Finding the “right” recipe that makes you feel good physically, mentally, and socially is a long process, but once you put the pieces together, everything gets a little easier. Dr. Erica shares her journey of finding out what supported her health journey and what maybe did not work so well for her.
What has worked:
- Strength training 3-4 days/week using Street Parking and making it to our local Women’s Strength class when I can. It’s simple, quick, effective, and I have gained more strength and confidence than ever before. I give less shits about what I look like and more about how I feel and in turn, I like how I look. Weird how that works, huh?
- Running two days per week with a friend. I still love the endorphin high from running and believe it or not, I have gotten to love talking while I run. Running has its physical benefits for sure but the emotional health benefits I get in solving life’s problems with Amanda and Tex on the trails is invaluable.
- Mobility and Stability. The functional progression continues to be my foundational work, and as a mom of four, my core and pelvic floor remind me of why I do it in the times I get away from it. I love a good flow, and to be honest, these days I mostly get in mobility work in 5-10 minute breaks during the day. My spine feels so much better when I do this, I have less pain, and fewer headaches.
What didn’t work:
- Being sedentary. My mental and physical health were major obstacles before I began a consistent workout routine.
- HIIT workouts. They have a time and place but 30-45 minutes of high intensity 5 days a week when trying to raise a family and run a business on little to no sleep was doing nothing but burying me further down.
- Running. If you choose to continue to read on you’ll understand why. I became consistent with fitness through starting to run but running as my only form of fitness wasn’t cutting it and when I wanted to see what my body was capable of both in and out of the perinatal period, adding strength training was HUGE! My first half marathon time was over two hours, I trained by running. The last half marathon I did, my time was 1:45. I ran far fewer miles, and did Street Parking Shift workouts on strength days. Anyway, running alone wasn’t working long term.
- No sleep. This may be a gut punch because with little kids, to an extent, it may be out of your control. I know it was for me when I was training for a half, not sleeping, got injured, my running coach told me to stop and I kept going anyway. Sleep/Recovery is huge. You’ve got to put your ego aside for a bit. This is another reason the Street Parking workouts worked so well for me. Going harder when I wasn’t recovered, wasn’t the answer. See: Complete Depletion sucks.
That may sound super simple because after trial and error over the course of 14 years, I summed it up into a few short paragraphs. You’ll find some of what has worked for me will work for you and that some of it won’t. What I can tell you is strength training, cardio, and foundational core work are what I see works best for my patients too. What I hope you see is that it is more about starting and being consistent than it is a perfect recipe.
What does your recipe of well-being look like?
-Dr. Erica Boland