Day 2, Just Breathe and Do Cardio: SELF.COM’S 14 DAYS TO HAPPIER, HEALTHIER YOU!

Day 2 was not as easy as Day 1. But I think it turned out to be more rewarding.

Day 1 was about letting yourself have tiny treats throughout the day; the idea being that if you indulge too much in fun things like ice cream, the joy you get from it will diminish over time. In performing this task yesterday and today, I have found that while I do enjoy YouTube videos and desserts more when I watch and consume less of them, a source of stress does surface if you plan out these fun moments too much. So today, though I limited the amount of the fun activities I enjoy in time spent and how much I consumed, I didn’t worry about when or how to do them. I just did them when I wanted to and I think today ended up little less tense than yesterday.

Day 2’s task wasn’t an all-day commitment like Day 1. Just 11 or 21 minutes of moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular exercise. But if you haven’t done cardio in about two years like me, then those first 11 or 21 minutes will be rough.

The exercise routine I used today was from this article.  I picked Stacy Berman’s cardio circuit workout routine because it was a simple cardio routine that I could do at home, without equipment and it takes 20 minutes to do; just one minute less than one of the minimums suggested by the 14 Days article.

It looks like a simple routine, but don’t let the descriptions and photos fool you. Initially, I doubted that I’d even break a sweat. Wrong. So wrong. Broke a sweat. Got my heart pumping. And I swear every muscle felt the burn. Originally I planned to shoot for the 21 minutes, but as I neared the halfway mark, I realized if I pushed myself any more I’d really hurt myself. So I stopped at 12 minutes. One minute more than the 11-minute minimum mentioned in the 14 Day article. (And yes, I counted the minutes of rest required by the exercise article in my total. I figured that the whole point of this task is to get my heart pumping, which it did at a pretty fast rate even during rest, so it counts.) I hope to able to perform the exercise for 21 minutes as the project goes on, but for now I think 12 minutes is a great start! On to the post-workout notes!

How I felt: The Immediate Effects

Initially, after the workout ended I felt tired and a little nauseous. And I wondered how I was going to feel less stressed if I felt so exhausted. I did love how my heart was pumping while I exercised though. I also felt a bit negative about not being able to hit 21 minutes as I’d originally planned. But I was also proud of myself for finishing today’s task.

How I Feel Now (Hours Later)

I feel much calmer. Especially since I treated myself to a YouTube video afterwards to get my mind off of the nausea. The exhausted feelings have worn off for the most part and I just feel energized. Usually, it’s hard for me to write at night, but I have to because I often don’t have time otherwise. But tonight, I feel ready and eager to write. I’m also more proud of myself for achieving today’s goal and less down on myself for not lasting 21 minutes. Overall, I’d say I feel relaxed and (slightly) less worried about things.

I’d say so far in this project I’ve learned three important things about myself and how to handle stress:

  1. I like how exercise makes me feel afterwards. Cardio is hard work but I think it’s worth it to feel this relaxed.
  2. Limiting some of the fun things in life to small bursts throughout the day instead of gorging on them all at once keeps me pretty happy for longer so long as…
  3. I don’t worry too much about how things turn out. Letting go of certain expectations I have of how things should turn out in favor of just enjoying whatever I do for what they are is probably one of the best ways to reduce stress.  I need to just go with the flow a bit more.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your opinions, questions and stories! Or even if you have any other ideas for fun, exercise routines to do, please feel free to tell me!

I’d also like to thank SELF Magazine for posting the article,“14 Days to a Happier, Healthier You!” which inspired this blog post.

Also, I’d like to thank Stacy Berman, the founder of Stacy’s Bootcamp in NYC for her cardio circuit workout routine that was featured in this article  also published by Self Magazine.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a lovely day!

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