Ask Me Anything: Balancing Work, Play, and Consistency in your Fitness Journey w/ Dani Parker

Come Alive Dance copy.jpg
Published on ‎08-03-2021 10:14 AM by Guide | Updated on ‎08-23-2021 09:46 PM

Join AthletaWell mindful movement Guide Dani for an exploration of how we can balance work, play, and consistency in our fitness and movement routine. It's important to have goals for your wellbeing, but it's equally as important to feel connected to your why behind each goal and to ENJOY yourself along the journey. You deserve to feel good in your body, mind and life —let's explore it all together.

Come with all your questions for Dani, such as—

-How do I create fitness goals that feel authentic and connect to a deeper why for me?
-What are some tips for building a more consistent movement/fitness practice?
-What are movements and postures I can do to reconnect to joy and play?
-How do I know when I need to motivate myself to move more and when to lean into rest?

Drop your questions below, and Dani will be back to answer them directly on 8/25 at 9am PT.



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Start:
Wed, Aug 25, 2021 09:30 AM PDT
End:
Wed, Aug 25, 2021 10:30 AM PDT
9 Comments
aquagal49
Member

Hi @Dani_P on the days that I really just do NOT feel like working out, what do you recommend? How can I tell the difference between laziness versus knowing I need a day off? 

Hi @aquagal49 -- thank you so much for bringing this question into the space, I think it's something we've all experienced at one point (or many!). I've struggled with this question a lot, especially over the past year and a half when my energy has felt depleted or sluggish with the state of the world.

 

What it really comes back to is your connection with your body and yourself.  The first thing I would try is slowing down, taking a deep breath and really asking your body what it needs in that moment. Something as simple as "does my body need movement or does it need rest?" Our bodies are constantly communicating with us through sensations, through feelings and through our breath. Sometimes it just takes a moment to slow down and really listen.

 

If you ARE feeling called to move your body and are having a hard time motivating yourself to get there -- I would try setting yourself up the night before or morning of to remove all barriers to getting to your practice. Set out your clothes out, fill up your water bottle, have your mat and equipment ready to go or your keys next to your gym bag. When we take away as many steps or distractions from getting to the workout, it's easier for us to just pick up and go -- especially when we're not in the mood!

I would also recommend trying different movement practices to explore what FEELS good in your body and your mind. So we get unmotivated simply because we're forcing ourselves into movement practices or styles that don't actually feel great in our own bodies! When you find a practice that feels good physically, mentally and emotionally, you'll find the motivation to keep coming back to it. And when you build consistency -- you start to feel and live the positive changes 🙂

JameeT
Member

Hi Dani. Ideally I’d love 90 minutes for every workout, however that’s not possible as often as I’d like, so if the day has gotten away from me without substantial active minutes what movement strategies should I do for 30 - 40 minutes and then still be able to wind down and sleep?

I do not enjoy yoga, but I do like Pilates and I have weights and bands at home. 
Thank you. 

Hi @JameeT -- so great to connect with you here and thank you for this question. With busy schedules and spending so much more time at home, longer workouts just aren't always in the cards these days. I love that you are exploring shorter workouts as a solution because as I tell my students and clients, something is always better than nothing.

 

Some strategies for shorter workouts:

  • For a higher intensity physical release and sweat: try combining strength and cardio exercises with interval training -- Tabata is a really common form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) where you do an exercise for 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest (often 8 rounds). Bands and weights are great to incorporate into these workouts, but low impact + bodyweight will also be just as effective.
  • For more embodied connection + emotional release: find a practice that integrates mindfulness with movement. This is the foundation of my signature Come Alive class (there are 2 shorter Come Alive classes posted in the Movement and Fitness Resources space you can try out!) I also love Pilates and slower, low impact strength classes because they allow you to really BE in your body through the challenge and experience rather than run away from it. If you're short on time, doing something that helps ground your mind AND strengthen + support your body is a win-win in my eyes 🙂
  • For rest and relaxation: I think taking yourself outside for a 10-20 minute walk and immersing yourself in nature is one of the best medicines. I also really recommend a gentle restorative yoga practice, seated or even moving meditation (like your walk!) to ground the mind and restore your nervous system. 

If you're looking for more support, I offer all of these types of classes both livestream and on demand in the my Alive With Dani platform and you can check them out for free here!

