May 12, 2018

Lately I have been thinking about how to be more mindful of how I spend my time, and how to make the most of my days while I am super busy at work and have little vacation time to speak of. Most of us have pretty limited time left between sleeping, working, cooking and cleaning, and other household or family care tasks. What you do with that small amount of time to yourself might be the most important time of your day. Here in Montana it is springtime, which is refreshing and lovely in so many ways: the landscape is turning green, the days are getting warmer and way longer, and I feel an increase in my energy levels and motivation with all of the sunshine. Despite the fact that spring has sprung, I feel a little trapped sometimes, knowing I don’t have any kind of real “break” beyond a couple of days at a time in my near future.

I am fortunate enough to get more vacation time that most in the USA (three weeks versus two weeks per year), but three weeks among a year really drives me to plan big blowout trips to get away, recharge and feel like I’m “living”. I am trying to adjust my mentality on time off, and appreciate what I can do DAILY, and every weekend, to feel refreshed and maintain and improve my fitness. To me, three easy ways to make the most out of your life on a daily and weekly basis, and really strive to live a full life despite working all the time are: do something new, push your body, and see friends.

Break from run
Taking a quick stretch break on today’s run.

1) Do something new: this means different things to each of us depending on where we live, but every week, make sure you go to a new place or do something new to you at least ONCE. This can be something small. For me, this week it was going for a trail run with my boyfriend in a canyon that I have only explored a small part of previously on a hike I did years ago with family. This weekend we ran way farther into it than I had ever been, and we absolutely LOVED it. This wasn’t very far from home, it only took a few hours round-trip, and it was totally incredible! Everything is so green and lush right now, we had a great workout, and didn’t see many other people. Pair that with an ice cold beer and some trail mix on the tailgate and it made for an awesome day in the mountains with my favorite person.

Canyon run
Exploring farther into the canyon.

2) Push your body: no matter what you currently do for exercise you can push yourself a little harder. Obviously I don’t mean go out and push yourself so hard that you are in pain or cause an injury, but assuming that you’re healthy and feeling good, push yourself a little more than you did last week. This is how you generate forward progress! Using the one body you will ever have and keeping it healthy so you can age well is more important that most things in life… your lifestyle defines your health and your health defines your lifestyle.

Running into the clouds… literally!

3) See friends: seeing as I work full time and consciously choose to make exercise a priority, sometimes I find myself putting time with friends secondary to other things. This past week I was fortunate enough to not only see friends, but to workout with friends. I think this is really the cats meow; being able to workout with some of your besties, catch up, and have an hour or two of hang out time, but you are also both sweating your faces off and keeping your bodies trim and sexy! If you can’t workout with your friends, just pick an evening to meet up with them for dinner or drinks, or whatever you do together, and plan a badass workout for yourself the day before it so you really feel like you earned a rest day with a tasty treat involved!

Love, sweat, and cheers. What will you do with your week?