Balance In Exercise
There was a time in my life when I would force myself to do intense daily workouts. I would push through with high intensity even when I felt terrible and KNEW my body wasn’t up for it. I had it in my mind that I needed to bust it in the gym every single day to be healthy. What I didn’t realize back then was that habit actually wasn’t healthy at all. Sure, I hit my all-time low weight, but I didn’t feel good doing it. All of the stress on my body from working out this way really started to take a toll. To be honest, it was just overall pretty miserable.
Like everything else in life, exercise is all about BALANCE. I really believe that when it comes to exercise. Your body will tell you what it needs if you just listen to it. There have been days when by body just wants to walk and do restorative yoga, and other days when it is craving to get after a hardcore HIIT class and lift some heavy weights. When you take time to check-in with yourself, body and soul, you will likely find yourself doing a variety of exercises, which is a really good thing!
There are three categories of exercises I want to chat with you about. Below is a breakdown of which workouts they include, and why each is important.
- High Intensity
A high intensity workout is all about getting your heart rate up! Some examples of high intensity workouts include cardio centric exercises like running, biking, rowing, strength training, and HIIT classes. High intensity exercise is important because it keeps your heart in shape and burns fat. It’s good to shoot for this kind of workout a few times a week—but if your body says “no,” hold off. Too much of this kind of exercise, or forcing it when your body isn’t up for it, can actually be harmful to you.
- Low Intensity
A low intensity workout is less about cardio and more about strengthening and lengthening. Some examples of low intensity workouts include barre classes and yoga. I love a heated barre or hot yoga class to add an extra layer of sweaty goodness to a low intensity workout. These workouts are important for mobility, flexibility, and balance. When I’m not feeling a high intensity workout, I like to opt for a low and slow exercise routine to refresh my body and regain energy.
Sometimes restorative exercise gets a bad rep. It can be viewed as “a waste of time” when compared to high and low intensity workouts, but recovery is SO IMPORTANT in your overall exercise routine. Examples of restorative workouts include walking, restorative yoga, and stretching. These workouts are all about giving the body an opportunity to recover, rest and repair – all with some light movin’ and groovin’.
I totally get that we all have different preferences when it comes to exercise. These preferences are based on body types, personalities, energy levels, and fitness goals. While it is great to be consistent and have a favorite way to sweat, consider that the best thing for your long-term health and reaching your goals is to mix up your exercise routine when possible.
I encourage you to try and tune into what your body is telling you and to R-E-S-P-E-C-T its wishes!