Less is More
Monday, March 27, 2017
My task today in the Plateau Busting challenge is to write a blog post reflecting on my current exercise schedule and to determine if there are changes that could be beneficial. It's interesting because it's something I've done recently. When I set out to get healthy and lose weight about four years ago, I started with diet alone. I quickly realized I needed to add exercise if I was really going to make a difference.
I started with gentle indoor walking DVD workouts that were no more than 30 minutes. I felt the need to do more after a few weeks and I happened to run across Jessica Smith. I used her YouTube workouts and DVDs to branch out into other types of cardio, HIIT, strength training, Barre, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, and more. I was still doing about 30 minutes a day. Eventually I got a fitness tracker and started trying to meet a step goal each day so my workout time increased to 45 minutes to an hour each day, seven days a week.
I found that I really enjoyed yoga so I started doing YouTube yoga with Adriene Mishler each day. Now my workouts were ranging from 60-90 minutes. Finally, I felt that Pilates was helping so much that I added daily workouts with Robin Long of the Balanced Life Sisterhood. It was tough to get all this in in 90 minutes so I ended up doing nearly 2 hours each day. In addition, I stayed sore and starving all the time!
I felt it was definitely time to reevaluate my workout plan and change it to be more beneficial. The first thing I did was to stop letting the fitness tracker rule my life. Instead of doing more formal walking videos each day before doing any other type of workout, I decided to get my steps in throughout the day by just moving around the house more. It's a much healthier strategy, anyway. I have planned my workouts for a couple of years so I make sure I have a good balance of workouts during the week so now I am planning for about 60 minutes a day to include either cardio or strength training plus yoga and Pilates. I still work out seven days a week but Sundays are just gentle stretching, recovery routines, and yoga. The other six days I alternate cardio and strength so I do three days of each.
I have seen so many benefits from scaling back. I look forward to working out again, I don't stay sore all the time, I still get in my steps, my appetite is controllable, and the weight has started dropping off again. I'm so much happier with my workout program now.
I will continue to reevaluate my program to see if there's a need to cut it back even more but, for now, it's working for me. Who would have thought that less is more?