I love the gym. I love lifting weights and having mirrors to check my form in. I love HIIT workouts that push me to the edge of my endurance and give me an opportunity to challenge my perceived limits. I love running into my gym friends and occasionally even working out with other people. I do those kind of workouts 4 to 5 times a week and they're the backbone of my fitness regimen. Saturday workouts though, those are special.
Saturday workouts have 3 requirements; they must be outdoors, they must be over an hour long, and they must be completely based on whatever I feel like doing that day. I don't worry too much about calorie burn, working specific muscle groups, or training for anything concrete. I just let my heart decide what sounds fun and roll with it!
Today's Saturday workout was a 13 mile bike ride along the Schuylkill River with my mom. We stopped off at an outdoor gym spot along the way and did a quick upper-body workout to complement the lower-body intensive bike riding. We stopped at the halfway point and ate clementines and oatmeal cookies (that my stepdad made). My fitbit was tracking the ride but my heart was focused on the burning in my legs, the fall breeze on my face, the smell of the woods, the crackling of leaves, the scurrying of squirrels, the babbling of the river. This kind of exercise has a high vibrational energy. It doesn't feel forced. It doesn't feel hard. It doesn't feel like a rushed activity in a rushed week that you have to do so you can be "skinny". It's movement for the sake of movement. It's a celebration of the capability of your body. It's a huge THANK YOU to your creator and it feels so good.
My soul felt light and free, but totally focused at the same time. try to be intentional with experiences that will nourish my soul while also benefiting me physically. Be intentional about creating an environment or an activity for yourself that will allow your soul to truly soak up the joy and excitement of life. Make deposits of joy and fun and excitement and freedom in the bank so that those days (that we all have) where you just have to focus on all the mundane business of being human don't feel so tough.
Use pockets of free time to let your soul stretch it's legs. You'll see physical benefits like reduced cortisol stress response, reduced anxiety and depression symptoms,and easier sleep. You'll see emotional benefits like a generally more positive outlook on life, optimism and improved problem solving, increased productivity and overall joy.
Feed your soul joy, feed your soul adventure, feed your soul fun, feed your soul activity, and feed your soul oatmeal cookies!