We all want to be healthy and fit, but finding time to work out can sometimes be hard. If you are a mom of young ones, like I am, squatting and bending (with 17 pound baby in arms) to pick up toys all day can be a workout in itself!
Many times we so often loathe the thought of working out because all we can think of when we think of “work out” is the grueling hours spent in a hot smelly gym grinding away on the treadmill or elliptical. Well, I’m about to take a big monkey off your back – that kind of working out is counter productive anyway! Yes, I used to be one of them sweating away for an hour on the treadmill. But, all I felt was tired and hungry (for junk food). Now, don’t get me wrong, cardio is important, but not the type of cardio you were thinking of. What we put in our body is the most important. But, moving and using our body will help us look and feel our best. Our bodies were made to work FOR us – not against us. If we train it in the right way, we can feel great and see results.
Growing up I was outside ALL the time and played basketball, volleyball, and tennis. I couldn’t imagine a time in my life when I would have to work out purposefully because I was getting it through play and sports. When college hit, I realized I wasn’t moving as much as I used to between being holed up studying and not having organized sports to motivate me. I began to run constantly – I did not enjoy this. However, I didn’t feel like I got a good workout in unless I was running and sweating perfusely. I thought the only way to work out was to run. I never really struggled with my body image like some truly do, but at the same time I didn’t feel good about my body either. Sadly, many people including myself until a few years ago do grueling cardio for hours in hopes of “fitness” and attaining the “perfect body” (which by the way doesn’t exist). Fitness and the perfect body each have many different definitions depending on the individual. I think a very practical definition of fitness is being able to do daily activities and feel good while doing them. For example, I love going on walks with my daughter. Fitness for me means being able to go on a 2 or 3 mile walk up the huge mountainous hills where we live. I love being able to help my husband with things around the house, like having the strength to be able to lift heavy boxes or move pieces of furniture.
As for the perfect body, there is not one, there are millions. Our bodies were made unique by God specifically for the individual and He did not mess up. There is no one body type or shape that everyone should be aiming for. Check out this great article by Mark Sisson on Gender Differences in Fat Metabolism. In summary of Mark Sisson’s post, women need more fat on their body for reproductive purposes. What he calls “gluteofemoral” fat (butt and thigh fat) is normal and actually can be a sign of health!
Now, some like my sister, LOVE to run and a 10 mile run is nothing to them. If you are one of these people then you do need more calories and carbohydrates than the average person, but I would say a primal lifestyle is still the best option for you. But, working out does not have to be dreaded or even hard to squeeze in. I’m not a fitness expert, but I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way and what helped change my view of working out.
My body feels its best when I am doing some form of exercise on a regular basis. I love the primal approach to working out (1) because it’s simple and doesn’t require a lot of time and (2) because I’ve seen results!
I will be posting more on working out and some key things I’ve learned in the transformation from tired and weak feeling to full of energy and strong. So stay tuned!
Do you try to fit in work outs? What type of work out do you do?