughts out of the way temporarily. Experiment with different workouts to see what works for you.
You have to fill your cup up first. If you are doing it right, a workout will take a lot out of you. But it also makes room to then fill you back up again. I’m sure if you are reading this, you are a generous, supportive, giving human being who does so much for other all the time. It is impossible to be that kind of person long-term if you don’t give to yourself. Focus on filling yourself up first, and the overflow is what you give away. So deem your workouts part of what fills you up. Know that it won’t always be easy. You are made for that, though. FILL’R UP!!