Get Into the Groove
I am the weirdo who loves to exercise. My body requires me to be active on the daily, whether it is walking to work, taking a spin class or even just lifting some weights, on the days that I don't hit the gym my body doesn't feel like itself. For years I believed that to be 'healthy' or 'fit' you needed to go to the gym daily, 40 mins on a cardio machine and then weights every other day. While I was fit at the point in my life, I was also always somewhat stressed out about going to the gym. I was always trying to adjust my workout into my busy schedule and never felt there were enough hours in the day to get everything done. I was slowly becoming that friend who blew off plans to hit the track or was crushing a workout at 10 pm because they needed to get in precious gym time.
Then I got hit in the head with an arrow playing archery tag and suffered a pretty nasty concussion killing all gym activities for three months. When the doctor told me I'd have to cool it on the running, spinning and weight lifting, I had a mini-crisis. I loved the gym, I needed the gym, I HAD to work out daily. Those first few weeks were tough on me. I remember trying to do a yoga class only having to leave after 10 minutes learning that concussions and headstands should not mix.
Then I began walking, and something clicked. I didn't need to go to the gym to stay active. There were other ways I could workout without having a full-on workout. While I was off work recovering, I decided to start walking every day. At first I was going a couple of blocks and minding my body, but eventually, I began walking everywhere. Walking then turned into other outdoor activities once I started feeling better, I joined a soccer team, bought a bike and went for rides and found exercise outside of hitting the gym or doing a 10K run. I challenged myself to move.
Now, I am a voracious walker. I walk around 80 minutes daily (40 minutes to and from work), when the weather is nice, we break out our bikes and ride along the waterfront and take part in pickup sports. While I still hit the gym frequently (I like to average four times a week with spinning and yoga classes in between) if I don't make it one day I no longer feel guilty. In the end, it's about finding what works for you and your body. I have friends who have never gone to an actual gym but do boot camps on the regular because it works within their lifestyle. While I will never give up my precious gym membership, I have alternatives and now know what works for my body.