Vanessa
Community Manager

Hi Dani! How do you get yourself to workout when you absolutely don't want to? Been in a funk for a long time now and even when I get myself to the gym, workouts are not good at all.

Hi @Vanessa -- such a great question and I completely feel you on this one. Motivation has felt extra challenging with the past year and half we've been navigating through and you are definitely not alone.

 

Here are some tips I've found super helpful in building motivation and staying committed to the practices that keep me feeling powerful, strong and alive:

 

1. At the start of each week, get clear on your intention for the week ahead and how you want to FEEL and write them down in "I am" statements on your bathroom mirror or a place you'll see them first thing in the morning. When I wake up feeling unmotivated, seeing the positive affirmations and intentions I set for myself, saying them out loud and feeling them in my body helps energize me into my day.

 

2. Set out your clothes and everything you need for your workout or meditation in the morning the night before! The less "to dos" and distractions you have (like picking out something to wear or finding your water bottle) to getting to your mat in the morning, the easier it will be to just show up and commit. 🙂

 

3. Find a song or playlist that LIGHTS YOU UP and brings you joy and play it on the way to your morning or daily practice. Music has the power to shift your mood and sometimes all it takes is one song to get you in the groove.

 

4. Explore different movement and mindfulness practices to find what is fun, what brings you joy, and what works for YOU! I often find that when I'm resisting moving my body, it's because I'm following an expectation of what I think I SHOULD be doing or what I see other people doing. Try different ways of moving your body and find out what FEELS good in your space. When you really enjoy the practice, you'll be more consistent with it. 🙂

lauren
Member

Hi Dani, thanks for taking time to answer our questions! I feel like when I'm busy (which is often these days) working out is the first thing that gets dropped from my to-do list, but I know that in the long run it'll make me a happier person and more successful and focused on the rest of my tasks. Do you have any tips on creating a consistent healthy routine? 

Hi @lauren -- so great to connect with you and I'm so happy you asked this question. I think a lot of us can relate! When our schedules and lives get really busy, it's so easy to let movement, mindfulness or any self care practices fall to the wayside, but the truth is that they are actually most important during those seasons of our lives! Two things I do to make sure I'm staying committed to doing what keeps me feeling good:

 

1. Calendaring in my personal time, self-care and REST. We make commitments to our work, our kids, and our family/friends by scheduling time for and with them, but how often are we making that commitment to scheduling time for and with ourselves?! I have gotten in the habit at the start of each month or each week (depending on your schedule) of blocking out time each day for self-care (this could be movement, meditation, stretching -- whatever you need that day) and also blocks of time for complete REST. It's been incredibly helpful to stay accountable to taking care of myself just as much as I stay accountable to taking care of others and also helps me visualize where I need more balance in my life.

 

2. Allowing a 5, 10 or 15 min workout to be more than okay on days that I get caught up in the craziness of my schedule and life. I used to feel like if I didn't have 45 minutes or 60 minutes to workout or meditate then it wasn't worth it. But the truth is ANY amount of movement, mindfulness and self-care is better than none. So on the busy days, trust that even moving your body for 10 minutes is perfect and will support you in building consistency.

 

Hope that helps!

Dani_P
Guide

Hi @aquagal49 -- thank you so much for bringing this question into the space, I think it's something we've all experienced at one point (or many!). I've struggled with this question a lot, especially over the past year and a half when my energy has felt depleted or sluggish with the state of the world.

 

What it really comes back to is your connection with your body and yourself.  The first thing I would try is slowing down, taking a deep breath and really asking your body what it needs in that moment. Something as simple as "does my body need movement or does it need rest?" Our bodies are constantly communicating with us through sensations, through feelings and through our breath. Sometimes it just takes a moment to slow down and really listen.

 

If you ARE feeling called to move your body and are having a hard time motivating yourself to get there -- I would try setting yourself up the night before or morning of to remove all barriers to getting to your practice. Set out your clothes out, fill up your water bottle, have your mat and equipment ready to go or your keys next to your gym bag. When we take away as many steps or distractions from getting to the workout, it's easier for us to just pick up and go -- especially when we're not in the mood!

I would also recommend trying different movement practices to explore what FEELS good in your body and your mind. So we get unmotivated simply because we're forcing ourselves into movement practices or styles that don't actually feel great in our own bodies! When you find a practice that feels good physically, mentally and emotionally, you'll find the motivation to keep coming back to it. And when you build consistency -- you start to feel and live the positive changes. 🙂