How To Create a Balanced Workout Routine
What does a balanced workout routine look like?
Can you picture what a balanced workout routine looks like? In this post, I’m going to reveal how to find a healthy & balanced workout routine. I’m also going to reveal how easy it can be for you to find a well-balanced exercise program that is perfectly suited to you.
Finding a balanced exercise routine has taken me from unhealthy, unfit, overweight, anxious and stressed all the time – to fit, toned, thinner (I’ve lost 40 pounds), healthy and happier.
Over the past year I have been pursuing a healthy balance and have been trying to figure out what “balance” really means.
I have the type of personality that tends to be a bit extreme at times – For example: If I am trying out a new type of diet, I am very focused and disciplined with that new way of eating and living and will not generally sway from it (unless I decide that it’s not working for me). I am the same with almost everything in my life (including exercise and general lifestyle).
This quality of focus and passion is good and does have its advantages, but I have a tendency to be a little obsessive – which can result in serious “unbalance”.
Why do we need balance?
Most people exercise to lose weight and look better – which is important – but I want to see people falling in love with exercise, enjoying it and most importantly benefitting from it!
I am convinced that when you can get to a place of being in love with the exercise that you do, you will benefit from it the most.
It is important to do exercise that correlates with your goals and your body’s needs. It is also important to do the right amount of exercise – no more and no less! It can be so easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of “over exercising” or “under exercising” for many different reasons.
How do we find balance?
A LITTLE BIT OF MY STORY:
From the moment that I started high-school (at age 13), I believed that girl’s needed to be skinny – the skinner the better. I was already skinny but now felt the need to be even skinnier, and so I started to exercise. I would run and cycle most of the time, and as I got older I signed up for a gym membership to do weight training.
The problem was that I did not know what I was doing, and so I was performing the exercises incorrectly. I was pushing myself way beyond what I needed to so that I would remain skinny. As I got older, I naturally picked up weight, and so I went through phases of completely over-exerting myself at the gym with seriously long and intense cardio workouts and weight training. I often spent 2-3 hours at the gym everyday, 6 days a week.
As I have now decided to learn more about effective exercise, I have come to realize that more is not always “more”. Sometimes less is more, it really depends on what your personal goals are. If you are a professional athlete then you need to do a lot more exercise than someone who is not. If you are trying to lose weight (and actually need to lose weight for health reasons, not to be “even skinnier”) then you may need to exercise more than someone who is not trying to lose weight OR you may need to be exercising less. WHAT? HOW? WHY? You can read more about how exercising less is sometimes more effective than long workouts in my post “Exercise Less and Lose More Weight”.
If you are exercising to achieve weight loss, it is important to remember that what you eat will affect your results just as much as the type of exercise that you do and how much you do of it.
Like with my diet and my general lifestyle, I have gone through many different phases with exercise. I have been through many phases where I would only do cardio and often only very long and intense endurance training. Then I started doing high intensity training and believed that any form of endurance training was bad.
I also went through phases where I did not think cardio was important, and so I would only do weight training. But yes, you guessed it, both are equally important.
Strength training is important because it builds lean body mass which helps to burn calories fast (it won’t make you look like a bodybuilder, you can do types of strength training that will make you more slender and petite – It depends on what you do and how you do it.) Cardio is also important for fat-loss, both intensity and endurance training.
FINDING BALANCE + LOVING IT
So the question is “have you found a healthy balance with the exercise that you do?”
I believe that when you find a healthy balance you will be in love with the exercise that you do too, because if something is healthy then it should naturally bring happiness.
There will always be times when you have to push yourself the extra mile (if you are looking to achieve results such as an increased level of fitness or weight loss) and there will be times when the exercise that you are performing will seem effortless.
Exercise is like anything in life. Doing something out of love doesn’t always mean that you will love every moment of it – but it doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t love every moment of it. When you do something out of love, you do it because it will bring positive results and you do it with a positive attitude.
Finding a balanced exercise plan is about discovering your body’s needs, discovering your goals for your body’s health and appearance, understanding what kinds of exercise will be most effective for your goals and performing your workouts with an attitude of positivity and love.
First thing’s first
♥ Always love. Love your body, love yourself, love others and their bodies (no matter what they look like) and love the exercise that you do.
♥ Don’t love the exercise that you do? Then learn to love it! You can read more about this in my blog post “Fall In Love with Exercise”.
Let’s fall in love with exercise
I was having a conversation with a friend recently about exercise and he said something so simple but so profound about his relationship with jogging that it left an impact on me.
It was about his love for jogging and how he has fallen in love with jogging. He said (and I quote) “I have so many amazing memories that I have created while jogging and so every time I jog, it takes me back to all of those incredible moments – and back to those happy places in my mind.”
“I have so many amazing memories that I have created while jogging and so every time I jog, it takes me back to all of those incredible moments – and back to those happy places in my mind.”
He has spent so much time jogging and creating great memories because he jogs out of a place of love. He enjoys every moment of his workout and has a positive mindset.
He also said that it is really easy for him to start jogging because every time his body starts to move in that way, his mind instantly remembers all of the great moments that he has had while jogging.
Now that is what I call “falling in love with exercise” and falling in love with life – which is what finding balance is all about.
» Balance will look different during different seasons in life, but it will reduce stress and anxiety while increasing both health and happiness.
» Balance is all about being open to change, willing to try new things, open to recognising your mistakes, and willing to taking the leaps that will let you pursue the life of your dreams!
» Balance is about doing everything in moderation – sometimes you have to work hard to achieve your dreams in life and to achieve your fitness, diet and health goals, while other times you need to let go, go with the flow and enjoy the ride – because life is a journey and not a destination.
5 STEPS TO A BALANCED WORKOUT ROUTINE
1. What are your fitness related goals? Do you want to lose weight, tone up, get fit or get healthy?
2. What kind of physical activities do you love to do? (Some examples: hiking, bike riding, running, swimming, salsa dancing, going to the gym, kick-boxing, karate, belly dancing, etc.) Find a fitness related activity that you LOVE to do and incorporate this into your workout plan.
3. Keep in mind that it is important to build lean body mass (lean muscle) to achieve any of the goals listed in step one. You do not have to be a body builder or a male to build lean muscle and it does not necessarily mean that you will become “bulky”. Some strength training exercises will leave you looking leaner and more petite (great for ladies), while other exercises can result in you becoming stockier and more muscular- much like a body builder. But do not be afraid of strength training and building lean, healthy muscles! Do strength-training exercises that will get you the results that you desire! TRY MY 5 ESSENTIAL EXERCISES
4. Do some cardio! Intensity training and endurance training are both important and are both good for you! Try a form of exercise that is high intensity (high intensity sprints, tennis, squash, etc.) together with another type of exercise that is endurance related (running, cycling, swimming, etc.) TRY MY EASY 16 MINUTE WORKOUT
5. Find balance and keep it fun! Find a healthy balance between all of the different types of training. Maybe you’ll decide each week to do one type of exercise that helps you to build lean muscle mass, one type of exercise that is related to endurance training and another one that is high intensity training. Maybe you’ll change it up by focusing on endurance training one week and high intensity the next week!
Whatever way you decide to do it, keep it fun, keep it fresh and make sure that you love it – because then you will see the most benefit from it!
I hope that this workout helps you to get fit and to achieve your goals! Liezl Jayne xo
Ps. I’m currently giving away my top 5 exercises for losing weight and getting into better shape – for free over on my blog.
All photographs taken by Ross Charnock for liezljayne.com – Photo’s styled by Liezl Jayne
If not for your writing this topic could be very boring. Thanks for sharing!