Oftentimes when people think of having an effective workout routine or an effective diet template, they feel as though it’s all or nothing. People are led to believe that they must be in the gym 5 days a week pounding out intense workouts and leave feeling completely drained. If you’re not doing that, then your workout wasn’t worth it, right? WRONG! In previous blog posts we’ve touched on the fact that chronic cardio is not the answer to most women’s fitness goals. In fact, it’s quite counter-productive. Gym time is important, but it’s not the only factor that contributes to your results. It’s more important to make that gym time efficient and effective, and balance it with fun activities outside the gym that will still benefit your overall health and fitness goals.
Walking is a more effective exercise than most people give it credit for, and it’s probably one of the most common activities enjoyed by us Miss Fits outside of the gym. It’s a great stress reliever, especially if you can enjoy nice weather, scenery and good company. I love to go for walks with my sister and her kids and sometimes my dog. Although, the walk tends to be more of a slow wander with frequent breaks when he is involved. And let me tell you, pushing a double stroller with 45 pounds of child in it is not easy. Anything that involves getting your body moving and enjoying yourself will benefit your overall health. In our group of Miss Fits, we all enjoy our time out of the gym as well as our time put in at the gym. Other activities that some of us include are hiking, farm work such as mowing and weed eating, and bike rides. And let’s not forget the relaxation activities; these are some of our favorites! What people tend to forget is that rest and relaxation are just as important as being active and getting in good workouts. Some of the common themes in our group tend to be massages, acupuncture, chiropractic, enjoying a glass of wine with girlfriends, naps, lying by the pool, or hanging out at the lake and getting some fresh air and sunshine.
The same theory goes for following a nutrition plan. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s important to have a strong foundation in nutrient-dense whole foods, and then whatever other extraneous items come in and out of your diet are okay. You don’t have to beat yourself up because you ate that cupcake at work. You just enjoy the fact that the cupcake was delicious, because I’m sure it was, and then carry on with your yummy nutritious foods for the rest of the day. There are going to be times when it’s totally worth it to have some big splurges. For example, this weekend is my birthday and a good friend’s wedding. When I saw someone eat a piece of homemade strawberry cake at work the other day, I decided that I wanted that cake for my birthday. Luckily it comes from a local deli, so I called my mom and asked her to order one for me. I’ve been looking forward to that cake all week long! Plus, I fully intend on indulging in some excellent wedding food, gluten-free or not, and some wedding cake. So my weekend is going to be full of splurges that are worth it to me and that I’ve been anticipating and have planned for in advance.
It’s all about balance. It’s important to have sound nutrition and fitness, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There are fun and enjoyable things you can do outside of the gym that also benefit your fitness and health goals. The same goes for nutrition. As long as you have a good nutrient-dense foundation, there is room for splurges and having a cupcake every now and then. These are what make goals attainable and results long-lasting. No one succeeds with all or nothing; that’s just a setup for failure.