I got a little off track with the food posts, but it may actually segway quite nicely into my health post. As I mentioned the other day, to really make the most of my year, I want to be sure that I’m feeling balanced and healthy. When those are out of whack in my life, nothing gets accomplished.
Specific health goals have been hard to pinpoint, in part because I’m changing my perspective on how to take care of myself. Plus for the first time I didn’t want to set a monthly mileage goal. I’ve done it for the last four or five years, and I don’t like the guilt I felt for not reaching it for all months (despite the fact that my monthly average was above my individual monthly goal).
The monthly mileage goal also seems somewhat limiting. While I was reading a magazine a few weeks ago I came across a quote that really struck me: “Your goal should be to live a broader, more holistically active lifestyle.”
My current fitness routine is not holistic in the least. It’s all based on cardio (gotta log those miles…), and while the physical activity is great, I’m missing out on a lot of other opportunities that are equally good for me. It would probably do me a lot of good to start incorporating yoga and strength training, as an example. My joints could use the attention and care, especially if I plan to stick with running (the sisters have talked me into training for a 10K on a TBD date…).
I’ve also gotten a big eye-opener in the last week about my “active lifestyle” (granted, the weather and holiday season hasn’t helped my level of activity). I’ll be honest, I often feel really confident about the fact that I work out 4-5 times a week. Turns out, though, outside of those 30-60 minutes I’m not as active as I should be.
That’s where my Fitbit comes in handy. I love this little gem! And that’s what’s really caused my change in perspective. It was disheartening to see how many steps I had at the end of my first day back at the office and during the snow day on Sunday. Sitting at a computer for 8+ hours a day is not going to be cancelled out by just 60 minutes of Zumba. That absolutely needs to change (so I’m now becoming the girl who does laps around the board room to get in extra steps).
All of my activity, however, is largely influenced by my sleep. And that, my friends, definitely needs some work. I’m the girl that lives on caffeine (she types as she sips on a Diet Coke…). I’m also pretty accustomed to cutting sleep short in order to get in an early morning workout or stay up late working on my to-do list. It didn’t seem like a big deal.
Then I got the Fitbit. I’ve used it for a week and just this morning got a report-out of my week. It’s one thing to know you’re not getting enough quality sleep, and it’s another to actually see it (I am a data girl, after all). My average sleep time is just under seven hours (and keep in mind it’s only included one work day where I had to be up by 6 a.m.), and I’m usually disrupted half a dozen times at least during that time.
If that’s me when I’ve got time off and no real schedule to keep, that’s scary. I’m a little nervous about what the next few weeks could show if I don’t get my act together.
That’s where balance is going to play a role (told you they were inter-related!). I need to stop forfeiting sleep in lieu of a spinning class or crossing one more item off my to-do list. And I need to have more self-discipline to cut back on caffeine and spend less time lollygagging before bed.
These aspirations are a bit more concrete and measurable compared to my balance goals, but it’s still hard to really implement to make sure it’s effective. Plus I don’t want to take on more than I can chew. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem to be rocket science: vary my workouts, move more while I’m at my computer, cut caffeine and get more sleep.
So that’s what I shall try to do.
I’ll see how the first month goes without my mileage goal. I may find that I need it to hold me accountable at least in terms of cardio, and if that’s the case, I’ll make adjustments. But right now I want my focus on health to be more than just about logging miles at the gym. I need to make sure I’m giving my body what it needs, whether that be sleep or more relaxing activities that stretch out my tired muscles. After all, I’m focusing on me this year!