Stronger Self II April 17 2020
With time on my side, I have been able to reflect on how my mood is changing the past few weeks. Strength is awareness, understanding yourself and how your habits and environment are affecting you. I have made an effort to pinpoint what things are missing on the days where I do not feel as positive, energized and motivated. This is what I have found:
- I must ELEVATE my HEART RATE
I have worked out from home consistently for years so this is not new, but lately I have noticed that the days I significantly elevate my heart rate I feel significantly better. I am positive there is science behind this, but for now just feeling great all day is my science. Yes, this means pushing myself outside of what is comfortable, but I am willing to do that for the gains I receive. This is what I incorporate into my workout routine to accomplish this:
I know some of you grimace as I say this, but it will get your heart going for sure. I remember when I started running in 2001 very clearly, it was a challenge. But you start where you are with what you can. If you are just beginning, there are a ton of couch to 5k training programs that can guide you. If you already run, great! If you can get outdoors do it your heart, body, and mind will thank you.
This is not the lallygagging around the neighborhood I am talking about. If you have access to a trainer/stationary bike, you can push harder than you ever thought you could. The days I do these workouts I feel THE BEST. I also feel like I may die or throw up during the workout. I want to quit, I want to shift down but I DON’T. Keep going and you will not only feel great afterwards but get hella strong. I can finally keep up with Geoff on our rides and he has been cycling for over 10 years. I have been using free workouts from Global Cycling Network on Youtube, I typically do whatever 60 minute workout I can find. They have yet to disappoint.
My road bike on a trainer borrowed from a friend. Complete with bungee remote holder. :)
I have been doing workouts from Zuzka Light for about 8 years and they have gotten me in fantastic shape. I can testify that you can start from zero with these as well because I used them recovering from abdominal surgery two years ago. No, it was not easy, but with consistency I got stronger and stronger. She has three levels of workouts on her site and I am now doing advanced workouts with considerable weight. They will kick your ass…but you will feel amazing afterwards. And probably a little sore.
- GO OUTSIDE at least 30 MINUTES IN THE MORNING
I thought getting outside on my runs 1-2 times per week was enough but it wasn’t. I need to get outside in the morning every day at least 30 minutes. This is typically a walk on the days I am not running and allows me to look at the sky, the trees, smile and say hello to others (from a distance) and disconnect from the monotony of being in my house. Essential.
Friendly kitties I encountered on my walk the other day
- FACETIME YOUR FRIENDS
I may not be able to get coffee with anyone, but I can Facetime or Zoom someone for a little while and chat about whatever is on my mind. I realized I need to talk to someone about wearing a mask in public, stinky cat litter and DSW shoe sales. Just regular conversation and seeing a friend’s face is healing.
I recently discovered Spotify and it has been life changing. I have so many more dance parties now, and finally am discovering music that was unknown to me that I really enjoy. If you can place great music in your life consistently, it is a major mood enhancer. Here are a few of my inspired music choices if you are looking for something upbeat or relaxing.
Red Hearse (current fave song)
- ADJUST THE ROUTINE WHEN YOU FEEL IT
I have been following a morning routine of reading, meditation and journaling for a while now but lately I have felt that I benefit more from the journaling piece at the end of the day. I resisted this at first, but finally was able to let it go and allow my intuition to lead me to more value and learning. If something no longer feels right, let it go or change it.
Mitzie crashes my morning routine often for lap snuggles.
Here’s to all of us getting stronger, whatever it takes.
Wellness your way.