Rediscovering a Healthy Habit

February 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hike

Hiking in Wyoming

January was my first month back at early morning (5:15am early) Boot Camp sessions at Pulse in Newport after 4 months off.

Why did I take a break?  This is a good question if you understand how much of a fitness nut I am.

Exercising has always been part of my identity.  I was never someone who lacked motivation to get my body moving.  For me, working out influenced how active I was in all areas of my  life.  When I challenged myself physically, I did so personally and professionally.

During college, I can recall writing papers in my head with going for a run or having a “genius” idea hit me while jogging.

We know that exercise is good for us, but, personally, I’ve found that I can tend to add in too much activity. A swollen knee is the body part that got my attention back in September.  After a trip to the ER I was feeling fearful that my fun-filled 14-day vacation to the UK that included hiking plans in the Lake District and Highlands could potentially by comprised.

But, I actually surprised myself as I was able to let go of trying to control a situation I couldn’t change.  Surrendering and SLOWING DOWN, I began to see the opportunity in this minor set back.

Re-learning a few lessons…

  • Listen to your body when it’s talking to you: symptoms are the body’s way of telling us something isn’t right, that there’s an imbalance somewhere. If we ignore these signs, they’ll get our attention in another, even less desirable way.
  • Even “healthy” habits can be detrimental if they are not reassessed as serving you in the moment.
  • Routine and repetition are great strategies for sticking with a healthy behavior or habit.  But, they can also become so habitual that we forget to question if they are still in fact serving us in the best way possible.  It’s not the routine we need to necessarily reinvent, but rather tweak it so that it supports who and where we are today.
  • When you step back and let go of a familiar habit, you will make space for something new to open up.  Letting go of my attachment to this familiarity in my routine, allowed me to enjoy different forms of exercise such as hiking and simple stretching.
  • Slowing down physically influences slowing down mentally.  This may seem counterintuitive, but in doing so, I found myself more productive and in the flow.
  • Injuries are a reminder to appreciate your body and focus more on what you can do, rather than the small limitation.  My workout routines this year have felt more energizing and nourishing and less of a necessity, after taking a break.
  • Leaving something behind for a while, reminds you of all that you love about it.

I believe that in challenge ourselves physically, we grow stronger mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  We also find a deeper source of confidence, clarity, and drive in all aspects of our life. But, I think we can also push too hard making the “healthy habit” become less than nourishing.  I’ve found that for myself, an exercise routine that is balanced and sustainable is key.

Do you have any habits, good or bad, that can be reassessed?

xo,
Lynn

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