The “Better Than Nothing” Mentality
Are you one of the thousands of people in jelly bean detox mode right now?! I saw some pretty spectacular Instagram pictures of espresso creations involving cadbury eggs this year….way to step up your Easter game, baristas! Although I was a little disappointed that they failed to take advantage of the OBVIOUS cutsie name – “EGGSPRESSO.” Hello!
Lately our HIIT workouts or 5am cardio sessions have been far and few between due to the stress and extra challenges that come with moving and relocating. As a personal trainer, I am not going to use these as excuses for slacking in the fitness department; we are responsible for prioritizing fitness and making healthy decisions regardless of our situation. However, in stressful moments I think it is more important to get good quality sleep than cramming in a cardio session. And this is where the “better than nothing” mentality comes in.
A long day of chores and errands and stressful decisions can be mentally exhausting. Sometimes it zaps the energy and motivation to work out – or (if you’re like me) it makes anything with chocolate chips extra irresistible. Stress is an icky thing with countless mental, emotional and physical effects.
When you are REALLY not in the mood to workout, tell yourself than ANYTHING is better than nothing. A walk outside, a yoga video, a quick tabata core workout – even if it’s not the 6 mile run you are used to, there are multiple benefits to whatever short simple exercises you CAN squeeze in:
- Exercise releases the “feel good” hormones and chemicals in your brain to combat the cortisol that is heightened during stressful times.
- Physical activity helps with regulating sleep patterns and regulating the digestive system and blood sugar levels which directly affect your energy levels.
- Exercise and increased oxygen consumption improves focus, concentration, and memory; it also has a positive impact on our mood.
- Other obvious benefits include a decreased risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stress-related diseases.
I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately. This low-intensity steady state cardio isn’t exactly a “calorie crusher” but it’s so nice to be outside seeing the spring scenery and blooming trees, breathing fresh air, feeling peaceful and listening to good music or podcasts. Dawn is one of my favorite times of the day to be outside (that and “golden hour” at dusk). A few fellow bloggers have raved about a couple podcasts, so I listened to “Happier” for a couple miles this morning before being a little more productive for the day.
This weekend included an enormous amount of spring cleaning, with an equally enormous amount of coffee. A friend of mine from college is a Starbucks barista and decided to treat us to a “traditional Starbucks tasting” to break in her new french press. The coffee bean blend apparently pairs well with chocolate, citrus, and honey. Guess which one we chose….
(We had a sample of chocolate-covered almonds & chocolate covered “powerberries” from Trader Joe’s, which are made with acai, blueberry and other berry juices covered in dark chocolate!)
In addition to our french press coffee sample, I also added the new carmalized honey flavor at Starbucks to my iced americano and it is my NEW FAVORITE. I’ve been on Team Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce for a few years now, but I might have to mix it up. I asked for just 2 pumps in a Venti and it was plenty! (<–unintentional rhymes make me happy!)
A fun few days full of visits and “goodbyes” before my move to Idaho included some oreos, some ice cream, and some Easter candy. So we hop back on track with healthy whole foods today! BALANCE, right!?
What is your favorite stress-reliever? (Healthy or not healthy…..because Ben n’ Jerry’s would totally be on the top of my list!)
Posted on March 29, 2016, in Healthy Lifestyle. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
I can totally relate to this post…….after a long stressful day of work, I lack the energy and desire to do a much needed cardio workout. But I agree with you about going for a walk, taking in fresh air, enjoying the sounds of nature and just moving. My unhealthy stress reliever would be dark chocolate or whatever crunchy snack is on hand and catching up on Instagram feeds; my healthy stress reliever would be….iced coffee and maybe some shopping! Next year I expect to see you post a recipe for an Easter “EGGSPRESSO.” :)
Very good advice for those of us who find excuses not to exercise. Every little bit helps. 😃