Given my recent issues with fibromyalgia, my broken foot in the Spring, and learning to still function through my emotional “slumps,” I thought I’d share what I do that helps keep me feeling good throughout the day. I find now that if I DON’T workout, even if it’s just going for a walk for an hour to get active & moving, any sort of pain/sadness/anxiety worsens throughout the day. So lately I’ve been REALLY making it a priority to focus on what I do before, during, and after my workouts. It’s been a learning process, but I feel like I’ve been able to manage everything really well now and feel good again.
FIRST, I’ve learned that mental well-being is the number one priority to overcoming obstacles. If your emotional state is not happy, your body will absolutely feel it. What I’ve realized is it’s okay to be selfish and do solely what you want in life. I often think people are wired to be selfless and give as much as they can to others; it makes us feel good about ourselves. But you can’t continue to give to others without taking time for yourself. Eventually you run out of giving to give and you break. You HAVE to give to yourself and learn to live a bit more selfishly.
On that note, my choice of “selfish action” is to take the time to eat right and go to the gym! I just neeeed to get out of the house for an hour or two and have “my time.” In turn, this helps my physical well-being!
Before my workout, I almost alwayssss have a banana with something else! Since bananas are simple carbs and are rapidly absorbed by the body, it provides the perfect energy boost for a workout. To go with my banana, I usually have a scoop of cellucor protein powder mixed with a little water to dip the banana in. :) A good balance of protein and carbs. If I am going on a more extended workout or long run of an hour or more, I also add a TBSP of healthy fats (usually a nut butter bc yum) since this is absorbed slowly by the body – the energy provided from it will last through the long workout. I also drink a lot of water! I drink 3-4 cups before my workout and another 3-4 during the workout, at least. If I REALLY can’t find the energy for a workout, I will take C4 preworkout for a boost, but I usually take my lack of energy as a sign to just take it easy for the day instead. If I try to push it, my body just crashes after. Based on how I am feeling as I eat my preworkout meal, I plan my workout for the day and keep it as a note in my phone for easy access. Honestly I get most of my workouts from Instagram. Whenever I see someone post a workout that looks good, I screenshot it and save it for later. Then I browse them later and adjust as needed for what I want to focus on that day. Instagram is awesome for motivation. I used to share my workouts I particularly enjoyed, but I kinda stopped and became more solely a “food page” – sometimes I miss when I’d post them but meh. Let me know if you want to see them still?!
Usually, I workout at a gym rather than outside or elsewhere. My workouts usually go like this – I will sit in the sauna for 5-10 minutes to loosen up my body and kind of review what I want to do while I’m there. Then I warmup with 5-10 minutes on the stairmaster. It gets me warmed up fastttt. I do 40-60 minutes of strength training workouts, then I finish up with 10-30 minutes of some form of cardio. I reeeally switch up the cardio every day or else I get bored EASILY. I like using the spin class bikes most days, but I honestly enjoy everything. Stairmaster, running on the treadmill, the row machine, and sometimes the elliptical. As for the strength training, I do 4 days total of legs, shoulders, bis/tris, and back. That’s about it! I like to keep them more fast-paced with supersets or else my heart rate gets too low and I get bored. On the days I don’t strength train, I do pure cardio just to get moving. Usually these are the days I feel my joints hurting or just need to take it REAL easy by going for a walk for an hour or so. I try to find ways around the fibromyalgia pain and still be active because it truly does help to move in some way. I used to think just walking was pointless but it’s not. Any movement is good movement.
Like my workouts, I have to switch up my music often too! I have so many different apps for music, ha. I like to use Songza, Spotify, and Rock My Run. They have free playlists, and there’s SO MANY of them!! Some days I like rap (leg day), some days I like edm (usually when I cycle!), some days I like metal (running/strength training), and some days I just like radio hits! It’s unpredictable for me, so having all those apps to choose from is really nice. On songza particularly, check out the playlists “The Twerk Tape”, “2015 Summer Dance Party”, and “Bass Workout.” Those are my go-tos lately!!
After my workout I STRETCHstretchstretch!! If not I feel it so badly the next day or even that night. It’s mostly my hips and back that have to get stretched really good. My hip flexors are pathetic. Sometimes if I feel extra sore, I go back in the sauna for 10-15 minutes after my workout. Once I get home, I drink some BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) mixed with water to help with recovery. This makes a huge difference for me. As for food, I’m not sure why but my postworkout meal is always the most exciting for me; I really like to have fun and go all out. I’m sure you’ve seen on Instagram thay I like to make elaborate protein pancake stacks, french toast, protein waffles, and soo much more. I have an absurd amount of recipes for them here. Usually it’s something sweet that I go for! I always make sure to get a good balance of protein and carbs for recovery; I avoid fats postworkout. That’s why protein pancakes + fruit on top is usually a really good option. But honestly I can never predict my postworkout meal (I spy a theme of needing variety in everything I do, haha) – the only predictable aspect is getting protein and carbs. So important!
So I think that’s everything centered around my workouts! Again, this part of my day is what I consider to be the most important part. It is MY time and it increases my clarity, physical well-being, and mental well-being. I get to plan out how to tackle the day and sort out any emotional struggles, too. Make time for yourself and push past any of life’s obstacles. <3
Do you have any workout rituals like this? What’s your favorite post/pre-workout meal? I’d also love to hear of any new music I can listen to during my workouts!!
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