I get asked a lot, “what does your fitness routine look like?” Well, I have a general idea now, but nothing nearly as structured as you’d think. My outlook on fitness has changed completely over the past year and a half as a personal trainer. Instead of worrying about burning the most calories possible, I focus on living actively. The more time I spend off the couch the better, whether it’s a workout, walking my dog, windsurfing, golfing, or stand up paddling.
Before moving to Maui, I was all about planning out my workouts for the week, month, even year. I had so many goals for myself that I set a strict plan that involved a lot of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and progressive LISS (low-intensity steady state exercise). I was getting to the point of four+ HIIT days a week, and 45-60 minutes of LISS every other day. I was burnt out and sick of spending an hour and a half a day working out. Fitness became punishment and I was so focused on getting stronger, faster, and leaner that I didn’t even realize it. I would spend hours working out, then sit exhausted on the couch for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, I also see this happen a lot with clients, friends, and family.
I am definitely not oblivious to the fact that living in Maui and not spending time at an office job makes living actively easier for me. However, there are changes you can make no matter where you live. Use your weekends and time off for new experiences, rather than the same routine. Spend your time learning yoga on YouTube, or trying out a new workout class that you’ve heard about. Go to a museum or farmers market. Even if it has nothing to do with fitness, it will lead you to learn to break your routine and move more. More importantly, don’t think of your fitness routine as an hour a day, because that leaves out the other 23 hours.
I believe that your routine shouldn’t be strict, but this is not to say I don’t believe in goal setting. If you are passionate about seeing strength gains or improving your 5k time, formulate a plan. But if you are focusing on improving your strength, for example, don’t do HIIT on your other days to try and torch thousands of calories because you will get burnt out.
So keep on working out and setting goals, but stop being so serious about it. Enjoy your life and what your body allows you to do because you are lucky to have the freedom to move!