When Exercise Stresses You Out

This article from the NY Times could not have come to my e-mail at a better time. You can check out the full article here. As you guys know, I’ve taken a little bit of time (1.5 weeks) off from exercise, due to a shoulder injury and honestly, just not feeling it anymore. I’ve done a ton of yoga at home in these last few weeks and have taken a few classes at my local studio, but that’s it. Sure, I’ve trained my clients, but that is their workout; not mine. However, last night I got back in the gym for the first time. I took a “power yoga” class and a Zumba class. It was a nice, easy way to ease myself back into a routine. I was dreading going, but I really pushed myself to at least get there, and I ended up having a great time. No strength training or running quite yet, but I’m hoping to incorporate some of that in the next few days. Anyway, now that you know what’s going on with me, let’s talk a little bit about what Gretchen Reynolds says about not loving exercise.

So basically people did research on rats. Long story short, the scientists found out that the rats who were active and partook in exercise at different intervals were significantly less anxious and able to handle stress much better than sedentary rats or those who exercised the exact same every day. I fully understand these are rats, not people, but it’s actually quite interesting to me, because that’s how I feel right now. Sure, I have been in a great mood lately. I have been able to stop and breathe myself through difficult situations and have just felt really open and lean in my body. However, I have been extremely stressed out. I feel like since I’m not exercising I need to be doing something else equally as productive and get upset with myself when I don’t. Yoga has definitely taught me how to relax and work my way through different situations rather than freaking out. I think that if I hadn’t been doing anything these last weeks, I would be in a lot worse place than I am now.

As humans, our bodies crave activity and movement. We were made to be mobile creatures, and denying ourselves of that will ultimately result in some issues. I’m not saying that everyone needs to workout in a gym 5 days a week for 60 minutes at a time and do splits of cardio and strength training, but I am a firm believer that we should all be moving for at least a half hour a day. I think that can come in any form of “exercise,” like walking outside, cleaning the house, stretching, or even going shopping. Our culture has become extremely sedentary, so it’s no wonder that our bodies freak out when we keep them cooped inside all day long, sitting on the couch! Think about a puppy. Are you going to force him to lay in his little bed all day and not run around outside in the yard like you know he’s trying to do? No way!

This quote is interesting to me:

“The study is a useful reminder that exercise is a proven, inexpensive, and non-pharmacological means of combating stress – even, as it turns out, the stress of feeling that you should be exercising.”

That’s definitely something that I need to remember when I have no motivation to get up and do something. I truly do feel better after I do any sort of activity, even just some simple stretching. It’s like my body makes me feel like crap to remind me to get my a$$ up, if that makes sense at all. This whole post has probably made no sense to most of you. I just thought it was ironic how relatable this article is to what I’m going through right now.

So what’s my plan from here on out? Who knows. I want to keep doing yoga. I want to keep exercising. But I’m only going to do movement that I enjoy. I’m done with forcing myself to do something active because I “should.” Why do I have to go on the elliptical for 30 minutes when I could take a Pilates class and have so much more fun? Speaking of, I’m going to try to go to the Mari Winsor Pilates studio in LA next month and hopefully have a Miley sighting….

Anyway, that’s that. Yesterday was good. I’m sick; boo. But I’ll get over it! Today is super, super busy. I will literally be at the gym from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Then I’m trying to make it to a yoga class by 5:45 and hopefully seeing Luke afterwards since I haven’t seen him in, oh 4 days. Cool.

What do you think about the correlation of exercise and stress levels?

Short & Sweet

My day yesterday began at 6 a.m. and I got home at 9:30 p.m. Yeah. Writing this on Tuesday night, I was not in the best of moods. Just a couple quick things to catch ya up:

  • I seriously need to cut down on my TV/computer usage. It’s getting ridiculous. I am limiting myself to 2 hours of TV a day MAX, but I have no idea what to do about constantly being online. Any suggestions?
  • I hate Michigan weather right now with a burning passion.

  • I have 11 cuts on my hands. Yes, I counted.
  • I’m starting to miss working out a little bit. Planning on hitting up a yoga class at the gym tomorrow night and then Zumba right after and seeing how that goes.
  • I still love yoga and don’t plan to cut down on that anytime soon.
  • I ate the most delicious salad ever for lunch yesterday. It was so big that I couldn’t even finish it. That’s rare for me friends. I am definitely a member of the clean plate club.

salad1salad2

  • I love my friends, online and in real life. You guys rock<3
  • I can’t wait to start working from home.

And a quick little workout to end with:

Cardio HIIT, repeat 3x (30-ish minutes)

  • 1 minute high knees, 30 second rest
  • 1 minute side to side lunge, 30 second rest
  • 1 minute static squat with boxing arms, 30 second rest
  • 1 minute skaters, 30 second rest
  • 1 minute mountain climbers, 30 second rest
  • 1 minute butt kicks, 30 second rest
  • 1 minute static squat with upper cuts, 30 second rest

I don’t even have the energy to tell you how to do these exercises right now. All I can get out is to Google it if you’re confused.

Night!<3