Lifestyle and nutrition blogger Shannon Brennan-Cressey of Whole Foodie Booty is one of a kind. On her blog, she shares her take on food, health, relationships, and the adventures of living a holistic lifestyle. After conquering her fears around food, whether they involved cooking, entertaining, or the calories themselves, she became encouraged to follow her taste and be creative with real, whole, flavorful ingredients. Now, with useful tips and fun recipes under her belt, she stays on top of eating right and can maintain the perfect exercise routine to feel like her best self. And don’t worry, we wouldn’t leave you in the dark! Read below to find her perfect workout routine.
What’s the Perfect Exercise for You?
I’m finally at the point in my life where I feel like I have the perfect exercise routine. I’m not going crazy at the gym, or killing myself in boot camp classes, and yet I feel like my best self.
For me the key hasn’t been stepping it up, it’s been finding balance.
My number one form of exercise is yoga. I need it to help me find center and calm down. I do yoga most days of the week and vary the routines. I used to only do vinyasa yoga (my mindset was sweat or what’s the point) but now I also do restorative classes and strength building classes. Sometimes, I put on pop hits and dance around my yoga room before I get on the mat, then my tunes change and Bob Dylan filters through my speakers as I start my practice.
Since the weather has improved, I’ve added cardio to the mix. I crave the outdoors after being cooped up over the winter, so I’ve moved my activity outside and I’m walking, biking, and swimming. I’m always more active in the spring and summer months because it’s so nice out and that gives me more energy.
For me, yoga and swimming are similar types of activity because they bring focus. When I do yoga, I concentrate on counting my breath and the actions of my body parts as I hold the poses. When I swim, I count my strokes, swim in patterns, and focus on the extension of my limbs. Both help me really tune out the chatter in my mind.
When I walk or bike, I let my mind wander. I need that too, it’s where I sort things out. I read an article recently informing me that I’m not alone, that many successful people like Steve Jobs and Einstein, for instance, were known to take long walks when they were stumped and needed to work out problems or think things through.
Yoga emphasizes calming the mental chatter and learning how to tune out the outside world. Most of us are constantly overstimulated so tuning into ourselves is a foreign concept and doesn’t come naturally. If this sounds like you, yoga may be just the prescription.
But I also think paying attention to what is going on outside of us, like the birds chirping, the shape of the clouds, and the colors of the trees are important, too. These are the things I notice when I walk. These details are often overlooked; we are too busy to take them in, and slowing down enough to let things take shape is just as important as learning to tune it all out. Both bring moments of peace and inspiration.
It’s the balance of the ability to focus and the ability to let my mind go that has me feeling like I’ve found my exercise sweet spot.
Shannon and the team at HealingRadius are curious—what type of exercise do you enjoy? Please let us know in the comment section below! And as always, here’s to living a healthy (and active) lifestyle.