My wise nine year old son asked the other day, “What’s the difference between a habit and an addiction?” Taken completely off guard, I stumbled for a minute then started to think out loud.
Well, a habit is generally something you do that is good for you, like brushing your teeth after meals or doing your daily body maintenance exercises (got to drive it home while they’re young). An addiction is generally something a person does repeatedly – usually in excess, which in the end causes them harm.
We came up with a few more examples for each and then left the thought behind. But of course our conversation provoked for me a little blog post. I’ve said it before, but sometimes we need to hear the same philosophy from various perspectives. What if our healthy habit of exercise turns into one of addiction? Meanwhile, the opposite is a concern for many…difficulty developing the habit in the first place, more on that another time.
Healthy Habit of Exercise = Increased Level of Fitness, Flexibility, Strength, Endurance, better sleep pattern and food choices, Active Living, etc.
But what if it’s not really an addiction to exercise, but rather enthusiasm? How do we differentiate? Well, all of this is obviously subjective – enthusiasm can very easily morph undetected…usually those around us see our symptoms long before we see them for ourselves.
When I first started transitioning from doing my hour and a half long workouts at the gym to doing HIIT at home exclusively, I had a difficult time accepting that anything under 40 minutes would or could be enough. After a month or so I shortened my training sessions even further to 20 minutes, and because I was getting stronger with each workout and working at such maximal effort, I was ok with the change to shorter workout times. The short-high-intensity workouts satisfied my ‘workout high’.
But then, there was a time when I had brought the workouts down to 12 minutes and I felt so energized from them that I just didn’t want the workout to be over. So I would do another 4 Minute Tabata to top it up. Or I would do HIIT workouts five days in a row – eager for the next day so I could get my 12 minute workout in.
I only had to do this a few times to realize that I was missing the point of what HIIT could offer.
When I was playing soccer regularly, there was a few times that after having played an hour of fast paced soccer I would then come home to do a short HIIT workout. For me that was the sign that I had crossed the line. Exercising in excess would lead to overuse and injury…I felt them (overuse and injury, that is) knocking at my door. What I ended up doing instead of a HIIT workout was to come home and stretch (Yoga) – a much healthier pattern. Lucky for me I generally only make the same mistake a few times before I change my pattern…unfortunately, there are countless opportunities for making new mistakes waiting for me at every turn. (Actually, I honestly think making mistakes is terrific, it is our greatest teacher).
Today was another opportunity to listen to my truth and not my ego. Zuzka Light is back on YouTube – Zuzka has been taken under the wing of Darren Copik from Watch It Now Entertainment. She is the original face of BodyRockTv. In September of 2011, Zuzka stepped away from BodyRock to do her own thing (she and Freddy divorced – BodyRock is still going strong under Freddy’s direction and other hosts).
So, I grabbed Zuzka’s first ZWOD (Zuzana’s Workout Of the Day) Bodyweight Only Time Challenge workout, though I had to modify one exercise to suit me. I could have fallen into my old pattern and just used brute force to push through, but just by looking at the line up of exercises I knew that doing 3 Rounds would be excessive for me. So I did 2 Rounds and finished in 14 minutes. Just right.
Here’s what MY version of the workout looks like:
I warm up with 10x flight of stairs (up + down = 1x) by two’s going up + single steps going down (13 steps) + light stretches.
Complete 2 Rounds of the following 9 exercises in sequence as a Time Challenge.
1. Dive Bombers – 10 Reps
2. Burpees – 5 Reps
3. Squat + Side Leg Lift (Alternating sides) – 20 Reps
4. Lunge Back (Alternating sides) – 20 Reps
5. Burpees – 5 Reps
6. Side Plank Lift – 10 Reps Left Side + 10 Reps Right Side
7. Burpees – 5 Reps
8. Pistol Squat – 5 Reps Left Side + 5 Reps Right Side + 5 Reps Left Side + 5 Reps Right Side
9. Burpees – 5 Reps
Cool down with 4 x 100 skips with rope
+ 5 Forward Grip Pull Ups.
Plus 40 Minutes of Ashtanga Yoga Standing Series (including the first 12 seated postures -no vinyasa- + 3 Backbends + closing sequence – no inversions).
Tomorrow I will swim for 30 minutes and do 15 minutes of stretching in the Jacuzzi. I won’t do another HIIT or Yoga till Monday. But, regardless will start my day with stretching in bed (view the Bed Stretches #1 video here), some modified sun salutations – focusing on stretching out hip flexors (iliopsoas), followed by a 4 Minute Morning Week 3 – DAY 7.
Watch the sneak preview of what’s to come from Zuzka Lights new video series:
We all have to start somewhere. And we all have to find the right balance. Whatever you choose, be consistent and be kind to yourself. And most important of all STRETCH your body!
And to see the original workout breakdown and video click here. At :29 seconds there is a pause in the video which shows the breakdown in writing – for anyone who wants to write it out!
What exercise did you do today?