Hi all! I hope you have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to a fun-filled weekend. After traveling most of last week, I have spent this week getting caught up on work, school, and life. It seems that around this time every year, things start piling up and my to-do list is never ending. I wanted to take a quick minute to talk to you today about how I work hard to prioritize my health during the crazy times and how I have finally found my workout rhythm.
A Little Background-
When I was accepted into the dietetics program at Utah State University, I knew that I would be one busy gal. I would be juggling a 1200 hundred hour internship, full class load (they weren’t easy classes either…think organic chemistry and medical nutrition therapy), and my job as a nutrition educator. On top of that, I was a newlywed learning how to strike a balance between my personal life, school life, and work life.
I’ve always loved being active and had created a habit of engaging in regular physical activity. It’s really easy to let healthy habits fall to the wayside when the craziness of life ramps up, but I knew the physical and mental benefits of exercise and vowed to keep my health a priority. I’m still amazed by how much of a stress relief and outlet physical activity became for me.
I kept running into one little problem with exercise. . . I just LOVED it all and couldn’t seem to find a way to fit it all in. While sticking with just one type of activity might work from some people, I have found that I feel my best when I have a good mix of cardio, strength, and flexibility training. I also like to vary my workouts to prevent boredom and overuse injuries. It’s taken me quite a while, but I think I have finally hit my rhythm, where I feel that I am able to fit in a good variety of workouts each week.
My workout routine consists of weight lifting, running, HIIT workouts, and some yoga or flexibility training thrown in there. These are the types of physical activity that get me up and out of bed in the morning and make me feel my best. Because Utah winters are mostly snowy and cold, I tend to increase my strength training in the winter and then run more in the summertime. I have just begun the transition from winter strength training to summer running.
Here is what my current exercise formula looks like:
3 days of strength training
3 days of running
1 crossfit/HIIT workout (modified for my conventional gym)
Light stretching and foam rolling (I don’t have access to yoga classes right now, but hopefully that changes soon!)
This winter, I was doing 4 days of weight lifting and only enough cardio to keep my baseline. I loved the program that I was on, but after 12 weeks knew it was time to change things up.
I am now following a lifting routine called Body for Life. Both my husband and I have done this program before and really enjoy it. The routine is an upper body/lower body split. This means that one week, I will complete 1 upper body session and 2 lower body sessions. The next week I will reverse it and complete 2 upper body sessions and 1 lower body session. You can find more information on this specific program here.
Let me be honest for a minute, I love running but have never really run any races. Sometimes I wonder what I am training for since I don’t have any half-marathons or marathons on the agenda. I tell myself “I’m training for life”! I run for a healthy heart, muscular endurance, and for the joy of it.
I hope to change my “no races” mode this summer and have plans to sign up for a half-marathon out in California. Josh and I are also going to be running a Spartan race this summer because we like that sort of thing and have a blast training together.
My running schedule is pretty straight-forward. I alternate running and lifting days and include one speed run/tempo run, one medium length run (4-5 miles), and one longer run (6-7 miles). Speed work is fairly new to me, but I have set a goal to become a stronger (mentally and physically) runner and believe that speed work is going to make this happen.
I can definitely feel a difference in my functional (day-to-day) fitness when I incorporate a HIIT (high intensity interval training) or Crossfit style workout into my week.
Because they are shorter workouts (15-20 minutes), I usually just add one session after I complete one of my upper body days. My gym is a little limited, so I have to get a little creative and be okay modifying the more traditional Crossfit style workouts.
I completed the workout below as my HIIT session this week. It was too good not to share!
Stretching is so important and I know that I do not take it as seriously as I should. It is something that I have been working on and have gotten better at stretching and foam rolling a few times a week.
I used to attend yoga 1-2 times a week at my local gym, but I didn’t have access to any classes when I switched to a different gym. I was super bummed about this and could definitely tell a difference in the tightness of my hips when I wasn’t doing yoga regularly. My goal is to find a gym when I move (in less than a month!!) that offers yoga classes.
Have you found your workout rhythm?
What are your favorite workouts?
Live Happy. Live Healthy.
Every individual is unique and has specific needs. Before starting a new exercise routine, be sure to talk to your doctor and then reach out to either me or a personal trainer in your area for individualized coaching.