Last week, in an episode of ‘That’s So Retrograde’ (one of my favorite podcasts) the hosts talked to a Numerologist. According to him, 2020 is the year of ‘four’ and therefore associated with comfort. 2019 (the year of ‘three’) in return, was more of a hustling year (totally assent to that). This trend, to be more comfortable and live more in a flow instead of constantly pushing and hustling, is why I made the shift from fitness addict to mindful movement.
Somehow along the way of my fitness journey, I fell victim to exercise dictating my life, ergo a workout addiction (yes, it’s a thing!). If I didn’t sweat once a day, I felt uneasy. It didn’t matter how tired I was or how much was on my plate that day, I would squeeze in a workout. And with workout I mean a very intense and very sweaty HIIT session.
Thus, I felt constantly stressed, tired, and fatigued. My obsession with clean eating and exercise lead to major adrenal fatigue and a nervous gut that in return left me feeling depressed.
My love for fitness had turned into an addiction
It took me a long time to realize that what I was doing was far from healthy.
In my mind I did everything the experts said. I didn’t hit the snooze button but hopped right out of bed when the alarm went off, put my sneakers on and worked out. I had my protein-rich breakfast with lots of fiber and the likes afterwards.
But instead of bursting with energy, I could barely hold my eyes open once noon rolled around. Some days I even had to take a nap straight after breakfast. Where was the promised high energy I was supposed to experience after a morning sweat session?
I had to get my fitness trainer certificate to finally realize what was going one.
In one seminar, we were taught that putting too much stress on our bodies right in the morning, would cause the cortisol level to raise to an unhealthy high.
The right exercise is also dependend on your hormones
Exercising is vital for our health and wellbeing. It nevertheless is a stressor for our body. Especially as females, we are heavenly impacted by our hormones. Men more or less experience the same hormone cycle every day with testosterone levels being at its peak in the morning and slowly decreasing throughout the day (ever wondered why your boo is so horny in the morning?!).
As women we have a more circular flow. Thus, each day can be totally different from the next. That’s why some hormone experts such as Alisa Vitti from FLOLiving suggest different movements for the different phases in our cycle.
Something that was total eye-opening to me. Finally, I had the scientific explanation of what I was feeling all along. Some weeks, I had so much energy I could do 3 HIIT trainings in a row without feeling a thing. And then the next week I would feel so exhausted, I could barely get myself onto the yoga mat.
The second a-ha moment occurred when I remembered how I exercises as a teenager. I would regularly hit the gym with my mom in the evening. Even my PE class at school was always in the afternoon.
The timing of your workout depends on your individual condition
It wasn’t until I started college that I switched to working out in the morning and I remember very vividly how tired and exhausted I felt afterwards. Always putting other opinons over my own, I ignored the signs my body was giving me and followed what the fitness program I had subscribed to suggested instead.
With the new year, I decided to take back control over my life! And there is clearly no better year than 2020 for it. This means no more working out in the morning besides a light walk and some stretching. This also means no crazy draining workouts like HIIT anymore but a mixture of running, yoga, pilates, hiking, biking, paddleboarding, and some strength training exercises (in the afternoon, of course).
In short, everything that keeps me moving but also feels good for my body. This also includes not putting pressure on myself to run a certain time or be able to do certain moves. You could say I’m making the shift from fitness addict to mindful movement. Hello, number 4 energy of 2020!
It’s also worth noting that the fitness trends for 2020 reflect exactly that, and I couldn’t be happier about this shift. In the end, our bodies as women are very precious so why not move it in a gentler way that is more in line with our feminine energy?
In the midst of New Year’s resolution and the likes stop and think: Is this really benefitting my body, mind, and soul in the best possible way?
What are your wellness goals for 2020? Share with me @madeleinestanev