17 Oct Exercising After a Break
I know it can be hard to exercise after you have taken a break. I feel ya. In September I started to teach a lot more yoga classes and completely stopped going to the gym.
My body started to hurt because I was too flexible and I didn’t have a strong enough structure to support this practice. Even though I felt this pain and knew working out was the answer it took me a bit of time to get back into it because I would say to myself “I’m too busy to workout.”
Well guess what? The first day after I went back to the gym to focus on re-building a stable foundation I felt strong. Of course I couldn’t do half of what I could do before I stopped going to the gym but it doesn’t matter. I felt good.
A lot of people struggle with comparing themselves to what others can do or even to what they used to be able to do.
I’m grateful that I have come a long way since my eating disorder and diet mentality so for me this is a non-issue. But I remember what it feels like to wish you could do more. Here are some tips that have helped me harness a healthy mindset towards working out:
1) Mindful Meditation
Regularly practicing mindful meditation has allowed me to become more aware of my thoughts, feelings, and sensations in my body. By taking the time to check in I’ve become faster at recognizing what my body needs and when is the best time during the day to exercise based on my energy levels.
Yoga has taught me to focus on embracing the journey instead of the destination. I remind my fellow yogis of this during class when I say “maybe notice that every day—and even each side of the body—is different for balance.”
Yoga has also allowed me to be more aware of my body and come to it with an attitude of gratitude, compassion, understanding, and respect about it’s abilities. Allowing me to know when I’ve done too much or too little exercise.
Yoga has also shown me how to let go. With each exhale you have the opportunity to release tension, comparisons, judgement, resentment, worry, and blame.
3) Mindful Movement
Mindful movement is the act of being aware while you move; aware of all five senses. How your body feels while you’re exercising, what your environment smells like, the temperature of your body, the rate of the breath, the sounds around you, etc. Being aware while you’re exercising is so important so that you create the mind-muscle connection, breathe properly, and are less likely to get injured.
4) Intuitive Exercise
This is where the importance of knowing how much and what type of exercise is right for you. Exercise is meant to be pleasurable not a punishment! Listen to your inner guide and do what feels good.
Remember that if your body is aching, let it move. Honour your body by following through with what it’s calling for.