A Smarter Way of Working Out

A Smarter Way of Working Out!


June 29, 2016

I used to exercise like a total maniac and firmly believed that working out didn't "count" unless I was pushing myself to the brink of death.

I'm not sure how the craziness began but for a long time I believed that exercise was supposed to be agony, and that anything else was wimpy and a waste of time. Whenever I was in an exercise class, or the boxing ring, or even running with a friend, I wanted to be the strongest, the fastest, and most importantly, the one who could endure the most pain.

And when I say I pushed myself to the brink of death, I wasn't kidding. On 2 occasions, I worked out so hard I suffered severe tachycardia in which my heart began spasming out of control. My chest felt like it was going to explode and, as I lay on the floor, I thought for sure I was a dead duck…both times.

Soon after those episodes, I started teaching exercise classes and it was more of the same. I believed that "maximum intensity equals maximum results."  I was known for having the hardest, most feared classes, and I was proud of that.

I used to yell things like "ALL OUT EFFORT!!" and "EVERYTHING YOU GOT!"

I never stopped to ask myself, "Why?" "Why are we working out again?" and certainly not, "What is best for the human body?"

In our quick fix culture, we want the shortest workout that will "burn the most calories". We sit for most of the day, and then go to the gym where we work out as hard as possible for 30-60 minutes, and then return home for a few more hours of sitting. This can't be natural and I feel we need to change our ways. 

I am trying to teach smarter and workout smarter. My classes are still challenging and I believe that we need to push ourselves beyond what is comfortable in order to grow and improve, but we don't need to kill ourselves.

When I go for a run in the woods now, I run at the pace that feels good for me, not the fastest pace I can endure. With my strength, endurance and mobility training I am now playing the long game; working on gradually improving in all 3 areas over the course of the REST OF MY LIFE, not the next month.

I think a better approach to fitness is shifting our focus to self care. We have been given one body, one vehicle that we need to keep running for about 100 years. We need to take care of it, the way we would a car that had to last a lifetime.

One of Whole Foods' slogans about self care is, "Treat your body like it belongs to someone you love".

So, with that in mind, here is the simplest exercise plan I have ever prescribed: 

1. MORE physical activity at a healthy level and pace!

2.. LESS sitting! 

A smarter way of working out.

And that is what I was thinking about today. Have a great night! 

Thank you for reading!

Love, Annie xoxo