Are you afraid that other people are judging you? Do you try to hide your food choices or the fact that you haven’t been working out as much as you’d like?
I totally get you. I’ve been there! I want people to look up to me but to be honest I’m human. I make choices that I’m not always proud of. I skip workouts and I eat junk food. But you know what, that just makes me real instead of the fake people you see on social.
It’s a common myth that people in the fitness world are judging every one else’s choices. And I get you may have experienced that with other fitness professionals. I have also struggled with fitness professionals making negative comments about my choices too. Never a fun thing because “they always know what’s best for you”. But they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know your day to day life. So I want you to know once and for all, I’m not judging you.
I had a brief encounter the other day when I was passing someone in the hall. He was holding what some would say was an off limits item if you want to be fit. And his gut reaction was to tell me “Don’t judge me” with a guilty grin while going back to his desk. I immediately responded, “No judgement. At all”. I don’t know what he is going through and I don’t know what you are going through. We are all on our different journeys just trying to do better than yesterday or just trying to get through a hard season. I get it. I consume things that aren’t the healthiest for me and don’t fuel my body the most efficient way.
I have my vices and so do you.
So let’s put down the ruler and stop measuring ourselves to others expectations of us. We don’t know how we got the ruler in the first place but we can put it down and choose not to use it. Let’s just focus on ourselves. That’s all we have control over anyways!!! And our mamas told us when we were growing up to mind our OWN business. Let’s take that heart, shall we?
So the next time you see someone and start thinking, they shouldn’t do that, or you catch yourself thinking you’re better than another person, here’s your and my reminder:
We have no idea what they are going through.
We have no idea what is going on.
We are not perfect and neither are they. And that in itself is wonderful!
So give people grace today and everyday. Encourage those around you and refuse to look down on them. Our world will be such a better place if we did this. So start with yourself!
Do you love or hate
cardio? Do you avoid it and know you
need to incorporate it? Or are you stuck
in the same pattern and need to mix it up?
I have experienced all of these at different points in my life. At one time, I was running constantly and training for my next race. I was excited to up my mileage, but nervous at the same time. Then out of nowhere, I would get tired of running and avoid it. Next, I would miss the “high” my runs gave me and would start again. After dabbling back and forth with running, I started having knee issues. I knew I had to get into something else.
So, I started trying
Bootcamp and HIIT (high intensity interval training) type of workouts. These incorporated strength and cardio in
short intervals so boredom was kept at bay.
And I loved it. But then I would
see others excel at running or swimming and it made me want to get back into a
cardio heavy activity. I knew that my
strength and cardio workouts were beneficial and working for my health, but
they weren’t the same as running for miles and miles. So I would try to run again, but it wasn’t
like the old days. I wasn’t in love with
it like I was before, I was just trying to fit in.
So I decided to keep
doing my interval workouts and incorporate some runs on the side. That turned out to be a good mix. I realized I didn’t have to conform to what
others thought exercise should be. My
training schedule could look different than other people’s schedule. It makes sense when I said it out loud –
different exercises fit different people.
Why do you care
about my cardio history? It’s important
to know that throughout your life, you may think you have to do a certain type
of cardio forever because that’s what you have always done. But if something happens and it’s not doable
for you anymore, do you just quit?
Well, you can do
whatever you want. But I recommend not
getting your head too focused on what you were able to do, but not able to do
now. That’s futile and just leaves you
frustrated. What I suggest is to be open
to change because we don’t have total control of the future. And I’m here to load your toolbox with other
ways to get your cardio “high”.
Before diving into
the specifics, why should we even care about cardio and getting it into our
Cardio health and
fitness are linked to so many benefits.
The reasons to incorporate it into our daily lives never end. Even
though I’m not a cardio junkie in this season of life, I do know that I need to
keep it in my life for multiple health reasons.
Here are only a
fraction of benefits to Cardio Fitness:
(American College of
Sports Medicine. 2010. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription,
8th Ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins)
Decreased heart rate
Decreased anxiety and depression
Reduced resting blood pressure
Reduced insulin needs and improved glucose tolerance
Increased stamina and energy
Improved immune function
Stronger Heart & Lungs
I would be hard pressed to find someone that is not interested in at least one of these benefits. Any takers out there?? If nothing speaks to you, did you even read, “Increased Energy And Stamina”??
Alright now that
everyone is on board let’s list out different methods of cardio:
Running or Jogging
Jumping (or Falling on Your Face)
Playing Sports (Basketball, Tennis, Raquetball, etc.)
If you do cardio
regularly, you may have fitting it in your schedule mastered. If you tend to avoid it, here is where you
can sneak it in and get its benefits.
A fun way to sneak
it in my workout, is to incorporate moves that get my heart pumping and me out
of breath. Say I want to workout my
entire body. I’ll work on my arms and
back and legs and glutes and then core (just to name a few) and then in between
each exercise I add in some quick punching.
If I’m doing my interval workouts, I’ll have one interval for strength
and then the next for cardio and keep alternating. That way I break up the monotony!!
If you want some
added zing, make your cardio interval dual purpose. For instance, you don’t
just want to run in place, but you want to work on your lower body as
well. Add in some jump squats and Boom
you have your cardio element and it serves as a leg burner too! Or you want to get out some aggression and
you have some light weights (or soup cans – anyone remember Denise Austin???
One of my faves!) you can do some weighted punches. That’ll get your heart rate up, so it’s
working your heart and you have the weight adding resistance to your arms and
shoulders. There we go again, being
efficient and savvy.
For those interested
in some quick and dirty cardio that can function as strengthening too, here you
High Knees with a weighted vest
*Any exercise that
gets your heart pumping and makes you breathe harder is a cardio exercise. Don’t let the jumping and the swinging
exercises scare you off. Modify to your level always and listen to your body.
You know it best!!
Alright, how does
That’s a lot of
info, so how are you going to implement it?
First, look at what
you are currently do. See if you need to
incorporate more cardio or if you’re good.
Second, if you find
that you may need more cardio in your life, look at ways to sneak it in. Can you alternate your strength intervals
with cardio intervals? Can you add a
cardio burn at the end of your workout by dancing to 2-3 songs? What might be a continuation of your fitness
routine or one step up from what you are currently doing?
Third, if you
already have cardio in your life, but it’s not working for you, is there a way
you can mix it up to get off that plateau?
What out of the list of cardio choices gets you excited? Try that out!
Comment below on
your favorite cardio of choice. For
bonus points, name a dual cardio and strength exercise not listed here that you
love or love to hate!
Join me next time as
I wrap up the series “Elements of a Great Workout” by bringing it
full circle with the aspect of sustainability.