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Exercise is Cheaper Than Therapy…

Good morning! Matt and I made it to Crossfit Dupont last night and I’m so glad we did — one of my favorite workouts yet! It was HARD but engaging.

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My favorite thing about working out is that it’s my time to recharge, zone out, and just focus on the task at hand. To be honest, I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed lately with everything that I have on my plate. Between a full time internship (+ nearly an hour commute each way by car even though it’s only like 7 miles… so brutal), grad school, starting to work on my masters paper, part time blogging, AND wedding planning, I kind of feel like my head might explode. I’m basically going a million miles a minute every second of the day and it’s really starting to catch up with me, especially since I’ve been traveling on most of the weekends which would normally be a good time for me to get caught up on work. But even though I’ve been so busy, I’m still fitting in exercise of some form every day because it’s such good stress relief! It’s truly my “me” time — even if I don’t feel like I’m in the mood to work out, I’m always so glad when I get moving and without fail I feel much more relaxed afterward.

Last night at Crossfit was a great de-stressing workout — it was intense, required focus, and had me completely distracted from everything that’s piling up on my to-do list and stressing me out right now. Perfect!

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The instructors split us up into two groups — guys and girls. The girls started first with the more intense workout of the evening! Here’s what we had on the docket:

Perform 4 Rounds of the following:

  • 1 Minute Push Presses (I used 40 pounds)
  • 1 Minute Box Jumps
  • 1 Minute Clean Pull — (I used the same 40 lbs)
  • 1 Minute Bear Crawls
  • *Rest 1 Minute between rounds

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This workout didn’t sound so crazy on the website but man was it killer. We were all sweating buckets when we finished! Crossfit is great because it’s so scalable — everyone used different weights on their bars for the push presses and clean jerks. My partner and I definitely had the lightest of the group — no shame. :)

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After the 4 rounds were complete, we swapped with the guys and headed over for our strength workout, which was bench presses! I actually don’t think I’ve ever done legit bench presses before, so it was fun to feel hardcore. I was working with a nice, supportive group of girls, too, so that was fun. There were 4 of us and we all took turns spotting/cheering each other on and gradually going up in weight until we each reached our 5 rep max. For me, that was 52 pounds. I made it up to 62 but it was a bit much so I dropped back down. It’s important to check your ego at Crossfit — no point in hurting yourself!

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Last night was also fun because I got to try out some new kicks! Reebok sent me these RealFlex Crossfit Nano shoes to try out and I LOVED them. Supportive and stable feeling but inspired by barefoot technology so they are nice and close to the ground. Very lightweight, too! And cute — I love the colors.

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These shoes also feature Reebok’s “U-Form” technology, which is a heat activated custom-fit technology built into the lining of some of their newer shoes. Remember when I learned about that when I was at Reebok’s headquarters in May? With U-Form, consumers use a hair dryer to heat their shoes for two minutes, which causes the shoes to soften; you then put on the shoes and wait a few minutes for them to harden perfectly molded to your feet! Cool, huh?

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No big deal, just blow drying my shoes.

Anyway — such an awesome workout. My arms are definitely sore today after all that. But good sore. :)

What are your best tips for managing stress? Do you use exercise to de-stress like I do? A glass or two of wine is another favorite stress relief approach of mine, as is chatting with a best friend!

Comments

  1. 1

    Wow, girl! You really do have so much on your plate. I know how you feel – that was me last year (senior year) too. You’re not alone. Sending you love and hugs!

    Way to kill it at CrossFit! xoxo

  2. 3
    Rachel Wilkerson says:

    I definitely use exercise to de-stress, and unplugging has been helping me a lot lately! The light/stimulation of TV/smartphones/tablets tends to make me feel kind of exhausted/overwhelmed so just turning it all off for a night and reading a real book or magazine or having a conversation leaves me feeling re-charged!

    • 4

      I completely agree – I’ve been trying to limit computer time right before bed because if I’m tired I end up just aimlessly playing around on social media, which doesn’t help my to-do list OR my stress level. Reading a real book is so much more relaxing!

  3. 5

    Exercise is my me-time – for destressing physically and mentally. Yoga, running, spin classes – they’re all things I love to do alone.

  4. 6

    glad someone else is going through one of those AWFUL commutes, can’t wait till teleporting is available. You’re looking really hardcore at Crossfit though!

  5. 8

    I use exercise to de-stress, but I also find that making a list of my all blessing and things in my life to be grateful for (even very simple things) is incredibly relaxing and helps put my mind at ease and into a different place.

    That workout looks killer. Crossfit Workouts are deceptive in writing.

  6. 12

    Exercise is definitely my form of therapy as well. I also enjoy sitting down with a good book and just relaxing for a while – it’s a great way to just sit and let your body and mind relax.

