Also known as: Learning to Prioritize
I love reading about health and wellness, so I have gobbled up every piece of workout advice that comes my way. I will try just about anything once (except for CrossFit…) and have found workouts that I love (and hate). I’ve read that you should work out 3-5 times a week, every day, every other day to give yourself a rest…you name it, I’ve seen it out there. Last year I went to 30 barre classes in 40 days, and this year I went at least 3 weeks without doing more than walking the dog. It’s been hard for me to find a happy medium. But recently I had a wake-up call that helped me realize why I need to find a consistent schedule and stick to it.
I worked out almost daily for a few weeks before taking a three-day break and drastically reducing my physical activity while I was at a conference. I figured it would be a good break for my body – and my body decided it was a great time for a migraine. It had been over three weeks since my last migraine, and I don’t think it’s coincidence that those weeks were the most active I’ve been in a while. That week, laying in bed feeling like a shell of myself, I realized that I need to commit to work out for my health. Not in terms of losing weight, or being stronger, or looking better in my clothes – although those are all great side effects – but in order to simply be able to function at all.
If I don’t work out every day, something weird happens in my body. My energy levels tank, I don’t sleep well, and I get headaches. I crave all sorts of junk food. I get cranky. But the minute I wake up and go for a jog, it’s as if I’ve started the day on a new page. The sun seems brighter, I feel fresher and more clear-minded, and my appetite stabilizes (and tends toward wanting healthy food!). In order to be a happy, well-rested, and energetic person, I need to work out.
So how am I going to do this? Well, I’ve written before about finding things that work for you, and I’ve found a few workouts that I love. I’m a huge fan of barre-style workouts, and recently learned to love running, but I think everything should be done in moderation. For now, I think the best method is going to be alternating running with Charm and going to a workout class. I think 3-4 workout classes per week and 3 runs per week is plenty – I need the stretching in barre, yoga, and pilates to get all sorted out after running, and I don’t think I can handle more than three runs per week. On days that I don’t do a formal workout, about once a week, I need to get at least 10,000 steps to be sure I’m staying active.
I also have a few new fitness goals: I want to run a 10K (and eventually a half marathon), and I want to check out some workout classes that are outside my comfort zone. I’ve got my eye on a few boot camp classes, but I need to work into a steady routine before I’ll feel ready to tackle those! My brain has given me the nudge I needed to get things into gear and find a good routine, and hopefully with my revamped low-tyramine diet and this more consistent workout schedule, I’ll be able to manage my headaches for good. It’s been three weeks so far of this routine and I just had a minor headache that I caught early one day, so I think we’re moving in the right direction!