Found an article on Vox that talks about the equal emphasis given to diet and exercise in weight loss. It made me think of Whole30 – as well as our Paleo adventure from days gone by – and the results we saw, despite virtually no addition of exercise.
Don’t get me wrong, here. Moving around is great and I absolutely advocate activity. The thing is, there doesn’t seem to be much strong evidence for running yourself into the ground (literally, in some cases) for minor improvements in body composition. The Fella and I have always struggled with trying to find a sustainable solution to reach our fitness goals, and this article has lit up my lightbulb.
We don’t have to find a thing, so long as we do something. It’s vastly more important to keep on plan (I need to improve my saving throw vs. scones) than it is to make sure we fit in a yoga practice every single day. In essence, I think we’re going to play the exercise thing a little more by ear – sort of a ‘do it when you need to’ kind of deal.
While we were on Whole30, there were a few days when I absolutely had to exercise; my solution for this was a short run on the treadmill. At first I was just listening to my body’s exercise cravings, and it was dandy. Then it seemed to form a pattern, so I figured why not try sticking to that. The very moment running became an obligation, planned and scheduled, I stopped. As important as I think it is to get some movement into one’s day, I just refuse to be tied down and told what to do.
My proposal is this: try to stay tuned in to bodily demands enough to stretch or lift or run as needed, but do not try to regulate or schedule. If I do a seven minute workout three days in a row, that doesn’t mean I have to keep going on the daily indefinitely. Also, keep goals fitness-based, or mood-based, but never shape-based. Even building muscle needs fat loss to be noticeable, and that’s going to be more about diet than reps. I’d much rather be more comfortable and confident in my body’s ability than pushing myself to sweaty exhaustion in pursuit what might well be unattainable.