Fitness Friday: 5 Rules for Working Out

Fitness Friday: 5 Rules for Working Out

Welcome to another Fitness Friday! This is a weekly series dedicated to getting more people moving! Most weeks I interview top notch athletes, instructors, and the passionate movers of the world to help share their experiences in a variety of fitness styles. So far we’ve talked Crossfit, Zumba, Yoga, and biking. I have a lot of other great posts lined up with even more specialized approaches to exercises and fitness. But today I wanted to take a little “intermission” to talk about some important rules to working out, no matter what you choose to do.

Rule #1: Listen to your body.

In today’s sedentary and media-filled world we are increasingly more disconnected to our body. Head on over to your local gym and you’ll see plenty of folks zombie-running on a treadmill with their music blasting while watching subtitles on a television bolted on the wall. There are hundreds of messages out there telling us to ignore pain and push through discomfort. And while I do believe that strength training, endurance training, and flexibility do require a certain amount of pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone to see progress and results, it’s a whole different matter when we think throwing up, bleeding toes, or other “look how tough I am” markers are considered normal.

  • Pain is one of your body’s most precious tools of communication. Listen closely to know when a red flag is being waved. Respect your body enough to know when to stop, slow down, or re-evalute. Talk to trained professionals to help with proper form, technique, or (if necessary) rehabilitation.
  • Start noticing your body’s other signals. Extreme exhaustion and stress, for example, are good indicators to take things easy. Our metabolic health is critical to everything, and over-doing any workout at the expense of your metabolism usually results in major damage later down the road.
  • Hunger and thirst are the most basic signals. Eat to move. Drink when you’re thirsty. Replenish fluids and electrolytes wisely.

Listen to your body. No matter what.

Rule #2: Do something you love.

There’s a myth out there that exercise is some sort of torture device to get a body that meets society’s ideals. Um, no. Wrong on all levels.

Here’s an experiment worth trying: Head on over to a playground and observe children at play. Notice how they explore movement. Notice how much energy they have.

Remember that an object in motion tends to stay in motion (thank you, Mr. Newton)… If you don’t love what you are doing it probably won’t last long. And even if you have the sort of militant discipline to keep at something you hate, wouldn’t you rather invest in something that brings you joy?

Haven’t found what you love yet? No worries! Keep coming back to Fitness Friday to read up on all sorts of opportunities to move and exercise. Be willing to try something. Give it a good chance. Be willing to move on to something else if you hate it. Bike, swim, dance, hike, walk, garden, play with your kids, ski, surf, do yoga… the possibilities are endless. Find something that makes you happy.

5 rules for working out. Simple but good advice. Click here to read it.

Rule #3: Start slow.

If you’ve been really inactive for a long time don’t expect to run a marathon in a month. Make a decision to start your journey toward healthier living, and don’t plan on reaching your destination for a long time (or ever). It’s about the journey. Even if it means you start by walking around your block three times a week. If it’s more than what you did before then you are on the right path. The real key is to start.

Rule #4: Keep at it.

Once you’ve begun, keep going. When it feels appropriate, add more into your own workout routine. Add more time, or weight, or do it faster… all the while be sure to keep following the previous rules. Keep at it does not mean you have to workout every single day. It doesn’t mean that you’ll always feel like you did better than the day before. Keeping at it is about a commitment to a healthy life style.

Rule #5: Know when to take a break.

There’s a lot of pressure out there to be faster, stronger, better. And while I do believe that many people fall victim to lame excuses for not moving more, there are others who don’t stop when they should.

  • Feeling sick? Let your body rest.
  • Over did the weights yesterday? Let your body heal.
  • Didn’t sleep last night? Maybe you should do something gentle and recuperating.
  • Just had a baby? Cuddle up and know that you can workout later.
  • Stressed to the max? Listen to your body.

These simple rules aren’t revolutionary, but they will shape the way you approach fitness, body image, healing, nutrition, and yourself. Respect your body. Listen to it. Move it. Rest it. Nourish it.

5 rules for working out. Simple but good advice. Click here to read it.

Tell me… what’s your rule for working out?

 

Think getting real food the table is hard? I used to, too. Well, my friend, let me introduce you to Real Plans. A brand new way to think about meal planning that makes getting healthy, delicious food to your table easy. I am absolutely in love with it, and I know you will be, too. Check it out here.

Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: Due to an never-ending cesspool of spam, I have made the tough decision to close comments 14 days after the original posting of all posts. Sorry to anyone left out of the conversation. I just needed to spend less time monitoring spam and more time with my kids. Best wishes, Robin!


STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note, I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Thank Your Body's ideals and I believe would be of value to my readers. You may read my full disclosure statements here.

About the author

Hi! I'm and I’m passionate about healthy living: feeling nourished, having energy, getting good sleep, and feeling strong. I believe healthy living does not have to be complicated or stressful. I’m a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT) and a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). I’m also an avid researcher and love to read about nutrition, the body, and toxic-free living. Learn more.

View all articles by Robin Konie

2 comments

  1. Laura

    I recently started going to my local gym.. have never ever worked out in my life, so it’s hard to adjust.. Still figuring out what I like, because I admit, at this moment I hate working out:D I like walking the most, not a fan of running.. and, well, its snowing daily and it’s not the most motivating factor for outside workouts. I have two rules for working out: 1) Make yourself to go to the gym at least three times a week 2) Try tons of different group work outs (I am also not a fan of new things, public showers, lots new people I don’t know at once, working out:D) and routines to find what I like.

    I just hope that if I go there enough, I get used to it and maybe I even find something I enjoy.. never know if never tried.

Comments are closed.