My Top 3 Cardinal Rules for Exercise
I want to share some of my cardinal rules when it comes to exercise!
Even before I began my career as a Peloton instructor, I’ve always been passionate about fitness. Working out makes me feel great, physically and mentally. Seeing my own progress is empowering. I’m also human and an exhausted mom of three little boys…there are definitely days when I really don’t want to get off the couch and sweat it out. But I always know I’m just one workout away from a good mood, and it is always worth it. I have three simple rules I follow to keep me motivated:
Take Rest Days
Some days I actually do stay on the couch – well kind of. More realistically, I’m chasing the kids around or catching up on work. Regardless, I don’t do an intense workout. I schedule one rest day a week. Sometimes I’ll do a restorative yoga practice or a little foam rolling, for my own relaxation, but I avoid anything too strenuous.
Rest days are essential for reaching fitness goals. They prevent burnout, exhaustion, and boredom from high-energy workouts every day. Rest days are also important to give your muscles the break they need to heal. These days off are vital for muscle growth as well as a mental boost.
Do Something You Love
I will never do a workout that I don’t genuinely want to do. If an activity doesn’t lift my spirits and challenge me in an exciting way, then I avoid it. Over the years I have found that I enjoy a workout significantly more when it’s fun. For me, that’s usually some sort of Pilates or yoga. I also love a good sweat on the bike or a run, but not nearly as much as stretching or concentrated core work. I schedule my yoga or Pilates after my cardio so I have something to really look forward to. I also know that if my body is warmed up, my yoga and Pilates practice is that much better.
You might have to experiment with a few forms of exercise to find what really resonates with you. And remember just because I say I want to do something fun, doesn’t mean it’s also not hard. But it’s pushing through those intense moments and coming out stronger that makes it even more rewarding. I have super challenging days on my yoga mat and those are usually the ones I grow from the most.
Remember Why You’re Doing This
Reminding myself WHY I’m staying active and keeping fit makes all the difference in the world. I approach this from a couple of different mindsets: goals and gratitude.
Reaching my goals is a big part of my “why” when it comes to fitness. Right now, my big goal is general – I want to feel good and live a long, happy, and healthy life. On a smaller level, my goals are focused on running longer, cycling stronger, nailing my press up to handstand, and keeping my diastasis healed – I’m always looking to improve.
The other half of my “why” is centered around gratefulness. I move my body because I can. I nourish and take care of my body because I have a body to take care of. I have a family that I adore and I want to be able to live a full life with them. I am so grateful to be in a position where I can access fitness regimes and nutrition so I can take care of myself and share my knowledge with all of you.
Fitness is an important part of my lifestyle and I encourage everyone to be active. Moving your body is a great way to stay healthy. In order to avoid burnout, I suggest creating your own set of guidelines to follow. Or, feel free to borrow my rules!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!