The Benefits of Taking an
Extended Break From Exercise

November 6, 2017

It's Monday (woof) but it's already shaping up to be a good week because I'm back to blogging and I'm back in the gym! Somebody stop me. ;)

In case you're wondering why there have been zero Instastories from the inside of a gym, (I know you've missed them!) it's for a very simple reason: LIFE. Okay okay, maybe I need to stop using the I-just-moved-and-I'm-too-stressed-to-function excuse because I'm definitely settled and happy as a clam.

The biggest reason for not working out is that I didn't have a gym membership yet... and the current one I did have ignored all my correspondence to cancel said membership so I was paying for a gym I couldn't use. I was a little salty and didn't want to pay for 2 gym memberships. (And I'm not exactly crazy about home workouts, clearly.)

Naturally Me, Taking A Break from Exercise, Target Activewear, Activewear Outfit for Fall

Naturally Me, Taking A Break from Exercise, Target Activewear, Activewear Outfit for Fall

Long story short, I decided to enjoy some time off from working out. Even though there were moments I missed it dearly, I realized it's perfectly okay to need a break from exercising - longer than a day or two. I've now dusted off my Nike's and I'm back in the gym, adjusting to a much smaller facility than what I'm used to (miss ya, Gold's) but thankful I took an exercise reset. It was something I didn't know I needed.

You may think I'm crazy, but here's why taking an extended break from exercise can actually help you.

1. It helps avoid burnout

Burnout is real. I'm sure it'd be tough to find anyone who hasn't experienced it in some form, whether from work or working out. Even before moving back home, I've felt burnt out from a series of too many daily workouts and not enough rest days. Burnout can make you feel drained, which can lead to poor workout form, and increased risk for injuries.

2. You realize how important a healthy lifestyle is to you

I'm a creature of habit in anything I do, so when my daily routine didn't include the gym, I was reminded pretty quickly how important it is to me. It's my form of meditation. When I was unpacking, I found my workout notebook where I recorded PR's and really missed those days. This time off has been great, but I've also found myself craving a good sweat session. Reset time is over, I'm comin' back stronger!

3. You feel inspired to try new workouts

I've still been keeping up on podcasts and reading my favorite health and fitness websites for workout inspiration. That part of my daily routine hasn't changed and it's made me even more inspired to incorporate more exercises into my routine. Plus, last week, I found Pure Barre and Orange Theory Fitness just a few minutes down the road from my office. I definitely plan to try a workout or two there to keep my body guessing. (Bonus: your first OTF workout is free, along with these other first time workouts!)

4. You reexamine your goals

Are your previous goals still relevant? Has your outlook on fitness shifted? Are you interested in classes, a personal trainer, or a different workout style? As life evolves, so do we and goals we once had may not be important to us anymore. Even though I'm not totally starting over, I am kind of beginning a new fitness chapter. One that may or may not include doing a competition. The jury is still out on my new goals, but I'll keep yinz updated!

Naturally Me, Taking A Break from Exercise, Target Activewear, Activewear Outfit for Fall, Stretching

So, #FitFam, I'm not saying to put away the sneakers and foam rollers just yet, but if you find yourself at a point in your life like me where you need to press pause, it's okay. Just don't make it last forever. If you're curious about how I have gotten back on track after a long workout break, stop by the blog on Thursday! ;)

Have you ever taken an extended exercise break? How did it benefit you?

Photos by Rosa Loves DC

Life Lately, Vol. 4

October 16, 2017

Life has a (not so) funny way of falling apart so bigger and better things can fall into place.

I've been wanting to write this post since I moved out of Maryland for good, but between settling in and starting a new job, that wasn't at the top of my list. After all, life happens and more important things deserve as much focus and energy as possible.

Honestly, though, being busy wasn't all of it. I realized part of me was putting this post off because I haven't wanted to sit down and sort through all my thoughts and feelings. In a nutshell, this last month has been a rough road.

So, how did it all start? With heartbreak. I didn't see the breakup coming and, when you live together in preparation for the future, it's an even harder pill to swallow. Over three years together and still today I have no explanation. No closure. (Though looking back, I saw some writing on the wall, shall we say.)

Through all of that, I realized something: I wanted to move back home to Pennsylvania.

Then I realized it has been something I wanted to do for a few years. Years! But I figured the longer I stayed in Maryland, the more I'd grow out of feeling like I needed to move home. Never mind the fact that anytime I'd drive home to visit, I'd cry as I left to drive back to Maryland. Or when I talked to my Mom every week and heard about all the family time I was missing out on, my heart hurt. Each time I had that feeling, I told myself it'd be fine. Life would go on and home just wasn't in the cards for me.

Life did go on - and then I found myself single and making the decision to start job searching in PA. Before I knew it I was interviewing and then offered the job just an hour after leaving my interview!

It's been four weeks since I've been back with my family and I'm the happiest I've been in years.

The joy I feel to be in the land of spotty wifi, one lane bridges, roads without lines, farmland, and Steeler Sundays is unmatched. I've traded the hustle and bustle of Maryland for the occasional "traffic" jams of Amish buggies, turkeys, and tractors. My drive to work is longer than it's ever been, but I am finally part of a company I love with a President that respects and appreciates everyone. I don't dread work weeks and know this is where I belong. I'm more relaxed, calm, and care-free. For the first time in a long time, I'm happy.

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My hobbies currently include: pet sitting, missing the mountains of Utah, volunteering at a local fall festival, and enjoying family time. I've even been taking some time off from the gym and even though it's been unplanned, it's been a much needed reset.

As hard as the past several weeks (heck, months) have been, I'm grateful for one door closing and a new chapter beginning. I'm learning a lot about myself..... and others. I've learned it's nearly impossible to suppress feelings, they'll just continue to consume you. I've learned who my true friends are, and to hold them close. I've learned what (and who) deserves my energy. I've learned I'm stronger than I know. I've learned that there is nothing more important than family and there's no place like HOME.

Good or bad - everything happens for a reason. Happy Monday, fit fam! I promise there will be many more regular posts coming!