Ever feel like you’re crushing your career or personal goals but burning the candle at both ends? Working hard to bring your dreams to life can be draining. Though it seems counterintuitive, exercise is actually one of the best ways to fire back up with an energy boost. While working out isn’t always fun, it doesn’t have to be something you dread. To put some pep back in your step, we reached out to Lauren Chiarello from Chi Chi Life to design a Flip Fit Challenge that'll help keep your mind, body and heart healthy. Read on to start Lauren's 10-step master plan today, wherever you are.
1. Find What Excites You
From walking to classes or something really tough, different forms of exercise work for different people — and you're sure to find something you can excited about. "Try all kinds of workouts until you find something that you love and keep going back so that it becomes your lifestyle," Lauren suggests. "When you start to get antsy, remember that this will energize you and help you lead your best life."
2. Learn How to Relax
Rest is especially important when it comes to carving out time to move more. Lauren emphasizes patience as a critical part of the challenge, reminding us: "Any change takes time. It can be easy to get overwhelmed or nervous when you start a new habit." She says that she uses Andrew Weil’s The 4-7-8 Breath to manage anxiety and fall asleep. "This method is super effective and I highly recommend it. Here’s how it works: Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight." You've got this.
3. Seek Inspiration
"I end all of my classes and sessions with a reflective passage or quote," Lauren shares. "I adore Ralph Marston’s The Daily Motivator. He has a special knack for saying the right thing at seemingly the right time. The topics are fairly broad but each nugget of wisdom can be applied to so many aspects of our lives, regardless of what we have going on." Make notes about any that apply to you specifically so you can remember and re-use them as you move forward.
4. Get Outside
"Commit to taking brisk walks to get the blood flowing; if the sun is shining, a dose of Vitamin D will likely lift your spirits." She says that stepping away for a change of scenery (especially if you've been inside all day) will help bring on a refreshing perspective.
5. Be Passionate
"When you do what sets your soul on fire, people can see that and often want to be a part of whatever you’re up to," Lauren promises. Be passionate about making healthy changes and your friends will feel inspired to join in on the fun!
6. Get Uncomfortable
"We often discover what we’re capable of doing once we become uncomfortable as fear often holds us back," Lauren notes. When it comes to fitness, it's necessary to push past resistance. You might be surprised by what you're able to accomplish, whether it's carving out more time for regular workouts, falling in love with an exercise you wouldn't have dreamed you'd like, or reaching a healthy new milestone, like running further or completing more reps than you ever have before.
7. Try Something New
"New experiences and uncharted terrain can be terrifying, especially in a group exercise setting," Lauren notes. "So, I remind my students that every expert was once a novice. This is key in helping release expectations, gaining strength and opening up the mind and heart." An important step in the Flip Fit Challenge, Lauren asks you to give yourself the gift of trying something new —be it a healthy recipe or exercise experience. "The possibilities are endless," she swears.
8. Build A Community
During the challenge, connect with someone else in one of your classes or recruit a friend to join you for a workout. "When you build camaraderie, you'll feed off of each other’s energy," Lauren shares. "If you bring a social component into your exercise schedule and goals, you’ll be more inclined to stay with it."
9. Stretch More
There are oodles of benefits to stretching. According to Lauren, a few front runners are improved flexibility and joint range of motion, improved circulation, and better posture. Need another bonus? She tells us that stretching can aid in stress relief and relaxation. Ahh, bliss.
10. Stay Positive
"Everyday is not sunshine and roses, but I firmly believe that attitude is integral to the trajectory of your life," Lauren says. "If you have a positive attitude and get rid of the negative chatter in your mind, you may surprise yourself to see how much magic you attract." Finish your challenge strong by channeling the power of positive thinking and by bringing your post-exercise endorphins into all of the awesome parts of your life.
About the Author
Lauren Chiarello is a 2x cancer survivor NYC-based Barre, Pilates + TRX instructor at exhale + FLEX Studios. Lauren is the founder of Chi Chi Life, which melds her passions of fitness, fundraising, event planning, and cancer advocacy. Lauren is a lover of life, health and wellness. She’s endlessly energized to build community and connection through shared experiences. Her favorite flip is to talk to 5 strangers; the conversations are often super insightful and colorful!