Over the years, I am sure you have heard people recommend what other people like, what others people use, what other people do, etc. We live in a world of comparison and a world of “I know best.” I grew up watching aerobic workout videos I tried to complete to stay fit, only to get frustrated because I couldn’t catch on to some of the moves and I couldn’t see a difference with the workouts. Why were the people in the video looking very different to me? As I got older, I tried running only to have major knee issues. I spent lots of money on gym membership fees and spent hours and hours on the elliptical. I was eating better and invested the time, but it did not give me the results I desired. I was frustrated but I did not toss in the flag.
Your best is not their best. What is best for someone else may not be as helpful for you. We are uniquely designed and we all have skills, gifts, interests, genes, schedules, a history, etc. The key is not to get stuck in the frustration and give up. Get to know your body. What does your body say to you? What works? What doesn’t work? Try different things and listen to your body. Give yourself the respect to seek out what is in your best interest. Your friend lost a lot on the Keto diet, but it might not be your cup of tea. Your boss regained energy from morning runs, but you might not like running. Your cousin does HIIT but you cannot keep up. Your success can come your way. What other way is there?
My Way: What has helped me most is traditional strength lifting, functional strength training, and exercise bands. Additionally, I have a subscription to Apple Fitness Plus for a wide range of helpful workouts. I am active daily. I walk my dogs, even carrying my one dog on my back in a Little Chonk backpack when she tires out. Though the dog walking is a slow speed and likely doesn’t put a dent into the exercise I need, carrying my dog adds some weight training to the walk on the way home.
The traditional weight lifting allows me to use weights I have in my living room and easy access to this equipment is a good thing. I can do reps while waiting for dinner to finish, during a work break (I work from home), during work (I love to multitask), or early in the day. Though some people may need to have a fixed schedule for workouts, what works for me is listening to my body. My body lets me know if a day is not good for weights or some other exercise and I listen. Giving yourself grace is important. The functional weight training is nice because you don’t need equipment. This allows me to use my body weight to work in my favor. At times, I will be working and doing squats at my standing desk. This is some beneficial multitasking. The exercise bands are a great addition for me because I have issues with my knees, hips, and pelvis. The bands allow me to exercise in a more controlled manner so I’m less likely to suffer injury. Finally, when it comes to Apple Fitness Plus, I usually do the Strength Training, with some Core Training or HIIT training sprinkled in. It is nice to hear from the trainers as it makes me feel as if the time passes faster, plus I get helpful demonstrations of new moves that I can incorporate into my personal workouts. Betina and Kim are my favorite trainers!
Notice a common theme with my exercise habits. These are things that work for me. They work for my schedule. They work for my body — my level of fitness, my level of health, my level of ability. Perhaps none of this would work for you but that is okay. It took me time to figure out what helped me to get more energy, to get stronger, and to be a better me. As I live my second half best half life, one of the key things I do is listen to my body. Remember, your best is not their best. Listen to what your body says, get out of the comfort zone and seek out opportunities to try new things, and find what works for you as well as what you enjoy. Healthy living can be fun. Yes, I’m serious. You got this!