Finding My Balanced Active Lifestyle

Having a balanced active lifestyle has always been a priority for me. Toss in the pandemic and sprinkle in a winter season, my need for movement and exercising has never been greater. (Raise your hand if you can relate!)

Finding that groove and sticking with it wasn't easy. I was putting too much pressure on my exercise schedule and was relying on what my calendar “should” look like, or challenges on Pinterest, or starting on the 1st of the month, or on a Monday. In a sense, I was always looking someone or something to show me where the starting line was. After several trial and errors, I realized that I had to do my own thing. I really embraced that “you do you” mentality and went back to the drawing board.

My Inventory

First, I figured out what was available to me. This was my inventory of positive factors and influences I had around me: equipment, space (indoor and outdoor) and time. Yes, time. I used to worry about how little time I had but my changing the perspective and shedding light on where I COULD block off time for myself, I started to see the opportunities. I then made a list of the actual activities that I could incorporate into my week. Sure, I could go to my favourite spin class and really push myself, but having alternatives, especially when non-essential businesses close, are also important. For me, these were body-weight workouts, walking my favourite trails, mobility routines, and ‘Just Dance’ on the Nintendo Switch (trust me, this is SO much fun and involve a lot of movement). What started off as an inventory of what was available to me then became a pocket-full of activities that supported my need for movement whether it involved sweat or no sweat. Movement is movement.

Make the Starting Line within Reach

Earlier I mentioned that I found it difficult to find my starting line, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone on that one. If you are looking for your starting line, your challenge, your 1st of the month … my best advice is to create one for yourself – tailor made just for you. Here are some of my experiences that helped me create my own starting line for a balanced active lifestyle:

  • Rather than setting a whole month schedule or picking specific days of the week to dedicate to movement, I took it week by week. For example, on Sundays, I would plan my 7 days and commit to what I know is realistic and achievable. Can I dedicate movement 3 times this week? And what do those 3 days of movement look like? No need to worry about the next week or the whole month, just focus on the next 7 days.
  • Knowing that I have a selection of activities to choose from (from my inventory earlier) helped me see through the week better. Setting my week up for 2 body weight workouts, a walk in the forest and some mobility routines made for a more exciting week. Movement that I chose for myself and really looked forward to!
  • Plan ahead for those workout days! It drained my motivation when I’ve gotten into my workout clothes, hyped myself up, only to scroll for 15 min on my phone looking for the right one. By planning ahead, I saved my time and energy that would have otherwise been spent during those awkward 15 minutes and put it towards the actual workout. Set the intention ahead of time.
  • Growing up playing competitive team sports, I always had a coach or trainer to lead me through my workouts. So throughout this journey, I started using the Nike Training App. I had a wide selection of workouts at the palm of my hand and I had the ability to journal my activities. If you’re looking for workouts with demonstrations and without advertisements, try the free Nike Training app (no this is not sponsored).
  • I also made my walks in the forest accountable too! I use the AllTrails app to explore new parts of the city, record my walks and be able to share with friends and learn from other hikers (also not sponsored).

Staying motivated and sticking to a routine can be hard for most. If you’re one of those who struggle keeping to a routine, I hope that you take this as a reminder to take that pressure off. Find what works for you - what is achievable? What is in your inventory of activities? Consistency will follow when you’re having fun!