I wanted ripped abs, flawless skin and a clear mind. To do that, I found four different ways that were meant to be healthy, both physically and mentally, and tried doing each activity for a week. I learned I am now a yoga lover, and I get super tired when I meditate. I also found out that I cannot obtain the abs I want, nor can I clear my mind, in only a week. It’s a trial and error process to find out what activity works best for you, as cliche as that sounds.
Sweating, pounding weights, hurling sandbags and kicking butt. Yes, this sort of thing actually can calm a person down. I played volleyball, killed my legs with squats, deadlifts and lunges, and continued to get wrecked physically. Though hitting the gym was a great way to get me ready for the day, I was rundown by Saturday. My body was tired, my mind was tired, and I found it really difficult to get that last workout in. NOT SO PRO PRO TIP: Utilize the rest day to stretch, do yoga, or just take a casual walk because it’s so important to recoup after pushing your body so hard all week.
Yoga and I have a…complicated relationship. I’m about as flexible as a piece of sheet metal so you can probably guess how good I am at contorting my body. I honestly thought this week was going to be really hard for me. I’m not used to stretching and balance. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how yoga positively impacted my week. My motivation and focus were at an all-time high. I was calm and happy each day. NOT SO PRO PRO TIP: I would listen to a guided audio yoga flow from the fitness app, Aaptiv, after a long run or after a tiring HIIT routine.
Who knew that a week of meditation would be so hard? It was so difficult for me to find even just three minutes out of my day to sit still. My brain did not shut down easily and when it did, I would be asleep. When I finally come up to breathe from my busy schedule, my relaxing consists of reading Fredrik Backman or watching an episode of “New Girl.” I had to force myself to not do anything. However, I’m not saying it didn’t help. When I did successfully sit still, it slowed me down and allowed for a moment of stillness for my racing mind. NOT SO PRO PRO TIP: Try not to meditate in your bed. I ended up falling asleep, which I don’t think is the point…
Mindful Eating Every Day
No, this does not mean counting calories for every meal and no this does not mean cutting out complete food groups. Mindful eating, at least in the way that I did during this week, meant me being conscious of every decision I made when it came to food. I looked up recipes to make for the week, and the process of preparing my food really helped me think through what I was eating and what I was getting out of each meal. I found I was happier and more awake when I opted for the overnight oats with fruit instead of just toast with jelly. NOT SO PRO TIP: Meal planning is everything!