This post is written by guest blogger Lauren McAulay.
I’ve definitely had my fair share of working out. I grew up playing sports so being active was part of my life. I played soccer up until college and after my soccer days I was conditioned to work my butt off so I continued going to the gym. I started taking hot yoga sculpt classes that kicked my butt and then moved on to ClassPass and only chose classes that left me insanely sweaty and down right exhausted. If I wasn’t dying at the end of my workout, I didn’t consider it a workout at all. Not saying this is a bad thing but it really depends on the mindset you have around working out.
In the last year I heavily got into the body positive movement. I am a Body Love Coach and self-love advocate. Since I promote positive body image, I started having a different mindset around working out as well.
So here you have it. In my opinion, five ways to make your workout count!
1. Move your body with love
You may tell yourself why does this matter? I get my workout in, kick my butt, and get out of there. It doesn’t matter if I’m loving it or hating it. But no, IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! If you are sending signals to your body and telling it that you hate working out, you are suffering, the only reason you are doing it is to burn calories, or just so you can have dessert after dinner; your body knows!
When your body is in a state of hate believe it or not your body is resisting. It’s not shedding the calories, it’s not letting go of the negative energy, it honestly isn’t really doing anything for you. If you are hating yourself or hating your workout you are wasting your time putting yourself through all that suffering. You would benefit 1000x more if you just rested on a yoga mat breathing deeply for an hour. Sending love to your body is a must if you want to make a workout count.
2. Move your body with favoritism
This is when favoritism is actually a positive. The magic of working out is that you get to CHOOSE what you WANT to do. You don’t have to choose a class that makes you run if you hate running, you don’t ever have to step a foot inside a yoga studio if you just don’t enjoy yoga, you can stay away from circuit classes, or Pilates. The beauty is that you get to decide what is your favorite way to move your body!
It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing to do in the entire world is just take a nature walk or a long hike or a restorative yoga class because if you love how you are moving your body that’s all that matters. Your body will react to the love and enjoyment it’s receiving!
3. Move your body with encouragement
When I workout I love listening to audio books that help me grow. It could be a personal or business development book that gets my morning started in a positive direction. When there is encouragement in your mind, your workout is much more enjoyable. You can also make a playlist of songs that make you feel good, happy, motivated…if you love workout classes I would only choose classes that have positive teachers that make you feel inspired! Being encouraged during a workout is absolutely necessary to make it count!
4. Move your body without a time limit
You don’t need to set a time when working out. I used to think that anything less than an hour didn’t count as a workout. How silly right? It doesn’t matter if you can squeeze in a 15-minute at-home workout; it’s still moving your body! I would rather move with the time I had than skip it all together because I couldn’t fit in an hour or more that day. On the flip side over working out is unnecessary. Move your body with the amount of time that makes you feel good!
5. Move your body with self-care
Moving your body with self-care means listening to your body when it needs rest. It’s okay to take a couple of days off if that’s what you need. Don’t feel guilty that if you don’t workout every day you have failed. If you still want to move, it’s okay to take a restorative yoga class or a nice walk. Resting is just as important as moving. We need balance in our life and in our workouts. Self-care will make your workouts count!
The next time you sign up for a class, hit the gym, or go for a run, remember to make your workout count!
With (body) love,
Lauren is the founder of The Body Love Tribe, a Body Love Coach, and self-love advocate. Her goal is to help women love themselves, love their body, and love their food. She is writing her first book, to be finished by December 2016. When Lauren isn’t spreading her passion, she is cuddling her two puppies, Chai and Livie. Visit her blog here.