  7. 14

    Cute sneakers, Anne! Exercise is totally my destressing outlet, too. Well, that plus reading and getting pedicures. ;)

  8. 15

    I agree 100%! It was definitely proven to me yesterday when I had a terrible day and all I wanted to do was go home, curl up, and relax, but I had signed up for a spinning class at a local studio, so I was committed to going. I used my stress as motivation to work hard during the class (even though I was tired from going to boot camp yesterday morning), and sure enough by the time I was done I had forgotten about all of the stresses of the day and everything suddenly seemed manageable again. I think this is why I’m addicted to getting my sweat on daily!

  9. 16

    I got exhausted just reading through that list of everything you have going on! I’m impressed you’re fitting in exercise, and it sounds like it’s playing an even more important than usual role in your life. :)

    I don’t always think of exercise when I’m trying to de-stress, but I find that when I actually do it, exercise can work beautifully in that role.

  10. 17

    Exercise always makes me feel so much better!!! I love the nanos! I got a pair back when they first came out and can’t imagine doing crossfit in any other sneakers now!

  11. 18

    Totally agree about fitting in workout/me-time. I have been letting it slide, but I need to re-prioritize. I have an awful commute too and it’s exhausting!

    PS. Way to go with CrossFit.. I love it but am debating signing up after my first two weeks beginners class because it’s so darn expensive.

    • 19

      Yeah, I know – I’m very lucky to have a partnership with Crossfit Dupont because we definitely couldn’t afford Crossfit on our own right now with me still in school.

  12. 20

    I totally get how you’re feeling with the wedding in just a few short weeks! Hang in there. For me, there came a point when I just had to say, “You know what, that’s (whatever little wedding detail it was) just not going to get done.” and I let it go there.

  13. 23

    I’m with you! I always try to make working out a priority, so that I stay sane. Love the nanos!

  14. 24

    You look so official at CrossFit. LOL. I’ve been struggling with fitting in workouts lately because I’ve been stressed and tired- you’re good motivation! :) Thank you!

  15. 26

    Exercise is a great de-stressor. When I get stressed I tend to make an awesome dinner or bake up some cookies or muffins. Good food is always good for making me feel better. :-)

  16. 27

    Working out is a great de stressor! It takes my mind off everything too. On the opposite end of
    the spectrum, just bumming in front of the tv works for me sometimes too ;) working out is more productive tho. Good luck with everything going on in your life right now!

  17. 28

    Oh, Anne! I totally feel you…with my 3 hour commute to school (such a waste of time! Think of all I can get accomplished! I can write 4 posts in that time haha..along with many other things ;)), job, finding preceptors for internship (which is a lot harder than I thought..argh), blogging, and of course being a wifey…wait so where was I…oh yes..it def is draining! I barely have time for myself…To be honest, I haven’t worked out since school started…You inspired me to make some time for myself, bc I’m with you…it’s the perfect way to destress and zone out! My brain’s been overworked! It’s time to give it some rest!

    • 29

      Gosh I can’t believe you have a 3 hour commute… that’s so brutal. Hang in there, girl! Take some time for yourself whenever you can! And I hope you have books on CD to entertain you. :)

  18. 30

    I love those yellow shoes. Man, 7 miles in 1 hour. That is brutal. Teleporting would be the “thing” wouldn’t it.

  19. 31

    I am all about exercise as stress relief, too. But sometimes, you just need a night on the couch, with your jammies and a book, and a nap or early bed time. ;)

  20. 33

    Your title seems to imply that obtaining therapy from a qualified professional is the same thing as getting exercise, just cheaper. This is very off-putting as the two are not the same. Yes, exercise is wonderful for the body and for stress management, but it is not a better alternative than going to therapy. This discredits the field as well as continues the stigma that psychology has worked so hard to attempt to decrease. Some need therapy for reasons that cannot be addressed by mere exercise. I would hope that you would be a little more cautious in your title creations next time! It sends a poor message, in my opinion.

    • 34

      Hi Lauren, thanks for the comment! My intention with this post title was not at all the discredit the field of psychology/therapy – I’m sorry if that’s how it came off to you! I was just being silly and I didn’t mean to offend. I completely agree that many people require therapy that could not be addressed by exercise, and I have a great respect for therapists and other mental health professionals. Please accept my apologies!

  21. 35

    I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year and never commented. I just loved the title of this one and couldn’t resist responding.

    I’m a former WW leader that finds exercise to DEFINATELY be the best mood elevator there is!

    No therapy or anti-depressants needed as long as I exercise!

  22. 36

    Gardening is a great way to manage stress. The microbes in the soil also boost your immunity. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! http://www.gardenbetty.com/2012/06/getting-stoned-on-soil/

  23. 37

    You should look into bike commuting. 7 miles each way would be super easy, and it would knock out your workout for that day.

  24. 39

    Exercise and unplugging are the biggest destressors. Sometimes vegging out in front of the TV is good too.

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