Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Okay to Take a Break from Working Out

I didn't feel well this past week, and I didn't make it to the gym on Wednesday and Thursday. And I didn't walk to the far away park with the toddler either. We did go to the nearby park, but I didn't get much exercise. Daily exercise has become such an important part of my day that not working out at the gym or going for a long walk, makes me feel uneasy.

I really think I need exercise every day to get my daily dose of "feel good" hormones. When I exercise I also get some time to day dream or focus on me, something that just doesn't happen otherwise with the toddler around. Exercise is therefore "me time" and so important for my mental health.

Exercising and eating well really go hand in hand. Unfortunately, sometimes when I don't exercise I feel badly and then don't eat well. I have noticed that I have especially a hard time to eat well in the afternoons and evenings on days I don't work out. I guess the guilt of not working out gets to me.

This past week I tried to be conscious and mindful of what I was eating, especially in the afternoons and evenings. Being aware that not working out can trigger not eating well and paying attention to what I was eating really worked! I ate pretty balanced meals on both days. I probably ate a bit too much in the evening on both days, but I didn't go completely overboard, and I reminded myself that eating a bit more and not exercising was okay. I also planned my next workout for Friday. Getting my gym bag ready and planning my next workout focused my attention on working out and made me look forward to the "feel good" hormones.

And, after I finished teaching my class yesterday, I couldn't wait to go to the gym! I felt really strong (maybe my body just needed to rest a few days!) and really enjoyed my workout and the "feel good" hormones... :0

Lesson learned: It's okay to take some time off from exercising. In fact, sometimes your body needs a break. Don't beat yourself up. Focus on eating well and plan your next workout!

Be well,