If you choose to scroll through Instagram (#workout), you will be bombarded with “perfect” physiques, six-pack ab challenges, impossible-looking exercises, and you may end up feeling less motivated and more self-critical. Last week I was zooming with a new personal training client, and when I asked her to tell me about her fitness goals, she quickly listed off all the things she “hates” about her body. I’ve heard so many women speak harshly about their body; clients, friends, family, and I’m sad to include myself. Self-improvement, working towards a fitness goal, eating healthier, these are things I passionately believe in and encourage. Still, there is a distinction between setting goals with appreciation and love for your body versus hating, shaming, and criticizing your body. I’ve noticed a difference when I train male clients as they often say things like “I want to get stronger” or “I’d like to lower my body fat %” or “I’m training for ____ event.” The men have fitness goals and have things about their body they want to change, but in general, the self-criticism and judgment are not at the forefront.
Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection, is a beautiful concept, one I’d encourage us all to remember when we set fitness goals. As a fitness professional, I’m committed to helping people achieve their goals. One of my goals is for others to experience the joy that can come from exercising in new ways and feeling different in our bodies as we evolve to healthier versions of ourselves. I never want fitness to be so disciplined that it eliminates the positive emotion that can come from the process. I often encourage people to keep fitness fun and take the self-judgment out of the exercise. This approach helps combat burn out. If we’re stuck in one routine, it can take the joy out of the exercise. When I train clients, I remind them that it’s necessary to take a week off, rest, and try new forms of movement.
My challenge to you is to get creative and make a few of your workout sessions more fun and family-friendly by exploring new activities that appeal to your playful side.
Options may include:
Family Deck of Cards Workout
Assign the four suits one exercise. Take turns picking a card; the number on the card is the number of reps you must do.
- Squats = Diamonds
- Push-ups = Hearts
- Jumping Jacks = Spades
- Sit-ups = Clubs
Number of Reps:
- Ace = 1 rep
- 2 = 2 reps
- 3 = 3 reps
- 4 = 4 reps
- 5 = 5 reps
- 6 = 6 reps
- 7 = 7 reps
- 8 = 8 reps
- 9 = 9 reps
- 10 = 10 reps
- Jack, King and Queen = 15 or player’s choice
30 Family Plank Challenge
Dance Party (Fitness Marshall is a lot of fun!)
Walking/Hiking Scavenger Hunt
Unconventional workouts can energize and inspire us to stay fit and healthy.
Please share with me what your favorite FUN workout is. I always enjoy hearing from you and sharing your successes and strategies with others.
Embrace the Wabi-Sabi of movement, fitness, and life as you reflect on the following words of Richard Powell, author of Wabi-Sabi Simple.
“Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”
Enjoy the journey to a healthier you and be kind to yourself along the way!