Today, April 1st, marks one year of working out every single day for me. This is not an April’s fools joke. It’s real! I’ve learned some things along the way, so let’s jump into today’s post: I worked out every day for a year & here is what I learned.
I Worked Out Every Day for a Year & Here is What I Learned
First, let’s define working out. Rather, let’s redefine it. I titled this post ‘I worked out every day for year.’ However, it would be better titled as ‘I intentionally moved my body every day for a year.’ I wanted to start with this disclaimer, because it’s important. It’s also one of the things I learned this year & what I’ll jump off with in terms of lessons.
- Intentional Movement is a healthier frame of mind. Sure, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same way as saying ‘working out’, but redefining what you consider or count as a workout as important. I set out to do intentional movement each day for a year. What does this mean? It means I carved out time in my day for me to move my body. This may be a 1 mile walk outside. It could be a 10 minute arm workout. It may be an hour long yoga flow or a 45 minute zoom workout class or 30 minutes of dance cardio. It’s okay that each day looked different, because what was consistent was that I made tim to move my body each day.
- Beneficial movement is not defined by time or type. I used to think that a workout had to be an hour long to count. Or it had to include cardio. Or I had to be sweaty after. Or even all of the above. A workout, or rather intentional movement, is beneficial to you regardless of the length, how sweaty (or not) you are after, or what type of workout it is. If you make time for yourself, ANY amount of time, to move your body in ANY way, that is beneficial. It creates consistency & routine. It prioritizes you & your health– both mental & physical. Do not think that you have to have a certain amount of time to dedicate towards a workout for it to be good for you.
- Consistency is key. I had an ‘all or nothing’ type attitude in the past. I have learned that being consistent & moving my body (usually first thing) each day brings lasting results, both physically & mentally. I first heard of the daily movement concept when spending a summer in Brazil. Some friends we met there said they made time to move every day just like we make time to brush our teeth. I loved this perspective! It took me awhile to actually implement it, but now that I have, it is just a part of my routine. If you schedule your movement in your calendar like anything else or plan for it just like you do eating a meal or taking a bath, you’ll get it done.
- You have to find movement you love. Did you know that some workouts may raise your cortisol & it may actually not benefit you like you would expect? This will vary for everyone based on preference. However, if you are consistently dreading a workout, find something you enjoy. For me, I love going for walks outside with my dogs. If the weather isn’t good, I won’t go because I don’t like being cold & I am not going to walk in the rain & then I won’t enjoy it. I also love yoga, pilates, & dance cardio. Some days I crave a more fast paced workout (particularly before I was pregnant) so I will do those on other days. Listening to your mind & body to find movement that you love will allow you to look forward to it & do it more consistently.
- There is always time. I know, I know. You’re sooo busy! We all are. However, I’m here to tell you there is always time. You can find ten minutes for yourself. When I worked a full time job in addition to running my blog before I quit, I would wake up a 5:00 on days I wanted to workout (this was before I learned the power of consistency in daily movement). While you’re waiting for the water to boil throw on an arm workout. Taking a call? Go walk around the block while you are on it. Watching TV? Do a quick little lying down sideline leg series. You can make the time! I’ve found time in the midst of working two full time jobs, when traveling, hungover on a bachelorette party, & during my first trimester of pregnancy when I was so nauseous & I tired I could barely write an e-mail (a lot of 10 minute body weight only arm workouts happened from the couch then). Make the time. You deserve it!
I honestly feel like I could go on & on with the mindset shift I’ve had since making this commitment. However, I’ll leave you with the top five things I learned above & we can chat more about it down the road. I am so proud of myself for sticking to this goal! Even after baby comes, when I am not cleared to move my body really, I plan to take time to even meditate for 10-15 minutes a day to ensure I have that time carved out for myself. When I can take short walks around the block I will do that, too! It’s all about committing to yourself. I’ve shown up as a better version of myself in all aspects of life because of this commitment & definitely want to keep it going.
When I started out, I wanted to make it two weeks, then one month, then six weeks & it grew from there. I can’t wait to see how long I keep it going now. If you have done a similar challenge or feel inspired to do one of any length after this post I’d love to hear about it! For more info on some of my favorite workouts check out my reviews on: Melissa Wood Health, The Sculpt Society, & P.Volve. Also, check out my post on 9 Reasons to Workout First Thing in the Morning.
My outfit in these photos is linked below & click here to shop some of my other current activewear favs. XO