Not even a year ago you could find me running miles and miles on the treadmill or down all the streets of my neighborhood. Unsurprisingly, my focus was on cardio, cardio and *shocker* more cardio. As my fitness goals began to evolve, I still continued those similar patterns of excessive cardio without really understanding the impacts. I couldn’t get it out of my head that for whatever reason cardio was the key to my fitness goals. Spoiler– It wasn’t. What I did find was that the excessive amounts of cardio and lack of replenishment actually hindered my results. I accepted that the only way I could gain muscle and to feel balance with my body was to cut out such insane amounts of cardio and more importantly EAT.
Now don’t get me wrong, I for whatever reason LOVE running and spinning and workouts that have me breathing heavy. Cardio is one of my favorite ways to destress and I really couldn’t see myself cutting it out of my routine completely. I still continue to take long runs and to sweat it out at spin, but it’s not about the calories anymore and eating after one of those tough workouts is e-s-s-e-n-t-i-a-l.
Letting go of your loyalty to the treadmill for your source of cardio opens your world to such exciting additions to your fitness. Having access to the rec center at school,I’ve had the opportunity to try the most kickass spin & body classes, sweaty boot camps and enduring power yoga sessions. Not only has freeing myself from the obligatory hour run everyday given me the chance to try new classes, it has allowed me to focus on my strength. By incorporating less cardio and more weight I’ve seen results showing in just weeks. Results that I didn’t see in over 2 years of running every single day. And of course fueling my body with the adequate amount of nutrients was a HUGE factor.
When you continue to push your body in the same direction time and time again, it can become second nature to your muscles. Trying these classes is a way to learn something new and to keep my body on its toes.
Take charge of your workout and make it about feeling strong and powerful. Don’t settle for the same boring workout every time you step foot in the gym. Try something new. Pick up that heavier dumbbell. Try that exercise you always wanted to even if you look awkward doing it. Take that class that’s always intimidated you. If you don’t challenge yourself to new things, you’ll never grow physically or mentally. Whatever your fitness goal may be, stay focused on how you feel, not just how you look. Listen to your body & make the best decisions for your health and your fitness.